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Question:

Discuss about the Employee Relations Policies.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Employment relation can be explained as the term that is related to the development and maintenance of the relation between the employer and the employee. Employer needs to implement the practices in the organization that benefits the employee to maintain the relationship and so as to motivate the employees to perform (Gill & Meyer, 2013). As per the case, it has been identified that the former owners of the company were not concerned about their employees and only concentrates on getting output from them for company’s business. They were not even paying attention to the safety of the workers and this has made that place worse to work with. This suggests that companies need to implement some of the strategies that help the employee o stick to the company for longer time.

Current situation analysis:

After analyzing the case study, it has been observed that Top Trucking Company is doing very well with its business but at the same time employees of the company are not happy with this (Larsen & Navrbjerg, 2015). The autocratic nature of the former manager of the company leads to high employee turnover. The autocratic yard manager believes in delegating the duties to the employees according to his own concern. Under his leadership, the employees were not allowed to share their views regarding any important decision taken in the company. The owners of the company were not making expenses on repairing and improving their infrastructure that results in increase in number of accidents at the factory site (Staniuliene, 2013). This is a big concern as it is related to the safety of an individual. Thus, the scenario has become very worse and the employees were continuously showing their dissatisfaction towards the company’s management but no efforts were made from the company’s side. After the handover of ownership of the company, many changes have brought up in the processes that have made the company’s situation better.

 

Requirement of change:

There are many drivers identified in the case that can drive the changes in the company’s structure and management. The first element that drives the need for change in the company is the high dissatisfaction level of the employees in the company. Due to autocratic leadership of the former manager, the employees were very dissatisfied and declared that Top Trucking is the worst place to work (Karnes, 2009). The structure of the organization is such that it does not pay attention to the needs of the employees but the only concentration is on the performance at the organizational level. The management only wants to increase the output of the company. The employees can only work for shorter period under pressure but to retain them for longer period, the company has to implement changes that are in concern with the employees. It is also important to bring those changes gradually so that employees can adopt them easily. It is not only the management that has created mess in the organization but the owners of the company has also not paid attention to the requirements and needs of the employees (Tansel  & S?aziye, 2014). Even the basic safety needs of the employee were not fulfilled at the time of family ownership. This irresponsible attitude towards the organization has resulted in accidents at the workplace and thus left the employees dissatisfied.

Risk associated with sustaining the changes:

It is easy to implement the change but it is difficult to sustain with those changes in the situation. As per the case, it has been observed that initially George and the new manger were not in the same line of thought about the changes implemented. But, the happy realization of George supported the manager as well as the employees to bring out the changes (Gennard, 2009). If the condition of arguments between George and manager was not sorted then it could have been a difficult task to implement those changes. The major risk associated with the changes is the strikes by the workers. As George is the union representative of the union of workers so he has the power and the potential to manipulate thinking of the workers towards the management. So, it was very important to convince and impress the union representative with the new changes.

 

Changes and the new practices:

Many changes have been observed in the organizational culture and practices after appointing the new managers as well as after shifting of the ownership. The new practices that have been implemented in the company are not only related to the organizational output but also to the individual output. The alignment of the strategies at individual and organizational level is the basis of this change. The company was bought by big national transport group and this has become the initiation of change implementation. The first change is done in consideration with the improvement in working environment (Branine, Ahmed, Otmane & Mellahi, 2008). The new company has enough funds to repair the infrastructure of the company as well as to repair the trucks used by the workers. The efforts have been made by the company to clean the yards that provides a safe working environment to the employees. The company has issued new uniforms to the drivers. The implementation of such practices and efforts by the company has created a sense of belongings among the employees. This feeling among the employees motivates them to work for the company. As per the case study, operations of the company are functioning very well, but these extra efforts in the benefit of the employee’s supports this functioning for longer period of time. The second change that has been implemented in the organization is related to the managerial approach (Ntalianis, Dyer & Vandenberghe, 2015). The participative managerial approach has been followed by the new manager. This helps the employees to involve in the important decision making process. Under this managerial approach, the employees have the freedom to speak up their minds. The manager of the company does not take any decision to resolve the issues without concerning the relevant employees. The new manger never takes the decision on his own, but investigates about the issue and considers the call of every aspect before making any decision. This approach supports the employees to grow at individual level. The basic need of the employees at workplace is their safety which was not a concern of the firmer manager and the owner of the company. The new owners of the company have made efforts to spend some of the amount in repairing of the trucks and the workplace so that the employees feel safe to work and deal with the machinery (Burns, 2012).  With this, the management also initiated the culture of providing training to the employees at general and technical level. This supports the employees engage in the workplace functioning with interest as they are getting the chance to develop their skills as individual level as well.

The alignment of the strategies at individual and organizational level helps the organization to achieve its goals. The employees also feel that they are the part of the company and try to work with full zeal and efforts (Gennard & Judge, 2010). 

 

How these practices complement each other:

All the new practices from participative approach to health and safety complement each other in one of the other way. This is because all the new changes that have been implemented in the organization are related to development and maintenance of the employee relations. It has been analyzed that the new practices of the organization has provided positive results for the organization as well as for employees. Issuing of new uniform and installation of compute system is done in order to create a fresh and motivating environment at the workplace. As the new computer system has installed, so it require the organization to provide training to the employees that helps in development of the employees at individual level. Introduction of participative managerial approach has also been done to motivate the employees and to create the feeling of sense of belongingness amongst them, so, it has been concluded that all the practices that has been implemented are in complement with each other.

What is Union

Union is the group of employees in the organization that work under a particular department. Every union has a union representative that led the union and act as the mediator between the employer and the employees. The practice of unions helps the organization to communicate with the employees easily (Giuliani & Kurson, 2007).

Transport worker union:

Transport workers union is the union of the blue collared employees that works under the jobs such as machinery work, factory work, labor etc. (Rollo, 2009). These unions are not that much educated and thus do not have the knowledge to provide their opinions at the management level. Therefore, their involvement in the workplace changes is less. They have low economic background and thus they themselves are interested only with the practices that affect their wages and salaries. Therefore, the involvement of transport unions in the workplace changes decision is too less than sector unions.

 

Public sector union:

These unions are related to the jobs at service level. These employees that constitute the public sector union are educated and have the skills to involve at the management level. They are more involved in making decision for workplace changes because they have the relevant knowledge and the skills (Bratton, 2017). They are the people with professional degrees and qualification and this makes them eligible to involve in the workplace changes decisions. The management also considers the service sector union to provide their views because according to the company also, the unions or the employees have the best of their knowledge of their fields.

Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be said that employee relation is very important for a company. The company should always try to come up with new ideas and strategies to motivate the employees in organization. This is because maintaining the relation with the employees helps the employees to develop their skills and thus help the organization to achieve their objectives (Aguinis, 2014).  According to the above analysis, it has been identified that the approach of managers plays a very important part in maintaining relationship with the employees. The correct approach by the new manager in the above case has helped the employees to develop themselves and retain them in the organization. This is very important for long-term success of the organization to retain its employees and also to satisfy them with the working environment and the policies.

 

References:

Aguinis, H. (2014). Performance management. Boston: Pearson Education Limited.

Branine, M., Ahmed, F., Otmane, F. & Mellahi, K.(2008). Employee relations in Algeria: A historical appraisal. Employee Relations, 30(4), 404-421

Bratton, J. (2017). Human resource management (1st ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.

Burns, J. (2012). Leadership. New York, NY: Open Road Integrated Media.

Gennard, J. (2009). The financial crisis and employee relations. Employee Relations, 31(5), 451-454

Gennard, J., & Judge, G. (2010). Employee relations.. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Gill, C. & Meyer, D. (2013). Union presence, employee relations and high performance work practices. Personnel Review, 42(5), 508-528.

Giuliani, R., & Kurson, K. (2007). Leadership. New York: Miramax Books.

Karnes, R. (2009). A Change in Business Ethics: The Impact on Employer–Employee Relations. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(2), 189-197

Larsen, T., & Navrbjerg, S. (2015). The economic crisis: Testing employee relations. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 36(2), 331-353

Ntalianis, F., Dyer, L., & Vandenberghe, C. (2015). Owner-employee relations in small firms. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 30(7), 832-846

Rollo, J. (2009). Performance management. [Salem, NH]: Goal/QPC.

Staniuliene, S. (2013). Employee Relations Role in Lithuanian Companies Organizational Culture Formation. Organizacijø Vadyba: Sisteminiai Tyrimai, (67), 95-109

Tansel, A., & S?aziye, G. (2014). Management-employee relations, firm size and job satisfaction. International Journal of Manpower, 35(8), 1260-1275.

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