Some say managers should behave ethically because it's the right thing to do, and it has the added benefit of building employee commitment, improving their performance, and thereby contributing to organisational success. Conservative, pro-bushess advocates, more interested in the bottom line, also argue for ethical behaviour, but on the simple grounds that it is good for business:
Overview of the Issue
The report will be written with the purpose of unveiling ethical issues with the HRM department of Toyota. It has been reported recently by Human Resource Director, Australia that employees are receiving multiple instructions from managers, which are difficult to follow for the lack of collaboration. Moreover, they are informed with frequent changes within the organisation and the challenge of preparing themselves accordingly is becoming the centre of conflict in this year. In this situation, being a HRM professional this report will address the ongoing conflict between the employees and HR managers with necessary solutions aligned with ideal ethical and professional behaviour. Further necessary justification will be provided for the chosen recommendations.
According to various surveys conducted on employee experiences of the auto manufacturing and sales company, Toyota, behind the extreme efficiency and customer oriented behaviour there is a dark reality as well (Mathieu et al., 2014). The job is not all about rude customers and non-cooperative managers. Yet, undoubtedly, these are the most challenging aspects of being a part of business that has a nature of continuous transformation. As per reported by an esteemed Australian newspaper, as business industry is facing consistent changes as well as confronting with several changed customer preferences and market demand accordingly, HR teams of this car manufacture company too is facing compatibility challenges with the ongoing transformation.
In this era of advanced technology, as argued by Johnston and Marshall (2013), where people and business operations are entirely dependent on digital aids, traditional market has been interrupted and numerous companies are struggling to catch up the competition with different characteristics of technological innovations. According to Bon and Mustafa (2013), innovation is promising as far as business growth is concerned. However, the entire organisational structure is needed a makeover in order to make things work according to the newly proposed way. As per the information collected from Renwick, Redman and Maguire (2013), the human resource department faces the utmost challenge in terms of executing the new procedures in case of Toyota, as a serious conflict has been identified between the workers’ forum and the senior managers. The HR team is consistently facing challenges to remain relevant with the new idea of business. Even before the understanding of the entire situation, HR teams have to be competent enough so that they can act proactively and support the organisation to exploit market opportunities. It is about understanding first and acting accordingly. Yet the complaint against the senior management team is that the juniors are not receiving adequate help from them in a crisis. Consistent reports are being recorded regarding non-cooperation from junior executives against managers and customers’ complaint against the service for their failed expectations. As a result, as argued by Beer, Finnström & Schrader (2016), entire change management is heading towards an unsuccessful venture.
Therefore, a reading of Cullen et al., (2014) suggests the situation needs integrated planning and collaborative understanding of change management. Instead of indulging a conflict between senior managers and workers, both the sectors need counselling and necessary advice in order to overcome the ongoing conflict regarding change management.
Three Strategies to Address the Conflict
In order to mitigate the ongoing issues, at first the communication process between the employees and management needs to be improved by conducting productive meeting sessions. In case of managing virtual teams, again understanding of technological aids will be necessary. Conducting video conferences will be more helpful instead of sending e-mails and messages in case of emergency or such situations of change management. Understanding of cultural values and backgrounds will be appropriate as well to make this kind of conversations easier and effective. Attending social programmes together and sharing groups in social medium can help them to increase the communication and overcome the barriers. With the help of technological setting, an internal system can be installed to address the difficulties of workers regarding complicated tasks and excessive work pressure. These concerns, if unaddressed, can lead workers to unwanted physical and mental stress. That is why, other than frequent meetings; occasional anonymous feedback sessions must be encouraged in order to address issues with them.
Secondly, after observing the situation, it has been understood that the managers lack the competence of leading the teams, which is leading to incidents of customers’ dissatisfaction. Therefore, as described in Balliet and Van Lang (2013), a multi-level leadership programme can be arranged where leaders can work on their flaws and work progressively in terms of cooperating and management. Three levels have been assigned to them from higher authority where HRM department will learn managing teams by addressing their queries and conduct meetings to motivate them towards new organizational goals. This leader development programme will also ensure that leaders’ skill of developing knowledge of others and leading them to giving necessary solutions to the customers. Pre and post session activities are needed to design as well as consistent process of supervising is important to keep the management team updated with the gradual changes that are taking place. It will help to mitigate the crisis as soon as the complication will arise.
According to Bendell (2017), leading the executive teams without developing them will be an unprofessional approach to satisfy the requirements of change management. Therefore, according to Dhar (2015), Toyota can offer several on job sessions of preparation to boost the confidence of the employees. Conflict will come to an end if employees feel that their queries and difficulties are being seriously treated by the organisation. According to Sung and Choi (2014), investing on adequate training sessions aligned with the intensity of change of business operations, will improve their skills and understanding. Consequently, it will assist to increase their confidence and security within the work environment.
As per the study of Bradley (2016), the entire organization will receive desired benefits with such employee development procedure. Apart from these multi-level employee management programmes, employees must be friendly with the uncertainties of business and capable of developing short-term remedies accordingly. It must be remembered that customers’ complaints are part of a service sectors. Employees must be humble to face a rude customer and inform supervisors consequently in case of serious management concern. It must be keep in mind, to adjust with the constant change the training sessions are needed to shift from a mere teaching and learning situation to a session of cultivating new talents and potential.
- After analysing the reasons of conflict, it has been observed that managers of the car manufacturer company are accused with the allegation of not helping the employees with their doubts regarding new procedure. Clearly, this situation indicates lack of communication and poor relationship between managers and employees (Marchington, 2016). In case, the organisation wants to resist such issues while a change management programme is going on building a strong communication plan is important to keep each department updated and prepared to make the new venture successful. Maintaining a healthy two-way communication is highly professional in terms of accomplishing the organisational goals.
- A conflict has been raised which indicates the weakness of leadership qualities of management. Therefore, arranging leadership programmes for managers and supervisors before employees is a wise decision, because if higher authority were not compatible enough with the changed scenario then it would be difficult for them as well to train and lead the employees accordingly. Leading process involves managing the employees’ conflict by addressing the necessary loopholes between channels, developing and leading them through change.
- On-job training sessions are important in terms of career development and helping the organisation with future challenges and requirements. In order to grow a company must address the market trend. The critical part is that market has become highly dynamic these days and as Toyota believes in long-term activities, the management is taking time to come up with the decision. However, in the meantime, executives are facing challenges while adjusting with market and customers as well as they have complained against not receiving necessary supports from the managers. In this case, improving the skills of the workforce will help, as it will boost their confidence to come up with short-term remedies before it gets more critical.
- Customers prefer organisations, which are strict with their ethical values and service is free from complication. Resolving a conflict will help Toyota to keep up their reputation to the market and business functions will be able to approach the contemporary demands of market.
It can be stated that lack of synchronisation highlights the inefficiency of managers and leads to unsatisfactory results in terms of meeting both the organizational target and customers’ requirements. Change is inevitable in every business sector and important for business growth as well. Therefore, instead of waiting for employees to cope with the new structures and business operations. Management must take actions to help them to get through challenges and develop a work environment of mutual collaboration in order to avoid conflict with the executives.
Toyota must remember investment of resources and time in human capital is the smartest thing to do while going through a change. Lack of communication and employee dissatisfaction affects the consequences of new ventures greatly and even the company faces customer retention issues. Therefore, to conclude, conflict related to HR management is not healthy for public relations sector of company so Toyota must address and resolve these issues accordingly as soon as possible.
Balliet, D., & Van Lange, P. A. (2013). Trust, conflict, and cooperation: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 139(5), 1090.
Beer, M., Finnström, M., & Schrader, D. (2016). Why leadership training fails—and what to do about it. Harvard Business Review, 94(10), 50-57.
Bendell, J. (2017). Talking for change? Reflections on effective stakeholder dialogue. In Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking 2 (pp. 53-69). Routledge.
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Bradley, G. (2016). Benefit Realisation Management: A practical guide to achieving benefits through change. Routledge.
Cullen, K. L., Edwards, B. D., Casper, W. C., & Gue, K. R. (2014). Employees’ adaptability and perceptions of change-related uncertainty: Implications for perceived organizational support, job satisfaction, and performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29(2), 269-280.
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Marchington, M. (2016). Employee involvement. In Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Mathieu, C., Neumann, C. S., Hare, R. D., & Babiak, P. (2014). A dark side of leadership: Corporate psychopathy and its influence on employee well-being and job satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 59, 83-88.
Renwick, D. W., Redman, T., & Maguire, S. (2013). Green human resource management: A review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(1), 1-14.
Sung, S. Y., & Choi, J. N. (2014). Do organizations spend wisely on employees? Effects of training and development investments on learning and innovation in organizations. Journal of organizational behavior, 35(3), 393-412.
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