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Case Study: The assessment item is based on the case study titled Constructive Relations at Top Trucking Company (Pages 169-170 of the textbook):

Based on this case study, write a business report that answers all the three questions:

1. How do the new workplace practices introduced by the new yard manager complement one another?

2. What are the risks to sustaining these changes if George or the yard manager moves on?

3. Do you think tough blue collar unions like the Transport Workers Union are more of less likely to engage in workplace changes like these than public or service sector unions? Why? How would you find out if you are right?

Situation Analysis

The development of relation between the employers and the employee is called employee relation. It needs to be developed in order to motivate the employees to perform efficiently (Carroll, Levy & Richmond, 2008). Different practices are there that should be introduced in the organization in accordance with the requirements of the employees, this involvement of employees in the practices and decision making process creates a feeling of belongingness and thus develop the relation and bond between the employer and the employee. The case study above suggests that earlier, the family owners of the company was not focusing on maintaining the reaction with the employees but their major focus was onto the output of the company. The company was doing well under their ownership but the employees were not satisfied (Bhatnagar, 2007).This dissatisfaction of the employees required the organization to make modifications in their employee relation policies.

As per the case study given, it has been identified that the former owner of the company were following the autocratic leadership in the company. Autocratic leadership can be defined as the leadership that believes in controlling the followers or the employees. The controlling power under this leadership remains in the hand of an individual with lead other according to his value and principles (Ngo, Lau & Foley, 2008). The employees are not allowed to frame their opinions. Thus, following this leadership by the manager at the company results in high dissatisfaction of the employees from the workplace even though the company was doing well in the business. Various examples can be seen that shows the careless nature of the owners towards their employees. Some of the examples are increasing number of accidents at the workplace due to unrepaired trucks and infrastructure of the workplace etc. After some time a big company has taken the ownership from the family owners. The new owners have implemented many changes in the organizational structure of the company (Carmeli, Brueller & Dutton, 2009).

As per the analysis of the situation, it has been identified that there are many issues in the company that act as the reason for change. The major reason behind the change implementation in the company is the level of dissatisfaction among the employees of the company. If the employees are dissatisfied with the working environment then the company has to change it (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). Under the ownership of the family, the company was declared as the worst place to work with. This is because the organizational culture and the structure are output oriented and not employee oriented. This means that the company focuses on getting high amount of output from the employees but did not want to facilitate them with the benefits so that they can feel motivated. The second reason is the autocratic nature of the manager (Hayes, 2014). The prior manager of the company believed in framing the policies and delegating the work according to his values and principles rather than including the views of the employees. He does not consider employees as important part of the decision making process and takes all the decision himself. This participative nature of the manager is not tolerable for the employees and also makes them feel frustrated at the workplace. The owners of the company were not focusing on the welfare of the employees and not even providing them the basic facilities at the workplace. The work environment of the company was not safe for the employees and was prone to many accidents.

Need for Change in the Organization

Any change in the organization is associated with many risks. This is because it is not easy to implement nay of the change in the organization structure (Gennard & Judge, 2010). The first risk associated with sustaining the changes in the organization is the arguments between the new manger and George. George was the union representative one of the company and was not happy with the changes thus various arguments have been passed between the new manager and George. Later, George realized that the changes made are for the benefits of the employees and the situation has sorted. Another risk associated with the implementation of the changes is the strikes by the workers. If any of the change implemented is not praised by the employees than they may sit on strikes against the change (Gill & Meyer, 2013). It is not mandatory that every change in the organization can be adopted by the employees. Thus, resistance of the employees towards change can also act the risk for sustaining the change.

After the shift of the ownership, there were many changes in the organization that has been observed. The basic aspect of the changes made is related to maintaining the employee relations. This is because after analyzing the whole situation, it has been analyzed that new practices and the changes should be implemented gradually in the organization so that employees can easily adopt these changes (Karnes, 2009). Following are some of the changes that have been implemented in the company:

  1. Training and development: As per the case study, it has been analyzed that the new company that has taken the ownership of the company is financially strong has made efforts in installation of computer system in the company. This helps the employees to be updated with the technology. Trainings has also ben give to the employees so that they can use this facility. This results in development of the employees at individual level which automatically motivate them to work for the company.
  2. Change in working environment: Several changes have been made in the organizational structure and the working environment of the company. The new owners have spent some of the capital in rearing the workplace along with the trucks used by the workers. This is because earlier, the numbers of accidents were increased because of the poor condition of the trucks and the machinery used by the workers (Larsen & Navrbjerg, 2015).The company has also issued new uniform for the workers to make them feel important for the company. These changes in the working environment aim to develop the relation with the employees so that the company can balance between the employee satisfaction as well as the output of the company (Rollo, 2009). 
  3. Change in managerial leadership: Under the ownership of the family, the manager was using autocratic style of leadership that forces the employees to work without any consideration of their views and opinions. The new manger has implemented a change and used the participate style of leadership (Staniuliene, 2013).This helps the employees to share their views and opinions regarding the issue they are facing. The involvement of t employees in the decision making process is also the practice that help the employees to feel motivated to be in the company.

It is very much essential that the changes or the new practices that needs to be involved in the company should be the in alignment with each other and should aimed at a particular objective. As far as the above changes in considered, it has been identified that all the changes are made in order to develop the employee relations (Tansel & S?aziye, 2014). All the practices from installation of the computer system to change in the managerial leadership, every change is made to maintain the employee relation so that the company can retain the talent in the organization. Provision of training to the employees regarding the installation of computer system develops the employee individually as well as professionally.

Unions are the very important part of the organization. However, the unions are made only in the organization that is employee oriented (Madlock, 2008). Unions are the collection of employees that groped together so that they can communicate with the employer through a union representative. There are two types of unions:

  • Transport worker unions
  • Service sector unions

Associated Risks

It has been said that transport worker union have less involvement in the workplace changes. Transport worker unions are the union that includes the employees that are in labor class industry or that works with machinery. These jibs are not clean and thus they are also called as blue collared unions are jobs. The involvement of the transport worker unions in the workplace changes is less because they are not that much qualified to take the decision at the managerial level as changing the workplace I the job of the mangers that require special skills. Another reason for less involvement of the blue collared union is their own needs. These unions only interfere when the practices of the work place affect their wages.

The definition of unions in service sector union is same but the differences that these are unions that are qualified and educated to take decision and show their involvement to the managerial level. Thus, they are more involved in workplace changes decisions by the management (Carroll, Levy & Richmond, 2008). This union is also known as white collared union because their jobs are clean and white collared. According to the management also, white collared unions have more skills and knowledge regarding the benefits of the organization so their involvement in the important decision is worth.

Conclusion:

This report concludes that maintaining the relation with the employees in the organization is very important. If the organization always remains output oriented then they can only get success for short term and if they want the success for long term then they have to implement such policies that are in benefits of the employees. As per the above report, it can be identified that working environment, managerial leadership and the involvement of the employees in the decision making process are the major elements that affect the relationship of the employees with the employer. It has also been concluded that development of employee relation and maintaining them is the biggest motivation forth employees to stay in the organization.

References:

Anderson, D., & Anderson, L. A. (2010). Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Bhatnagar, J. (2007). Talent management strategy of employee engagement in Indian ITES employees: key to retention. Employee relations, 29(6), 640-663.

Carmeli, A., Brueller, D., & Dutton, J. E. (2009). Learning behaviours in the workplace: The role of high?quality interpersonal relationships and psychological safety. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 26(1), 81-98.

Carroll, B., Levy, L., & Richmond, D. (2008). Leadership as practice: Challenging the competency paradigm. Leadership, 4(4), 363-379.

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.

Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.

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

Madlock, P. E. (2008). The link between leadership style, communicator competence, and employee satisfaction. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 45(1), 61-78.

Ngo, H. Y., Lau, C. M., & Foley, S. (2008). Strategic human resource management, firm performance, and employee relations climate in China. Human Resource Management, 47(1), 73-90.

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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