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Employment Relations Issues

Human resource managers are faced with many issues especially when they move to new workplaces. The manager will be moving from Melbourne Australia to the United States. There, the manager is likely to face different employment and human resource issues. Working in a new country presents a challenging working environment that may affect the working life of the manager. Therefore, it is essential for the manager to be aware of the employment and human resource management issues that he is likely to face in the new working environment. This will help him prepare in advance in order to come up with coping strategies. Identifying these issues in advance will also prepare the manager psychologically on the conditions that he is likely to face in the working place. The success of the manager in the new plant in the US will be determined by how well he adapts and deals with the employment and human resource management issues that will be discussed in this report.

According to Bradley (2017), employment relations refers to the interactions that exist between the employer or the management and the employees and their representatives relating to the agreed employment conditions. Traditionally industrial relations were used when referring to the relationship between the employer and the employees. However industrial relations mainly focused on conflict resolutions between the employer and the employee. Employment relations distinguishes itself from industrial relations since it incorporates all issues in the relationship between the employer and the employee in the working place. Such issues include recruitment, equality, training and development and the structure of the organization. Human resource managers should be keen to ensure that there exist good employment relations in the organization. In every organization, the employees should be considered as important assets, and therefore good communication and goal orientation should be encouraged. The organization can attain its goals if it creates a good working environment for its workers. Human resource management has an obligation to ensure that the differences that may exist in the workplace are solved effectively through effective procedures and relationships.

Effectiveness and efficiency of employees is the key to improved profitability and competitiveness of an organization. Proper employment relations plays the following roles in an organization;

  • Ensures that the employees are efficient and effective thus improving the performance of the organization.
  • Establishing unique strategies to retain, reward and motivate employees with good working skills.

 The following are the employment issues that are likely to impact the working life of the manager in the United States of America;

According to Acas (2015), Conflicts and disputes are common in every organization, and they take different forms. They can be between an employee and the management or between two or more employees. Conflicts and disputes are a threat to the success of any organization since they affect the productivity of the workers. It is essential for the manager to identify the causes of conflicts and disputes between the various groups in an organization which may include;

  • Lack of clear management roles.
  • Inequality in the treatment of workers.
  • Poor communications in the organization.
  • Mistreatments in the organization.
  • Unfavorable working conditions.
  • Unqualified management in the organization.

Conflicts and Disputes at the Workplace

Since conflicts in an organization are inevitable, human resource management should set procedures for resolutions to maintain effective relationships in the organization. The management should encourage the employees to air their concerns so that issues can be resolved in the organization (Mayhew 2017 c). The manager can use the following steps so that they can effectively resolve disputes and conflicts in the organization.

  • The manager should create an environment that encourages the employees to express their opinions.
  • Listen carefully to the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Consider the interests of the parties involved in a conflict without focusing on their personalities and positions.
  • The manager should ensure that there is a clear procedure that addresses discipline, grievances, and disputes in the organization.
  • Where the cases are too complex, the manager should consider using third parties to solve disputes and conflicts in the organization.

According to Mayhew (2017a), legal issues refers to laws in the country that guide the relationships between the employers and the employees. Legal issues in the USA may be quite different from legal issues in Australia, and therefore the manager should be conversant with them before starting his work in the USA. Legal issues in an organization may include, harassments, discrimination of workers, working conditions, wages and equal opportunities in the workplace among others. The manager has the responsibility to identify cases that go against the legal rights of an employee so that he can address them effectively. The manager should be aware of the workers and with special cases that may require duty modifications such as disabled employees. The manager should ensure that the organization abides by the laws that govern the legal aspects of the employees.

Human resource management has the responsibility to ensure that discipline in the workplace is maintained. In case employees engage in undesirable behaviors, the management must have clear defined disciplinary actions to correct that behavior. According to Scott (2017), disciplinary actions are vital in ensuring that performance in the organization improves and bad behaviors are eliminated. The management of every organization should set clear disciplinary procedures at the workplace. Outlined disciplinary procedures benefit the organizations in the following ways;

Disciplinary procedures ensure that discipline is maintained in the workplace. This is achieved through the consistent application of disciplinary measures and that grievances are settled in a just and fair manner. They also ensure better employment relations.

Effective employment relations can be attained through a clear and understandable format and language. The employees are made aware of the disciplinary procedures of the organization during induction which guides their conduct in the workplace (McCarthy 2016).

Some of the disciplinary issue that the manager may face include:

Unsatisfactory job performance- in some cases the employees may not perform their activities well this may include underperformance, inaccuracy at work, failure to meet work deadlines and high cases of absenteeism. This usually drags the company back thus hindering goal attainment.

Legal Issues

Grossly inefficient job performance- this occurs in an organization when an employee action results to more serious consequences such as death, severe body injuries to another employee or any other person.

Unacceptable personal conduct - In some cases, employees may act in a manner that violates the disciplinary regulations of an organization which may disrupt the functioning of the organization.

The manager should ensure that he follows the organization’s disciplinary procedures to ensure that discipline is maintained in the organization by taking the necessary disciplinary actions.

Heartfield (2017b) notes that strong employee attendance is key in ensuring that the organization can meet its short term and long term goals. Individuals with poor attendances tend to affect the performance of other workers and supervisors. The manager should ensure that attendance policies are adhered to, and appropriate actions are taken against those fail to observe these procedures.

Human resource is responsible for managing the labor force in an organization. In the modern world, there are many challenges taking place in the working place influenced by advancement in technology. Human resource management has the responsibility for ensuring that the organization trains its employees to attain new skills that will enable them to benefit from technological advancement in the organization. This will help the organization to compete with its competitors effectively. According to White (2015), Human resource profession is being affected by globalization since there are emerging new human resource management practices globally. The manager should, therefore, be aware of the changes taking place in human resource management. The following are the human resource management issues that the manager is likely to face in The United States of America.

It is the nature of man to object and resist to changes. The new manager should expect that some of the changes that he may want to introduce in the organization will be rejected by the employees. Changes in the management of an organization make the employees anxious and some of the employees if not all may resist the change (Shriar 2015). Technological advancement results to technical changes in the organization which may threaten the roles of that some of the employees. This may also make the employees resist the adaptation of new technology because they fear that they may lose their jobs. The manager should strategize on how to introduce changes in the organization without facing intense resistance from the workers. The organization should assure the employees that their job is well protected despite the changes being implemented.

Disciplinary Issues

The organization may at times face a shortage of skilled workers. Finding qualified experts outside the organization may be difficult. In such a case, the organization should train workers who are already in the organization (Bradley 2017). This becomes the most appropriate step that the organization can take to ensure they have skilled labor that will enable them to adapt new technology in the organization.

Globalization has led to remarkable changes in the labor market; skilled labor force is increasingly growing all over the world. According to Schramm (2016), selection of employees with the best talents and abilities becomes a challenge to every organization. The organization’s human resource management is required to build a good employer brand that will help the organization to attract employees with the best talents. This should include building a reputable organizational culture that incorporates social responsibility initiatives, worker safety, and security measures. High competition for better talents in the organizations has greatly influenced payment structures, benefit strategies, and policies. The manager should ensure that the company sets out the best strategies that will enable it to compete for the best talents in the labor market.

Today organizations are also finding it difficult to retain talented and skilled employees. According to Kopoulos (2016), this has forced companies to find ways in which they can offer better terms of employment and better benefits packages for employees that will enable them to thrive in tough economic times. Human resource managers should build a working environment that motivates the employees; this can be possible if he identifies what motivates the employees at the workplace. This will help the organization build employee loyalty and retain them for long.

According to Tomanek (2011), in the new working environment, the manager will have increased pressure to perform. This is because the opportunity given to him will determine the success of his career. The manager should make sure that he has set clear goals and objectives that will help him meet the expectations of the organization.

According to HR Affiliates (2012), organizational culture is important in the development of the organization as it influences the performance and productivity of the organization. The manager should be aware of the role that human resource managers play in building and developing the culture of an organization. The best performing organization have got a reputable organizational culture, and therefore the manager should ensure that he maintains it in the US. Strong organizational culture also helps the organization to hire and retain employees that have the qualifications needed by the organization.

Attendance

According to Maharjan (2017), skilled workforce is a fundamental requirement for any organization as it determines the performance and the success of the organization. It is the role of Human resource management to ensure that employees receive regular training in the workplace. Training ensures that employees in the organization are updated with new advancement in their working skills. Training of employees also saves the company resources that could be used to hire new employees with the required skills. Human resource management should also ensure that new employees are trained and oriented to the new working environment. Identification of training needs of individual employees helps the organization to offer effective training to the employees that will enable them to advance in their careers.  Training employees have the following benefits;

  • Increased productivity- improving the skills of employees increases their efficiency and productivity. It also ensures that worker improves the quality and quantity of their work.
  • Less supervision- Well trained employees can make independent decisions, and they perform their duties well and hence may require less or no supervision.
  • Creates a talent pool- Through training, the organization can develop a team of highly trained workers.
  • Training helps in realizing the full potential of employees- through training and development employees learn to share their ideas with the management. This may aid in developing leadership skills in employees who might be desiring to assume leadership roles in the company (Bisk 2016)
  • Employment brings about job satisfaction because the employees become contented with the roles they play in the organization

The productivity of the organization determines its success. Every organization aims at maximizing profit while minimizing cost which is essential for high productivity. According to   Sheehan (2013), the role of human resource management is to ensure that the organization can attain and maintain high levels of productivity. In case the level of productivity does not meet the goals of the organization, human resource management should ensure that they identify the cause and try to solve the problem.

According to Walden (2014), human resource management has the responsibility of collecting full health information about their employees. This is useful in ensuring that all the workers are safe in the working place as it informs the organization what type of jobs that individual employees should be given. It also ensures that organizations can comply with the legal health legislations.

The workforce of every organization is comprised of people with diverse characteristics ranging from gender, educational background, age, race, religion, and personalities among other social and professional differences. With these differences in the workforce, issues like discrimination, harassment, and other illegal practices are likely to emerge. The role of human resource management is to ensure that there is equality in the workplace despite the diverse nature of the workforce.

Companies like Toyota are operating at an international level thus they are influenced by international changes. According to White (2015), globalization has resulted in many changes in business such as international ethical issues related to work, management, culture, and attitudes. Human resource management should find how they should adapt to the new changes brought about by globalization.

Information in a company is important and should be handled with care as it may be needed in the future by the management. The organization gathers information from internal and external sources. According to Kumari (2014), in some instances, information is required while clearing queries from employees and in doing so human resource management is required to present relevant information. Therefore, it is essential for human resource managers to have relevant information to solve workplace issues.

Human Resource Management Issues

According to Muckian, (2015) Human resource and the accounts departments have the responsibility of handling the employees’ payrolls. These departments have to ensure that employees receive accurate payments. Human resource manager has the responsibility to maintain salary, benefits and bonus earnings records of all the staffs in the organization the accounts department makes payments to the staffs. According to Mayhew (2017 b), the human resource managers have the responsibility to ensure that problems related to payment do not emerge in future.

According to Blackburn (2017), human resource managers have the responsibility to ensure that there exist healthy relationships between the employees in an organization. Human resource management should also ensure that they relate well with the employees such that employees can freely collaborate with them. According to Mayhew (2017), human resource managers should create a positive image that will allow employees to view them as their advocates this encourages them to share their concerns with the management.

Conclusion

The report outlines major employment and human resource management issues that the new manager should expect to face in the USA. The ability of the manager to cope with these issues will determine his success in the company. The manager should be prepared to come up with strategies on how he can cope with that issue. He may even consult other managers who have had a similar experience before. The manager should identify the challenges that he is most likely to face while in a foreign country and a new working environment so that he can prepare adequately to solve those challenges effectively.  Understanding employment related issues will help him build a good relationship between the employees and the company which will improve the productivity and success of the company.  It will also ensure that he will have a smooth translation at the new plant. Understanding human relations issues that he is likely to face will prepare him in handling human resource duties at the plant in the USA. This will enable him to develop good relationships with the employees and also help the organization in ensuring that employees are satisfied by working in the company. It will also help him in strategizing on how he will implement changes that he would like to see in the new plant successfully despite the resistance that he may face at first.   

References

Acas, 2015, Disputes and conflict in the workplace. Available at: < https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1662>

Bisk, 2016, Human resource management challenge. Villanova University.

Blackburn, A. 2017, How to Improve Relations between Your Managers and Employees. Business. Com. Available at :< https://www.business.com/articles/how-to-improve-relations-between-your-managers-and-employees/>

Bradley, J. 2017, Challenges Faced by Human Resource Managers Because of Technical Changes. Hearst News Paper. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/challenges-faced-human-resource-managers-because-technical-changes-61058.html

Fairway Theme, 2017, 5 Trending Issues in Human Resources for 2016. Available at: < https://www.humanresourcesmba.net/lists/5-trending-issues-in-human-resources-for-2016/>

Heartfield, S. 2017a, Top 10 Toughest HR Questions: Asked and Answered. Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/top-toughest-hr-questions-asked-and-answered-1919031

Heartfield, S, 2017 b, How to encourage employee attendance at work. Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-encourage-attendance-at-work-1919410

HR Affiliates, 2012, Biggest Challenges Facing HR Departments. Available at: < https://www.hraffiliates.com/biggest-challenges-facing-hr-departments/>

Karen, H. 2016, Top Challenges Facing HR. Forbes

Kopoulos, A. 2016, Top 8 HR Challenges (and Simple Solutions). HR Transformation. Available at: https://www.employeeconnect.com/blog/top-8-hr-challenges-solutions/

Kumari, S. 2014, The Top 5 Challenges Facing The Modern Manager. Available at: https://www.managersresourcehandbook.com/top-5-challenges-facing-the-modern-manager/

McCarthy, D. 2016, Top 10 Challenges Managers Face and How to Deal with Them. Available at:< https://www.thebalance.com/top-challenges-a-manager-will-face-2275955>

Maharjan, P. 2017, Challenges, and Issues in Human Resource Management. Business. Topia Articles.

Mayhew, R. 2017 a, Contemporary Issues Faced by Human Resource Managers Today. Hearst Newspaper. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/contemporary-issues-faced-human-resource-managers-today-1875.html

Mayhew, R. 2017 b, HR Issues & Solutions. Hearst Newspaper. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/hr-issues-solutions-60054.html

Mayhew, R.  2017 c, Major Challenges Affecting a Human Resource Manager. Hearst Newspaper. Available at: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/major-challenges-affecting-human-resource-manager-4832.html

Muckian, M. 2015, 5 Critical HR Issues in 2015. Alm Media.

Scott, S. 2017, Examples of Employee Relations Issues. Hearst articles. Available at :< https://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-employee-relations-issues-11538.html>

Schramm, J 2016, The Big Issues Facing HR. SHRM. Available at :< https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0316/pages/the-big-issues-facing-hr.aspx>

Sheehan, J. 2013, Top 10 Issues For HR Teams & How To Fix Them. Shift Media. Available at: https://www.hrzone.com/community/blogs/jamessheehan/top-10-issues-for-hr-teams-how-to-fix-them

Shriar, J 2015, 10 Challenges that every first-time manager will face. Officevibe.com. Available at :< https://www.officevibe.com/blog/challenges-first-time-managers>

Tomanek, T 2011, 5 Common Management Challenges (and How to Overcome Them). HR Insights Blog Available at https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/5-Common-Management-Challenges-%28and-How-to-Overcome-Them%29.aspx

Walden, S. 2014, Four HR strategies to promote employee health and safety. Trinet.com. Available at: https://www.trinet.com/hr-insights/blog/2014/four-hr-strategies-to-promote-employee-health-and-safety

White, G, 2015, How has globalization affected HRM? HRD Online. Available at:< https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/expatriates/how-has-globalisation-affected-hrm/>

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