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Employee Relations

Case Study on UK Based Trade Union Company

Introduction

Employee relations can be defined as the emotional and physical relationship between the employer and company. There must be a healthy and positive bond among them. Ultimately, it will help the organisation in achieving the objectives (Devonish, 2013). Healthy bonding in company can motivate employees to perform well in their respective field. Employee should also cop-up with the situations of firm. He should come with positive attitude in office. UNISON is UK based trade union Company which is serving around 1.3 million members who worked for the common goals and interest. In this report, discussion about the unitary and pluralistic frameworks of the enterprise will be discussed. Furthermore, study will provide learning about how trade unions affect the employee relationship. Moreover, role of managers, workers etc. in an enterprise will be evaluated effectively.

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Task 1

1.1 Unitary and pluralistic frames

There are two frameworks in employee relationship namely unitary and pluralistic approach which are as follows-

Unitary framework- It is defined as every worker or manager has a common goal or interest who work in same direction. However, goodwill of Unison has enhanced as all staff member are working together. Every member of an organization contributes equally for growth of business (Luo, Wieseke and Homburg, 2012). No one can deny from their responsibility. There should be no conflicts of interest among employees and management. If there is any conflicts it is the responsibility of the management to solve them. In this approach, less chances of conflicts arises therefore, no trade union is involved in the unitary framework. Furthermore, every organisation works as a team for a common goal or purpose. It makes the workers feel valued in the enterprise so he or she can perform well for the betterment of company. The management also understand the requirement of an employee. The environment of office should be positive and healthy so they work in a comfortable zone. Any conflict in company may arise the negativeness of enterprise and no company wants to disturb the relation between employee and manager (Zukauskas and Vveinhardt, 2015). Any type of disputes taking place within the business has adverse impact on every individual in unison conflicts flows the wrong vibes in firm. This can cost to the company. UNISON should also adopt unitary approach to achieve the goals and objectives

Pluralistic approach- Pluralistic approach is just opposite to unitary approach. This approach believes that the employee and managers are different entity. They both have different goals and purpose. They work in different direction. In this approach, there are more chances of conflict so due to this trade unions are involved in solving conflict between managers and employees. This framework is applied in the large enterprises where there is bulk of employees working together. This approach is universal and helpful for employee’s Trade unions responsibilities are to fulfill the interest and goals of the worker. It acts like a mediator between them. On behalf of members, trade unions are formed to safeguard their interests (Marginson, 2015). Thus, in this approach conflicts are unavoidable which interrupt the growth of organisation. Trade unions participate in collective bargaining or negotiation on behalf of the workers to protect their objectives or goals. It balances the power of both the parties which bridges gap between them. According to this approach, to avoid conflict, trade unions actively participate in the decisions. They make employees feel more comfortable. Conflicts arise because of division of profits, working hours etc.

1.2 Changes in trade union affect the employee relationship

After introducing trade unions, there are following circumstances that affect employee relationship. They are as follows-

Industrial growth- Introducing of trade unions in today's era help to maintain the relationship between employer and employee. This helps the worker to work freely in environment so that they can perform well and get promoted to higher levels. It can boost employee’s morale which can increase growth in the organisation.

Distribution of income- According to this approach, it states that after active participation of trade unions is more beneficial for employees to get income/wages on time (Ntalianis, Dyer and Vandenberghe, 2015) . This helps to motivate them to perform well in their respective fields. After introducing of wage act it improves the employee relationship in organization.

Collective bargaining- this function of trade union states that on behalf of workers, trade unions negotiate with the manager on issues. They actively participate in the decision-making process. It gives chance to them as a learner how to deal with conflicts.

Working environment- This function states that unions provide good working facilities and environment to motivate them and to help grow in organization. Ultimately, this will be beneficial for the firm. Health n safety act (1974) states that organization should be aware of employee’s safety and hazardous (Doyle and et.al., 2016). Working environment of the employee should be clean and tidy. Healthy environment make employees motivated and help them to perform at higher levels. This reduces the accidents which occur in the firm. Organization is aware of life insurance policies for the betterment of employees. It boosts the morale of workers in healthy environment.

Motivational programs- Another function of the trade unions is that they conduct motivational programs and activities for employees. Training programs are also conducted by them. Its advantage is that employee efficiency increases. It also helps the employee to get promoted and their self confidence also maximised at higher levels (Griffin ,Bryant and Koerber, 2015). Further, it is beneficial that they get experience of a particular work or field. This increases their personnel development also. There are some management games or entertaining activities conducted by the trade unions. It helps both the management and employee both work as a one unit. Training programs help them to cop-up with the environment.

1.3 Role of main players

There are different main players in an enterprise for instance, workers, managers, and organisation and government agencies.

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Workers- They play vital role in an employee relationship. Employees should avoid the conflicts and make friendly environment with the managers at the work place. There should be proper communication among them. Overall, employees are backbone of the company and they decide future of firm (Akingbola, 2013). Workers should take initiative and grab the opportunity with both hands. If any conflict arises it can be solved with discussions or negotiation. They should share their problems and needs with the organization. Employees can actively participate in the decision-making process. Ultimately, a good employee relationship increases the goodwill of firm and reaches to a higher level.

Managers- They also play a key role in maintaining the employee relationship. Their responsibilities are to safeguard their interest and goals. A team leader should set an example for employees to motivate them. Superior can transfer responsibility to employees to come with flying colors (Prouska, and et.al., 2016). Managers can take feedback from the workers to make them more comfortable at the workplace. Employers should not be partial with anyone and should treat them as a unit. They should motivate them at regular intervals of time. Managers give chances to employees to raise their problems. It is their duty to conduct different medical programs such as diagnosis check-up or other activities.

Organisation- They also play a important role in maintaining the relation between employer and employee. Top level management like board of directors can visit the plant to motivate them. It feels the employees more comfortable at a workplace (Geppert, Williams and Wortmann, 2014). Management can conduct the surveys to collect feedback of the employees. They should provide important resources to employees to maintain a healthy relationship between them or allocates funds to them. Further, their responsibility is to protect interest and goals. They frame policies and organizational structure for the lower divisions. Management shows the directions to employers and floats them to employees.

Government agencies- Government institutions passes various laws such as tax policy, Safety Act and Equality Act. These acts are for employees and every organization follows these laws in betterment.

Task 2

2.1 Procedures of an organization should follow when dealing with conflict

There are some conflict situation which arises between employees and employer are as follows-

  1. Improper communication
  2. Disobey by workers
  3. Being impartial by employers
  4. Untidy workplace
  5. Negative attitude
  6. Different goals
  7. Personal problems
  8. Poor management

To overcome this conflicts organization follows some steps are as follows-

To find out the problem- The first step to solve the dispute between employer and employees is identify the issues. Management should discover what's the matter and solve as soon as possible or organization can listen the views of every party (Ki, Kim and Ledingham, 2015.). They should give chance everyone to keep views in front of all. They can be partial to both the parties.

Make list of probable solutions- After the finding of problem next step is listing of feasible solutions (Griffin, Bryant and Koerber, 2015). This states that UNISON should prepare a list of best possible outcomes according to the problem arises. Its organization responsibility that they solve the conflicts between them as soon as possible. Ultimately, this help firm in achieving their objectives. They can frame solutions to solve the conflicts.

Evaluate the solutions- The next step comes is elimination. This states that organization starting evaluation of solutions that are not upto the mark (Luo, Wieseke and Homburg, 2012). They uses those points which are best and have more positive impact to solve conflict. Organization can prepare a blue print of optimum solutions . They can summarized the negative and positive impact of every solution in real world.

Implement- Last but not the least. After the step of eliminating next step comes is implementation of selected solutions. Ultimately, this steps are for employees to solve the conflicts between them.

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There are some methods also which helps in solving the conflicts are as follows-

Mediation- It is a person who bridges gap between employer and unison. That mediator helps in bargaining process on behalf of employee (Donaghey and et.al., 2014). Mediator also take active participation in decision making activity. They improves the communication system and maintain healthy environment.

Compromising- It refers to when both parties sacrifice their resources to avoid conflicts. There is win-win situation for employee and employer. By this compromise method parties are available to discuss on conflicts and tries to come out with positive result (Ntalianis, Dyer and Vandenberghe, 2015). In meetings they conduct face to face interaction between them and make a healthy environment. Organization purpose is to solve conflicts as soon as possible.

Avoiding- In Unison, members tries to avoid the conflicts make a happy relation with employers. It is universal and applicable in all situations whether its poor communication or coordination.

2.2 Solution for issues faced by workers within the unison

There are different set of issues that are faced by workers within the unison among which conflicts has high negative impact over the business. In order to solve the issues within the firm, below given are steps that should be followed:

Proper analysis: So as to solve the issues that is conflicts among employees, management should make proper analysis so that they get to know the main cause of the issue. Background study should be conducted as it will help the organization to understand the main cause.

Common goal should be established: All the parties under conflict should be provided with common goals so that they understand the importance of working together (Zukauskas and Vveinhardt, 2015). Both the prospects should be heard and they all should be given the change of sharing their views.

Effective interaction: There should be one to one interaction with employees of all the groups that are involved in conflict. This will be help in identifying their perception over the conflict that has raised (Marginson, 2015). In addition to this, all the employees should be called and mutual decision should be made.

Identifying barriers: In order to implement any type of activities, there are cases in which barriers or issues arise and it is important for the management to make sure that appropriate steps are taken so that issues can be resolved.

Identifying solution: All the suggestions that are given by both or the parties that are involved in conflict should be considered (Doyle and et.al., 2016). All the solution should be evaluated and among all of them one best solution should be selected that will to resolve conflict.

Giving responsibilities: After implementing the solution, each employees should be provide with responsibilities that they have to follow. This will be help in for the firm to solve conflict and to make sure that it would not occur again.

2.3 Improper Communication and Disobey

As per the above situation, improper communication and disobey of the workers are some issues that are raised in the company. In order to solve stated issues there are certain steps have taken into consideration. Adoption of proper analysis has remained effective as it helped the company to identify the actual root cause of the problem. It leads to help in identifying an appropriate solution of the stated problems. In addition to it, establishing of common goals will be useful as all the employees can get common platform to work together. It will provide an assistance to the company to achieve its goals and objectives in an appropriate manner. On other side, effective interaction may help the subordinates to share their view and thoughts towards the stated problems (Gupta and Kumar, 2012).

In addition to above, identification of barriers can be effective for the firm to solve an efficacious solution for the benefit of the firm. With the help of appropriate solution, all the parties have shared their ideas to sort out the issue. Moreover, the selected process has remained fruitful for the cited organization. It has assisted the company to give an effective solution of the problems. With the raised in these conflicts, the operations of the firm has got affected. However, this process help the company to solve their issues which leads to get optimum solution (Koster, Grip and Fouarge, 2011).

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Task 3

3.1 Role of negotiation in a collective bargaining

Unison is the largest trade union in UK which helps in solving disputes between management and employees. It negotiates the conflicts on their behalf and resolve them with collective bargaining (Blau and et. al., 2008). They provide agreements for supporting the work related issues. Their role is to negotiate the best working conditions.

Negotiation and collective bargaining refers to a process in which agreements are made with organisation when workers are not satisfied with compensation and working conditions. These negotiations help the workers to set out their wages scale, working hours, health and safety, participation in business activities or affairs. Trade union negotiates with the employer to find the agreement in order to figure it out. It can provide help to both management and the workers to save their rights. Collective bargaining is carried out between trade union and business enterprise to make sure that terms and conditions of workers are in hand of public interest.

Collective bargaining performs the function of negotiation between workers and management for providing better labour relations and working conditions. It is helpful in establishing fair wages for the labour (Cattell, 2005). It empowers the trade unions to solve the conflicts between employer and employee and in turn satisfy the needs and requirements of parties. It works as strength for the employees or the workers to make an effective communication with the management of the organizations to discuss various issues. Unison co-ordinates with other unions to protect the rights of employees. It negotiates with employer to enhance the liberty offered at the workplace and improve the working conditions. Collectively, the employees have the right and strength to bargain for making their work place democratic in nature. Through this means the workers can enjoy favourable conditions, which in turn help them to stay motivated and further enhance their skills and knowledge of the work.

The business enterprise is helpful in giving positive outcomes to the parties having issue related to fair wages. The purpose of them is to solve the differences on behalf of either single employer or a group of employers collectively, and attain a satisfactory level for both the parties. Both the negotiation and collective bargaining are interlinked to each other. Principles adopted in negotiations are same as that of the collective bargaining. In collective bargaining, unions always do work collectively for the benefits of the members who work with them. Their main aim is to satisfy both parties by undertaking a process of negotiation on the subject matter. Unison undertake the process of negotiations to resolve the issue and generate a favourable result for the parties involved (Hoobler and Johnson, 2006). Hence, Unison has a vital role in enhancing the working conditions and meets the needs of employees.

The concept of negotiation creates greater influence in the process of collective bargaining in the firm. The main emphasis of this is towards analyzing and negotiating on the procedures and terms of employment. Moreover it carries out measurement of the working so as to attain win-win situation for the business and employees. The role of organization has been presented in the manner as under:

Devising the effectiveness related with procedure of collective bargaining: The procedure relates with collective bargaining is developed for seeking midway for the performance of organizational operations. In addition to this it has effectiveness in relation with achievement of higher growth prospects for the business in an effective manner. Union representative and management makes negotiation regarding the terms and conditions that acts as an aid in achievement of appropriate and suitable results. The trade union makes negotiation with the employers and managers with respect to development of positive relationship among employees of business. This leads to enhancement in the practices of the firm in the market to a significant level.

Achievement of suitable conclusion: The organization has adopted appropriate means of process of negotiation for policies of organization and working measures. This acts as an aid in attaining of positive impact on the operations of the organization.

3.2 Impact of negotiation strategies

Negotiation refers to the process of cordial discussion between management and employees in order to provide them better working conditions and fulfil essential needs. This process enables the management to solve the problems which arises among the workforce and come up with a solution for the same. At the first stage of the process the negotiator, makes a deep study of the issue and undertake a discussion with the parties involved. Negotiation is an effective process for resolution of the disputes (Kalemci Tuzun and Arzu Kalemci, 2012). For instance, in Unison disputes related to male and female unequal opportunities are being resolved with the process of negotiation. Unison organization had assessed the impact of negotiation strategy on managing the disagreements created between people over subject related to rights of male and females. They had issues that in this firm, females get more benefited by the organisation as compared to male. This was the major point of conflict between male and female.

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This organisation follows the negotiating strategies like smoothing negotiation, compromising negotiation, forcing negotiations, etc. Smoothing negotiation means to resolve the conflicts smoothly between people without having pressurizing them and manage their disputes in the best possible way. Compromising strategy refers to the settlement of disputes by mutual understanding between members so that problems may not reach out to high authorities. The employees are made to settle by having a discussion among themselves and then make a settlement. Forcing negotiations is the manner of resolution of the problem by personally forcing each of the parties. In this, workers are motivated individually. The organisation, Unison is facing the issue of unequal opportunities regarding male and female. They have perspective that women and men have not equal rights in the firm. In pursuance to the same, the business enterprise has adopted compromising negotiation strategy in order to resolve dispute that arise between male and females. Both parties, male and female make a compromise with each other by having fair deal. This shall lead to achievement of a level of satisfaction at the ends of both the parties. Through this, both parties get fair deal and equitable balance is maintained between them (Koster, De Grip and Fouarge, 2011). Unison in their firm, by applying compromising negotiation strategy is able to sort the problem of indifferences between men and women. Both parties overcome their problem with a mutually agreed solution. Thwey are further made to understand that both males and females get equal opportunities in the company to deal with matters. They mutually made to understand the concept that females are not more benefited by organisation than male. By this, the problem is resolved in better way and working conditions of business enterprise can be improved easily.

Task 4

4.1 Influence of the EU on industrial democracy in the UK

The European Union (EU)- It is considered as union of twenty-eight independent states of European communities which governs economic, social, and political as well as security policies. It develops environment of peace and democracy within Europe. Entire EU runs through a mixture of seven decision-making institutions. These systematic bodies are as follows-

  1. The European Council
  2. The Council of the European Union
  3. The European Parliament
  4. The European Commission
  5. The Court of Justice of the European Union
  6. The European Central Bank
  7. The European Court of Auditors

The EU and their institutions are helpful in providing official development assistance globally. Through this, it has reduced conflicts among member states. The EU has developed a European Single market for self governing rule of people, free movement of capital, goods and services. By this, the main focus is to increase competition, made specialisation in work, expand businesses at larger scale, import effective resources from member states for better production and apply different techniques in the productivity. This market is made through some standardised norms of laws which might be followed in all member states (Marsden, Caffrey and McCaffery, 2013). The European Union helps in maintaining common policies related to trade affairs, agriculture and so on. Considering the framework of EU, 19 of the member states have made their own currency as the Euro.

Industrial democracy- Industrial democracy is a concept which involves employees in decisions take by Unison. They also have the right to participate in management activities and give their suggestion at the workplace level. This allows employees to make committees and communicate between management, unions and staff. Unison should collectively involve workers so that two way communications can be adopted for better productivity.

The European Union has significantly influenced industrial democracy in UK. Prior to that, the European companies have accepted the concept of industrial democracy but it has not been applied properly in the organisation. The relationship between employer and employee within Unison has been completely understood with the support of industrial democracy but later on, European legislation has provided base where businesses have to work for the welfare of its employees. EU has persuaded workers to participate in the business enterprise. It also endorses worker, shareholders and other partners in the firm for better control over the operations of the organisation. Workers Councils have also being introduced in the firm so that long term objective of the business can be achieved and effective suggestions can be taken for improving the future prospect of business enterprise.

4.2 Compare methods used to gain employee participation and involvement in the decision making process in organization

Employee participation- It means involvement of workers in specific project and they share responsibilities with each other. The team is made for completing the particular task within Unison. Workers are also encouraged to propose innovative ideas for better accomplishment of the collective team work. By the participation of employees in activities, their ability to do work in different way is increased at the higher level (Theorell, 2009). In case if any type of condition is present when participation of employees is more or less in business affairs, all the members are persuaded to actively participate in the management activities. Participation is related to team work for accomplishing the common goal. The objectives are financial participation, collective bargaining participation and so on.

Employee involvement- It refers to the process of involving workers in decision-making activities of Unison. New ideas and thoughts are suggested by the workers for making things more effective and innovative. Workers get motivated and their performance level is also increased by involving them in business activities. It shows successful creation of an organisation. Conflicts between employer and employee go down because they have the right to direct communicate with the management. Workers may be promoted to actively involve and share their views so that new ideas may be implemented. They contribute their work to make business enterprise a better place to work.

The main methods from which working conditions can be made favorable and employee participation is enhanced are as follows-

Group Discussions– Unison conducts timely meetings for group discussion so that workers can also suggest their ideas and implement them for better productivity of the enterprise.

Events– Firm is also supposed to carry out events time to time for improving skills of the members working as this helps in increasing their performance level.

Committees– Business enterprise is also helpful in making committees of the workers so that they can involve in the organisation activities.

Organisation is able to gain competitive advantage through participation and involvement of employees. Productivity level can be increased along with the ability to perform work in a better way can be undertaken within Unison. It also gives satisfaction to members thereby improving their skill level. Disputes are also solved out by conducting meeting between management and employees. Through this, the organisation is able to make better environment.

4.3 Impact of Human resource management on employee relations

Human Resource Management is a function performed by HR department to manage people in Unison in a structured manner. It is mainly responsible for recruiting, staffing, training, induction, providing timely compensation and benefits to the members of the organisation. HR also concentrates on maximizing the production level of business by optimum utilisation of the resources. The purpose of HRM is to train employees properly and develop their skills to achieve objective of the firm. Human Resource management also enhances the communication level of workers (Webster, 2012). The co-ordination and co-operation between management and employees result in completion of objectives through innovative way.. It is important for every organisation whether it is small or large to develop effective HRM strategies. It provides motivation to the workers for increasing their performance level.

HRM is a strategic tool to Unison where it provides skilled and talented employees. It ensures high return to the firm through effective use of people. The role of the HRM is to make principles and policies related to human resources which are followed by each and every member within the company. Through this, benefits can be obtained by entire organization such as higher level of job satisfaction, employee engagement etc. Along with that, Human Resource management has to ensure the employee safety, workers-management relations are going in a right track or not (Session 5. Conflict management, 2015). They also take responsibility for providing right talent to the business enterprise and build their capabilities to execute plans of the organisation. Employee relation gets improved through HRM policies and principles. It has both positive and negative impact on the employees.

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Positive Impact– Human resource management is helpful in providing significant impact on employees. People get motivated and this increases their performance level. Responsibilities related with training and development makes the employees to retain their skills for accomplishing company’s objective. Workers are also encouraged to interact with other team members and they build better relations. This results in solving disputes and building communication with all members.

Negative Impact– Apart from positive impact, HRM also have some negative impact on employees within Unison. Generally, meetings and group discussions are held for employee participation in business activities but in some cases, HRM does not involve worker in taking decisions related to the organisation. By this, workers get de-motivated and the common goal of business enterprise is not achieved.

Human resource management can maintain their procedures for effective use of employees’ skills in order to maximize production level of company. It also motivates workers for increasing their performance level.

Conclusion

It is concluded from the above report that employee and employer should make their relationship effective. Employee involvement and participation is also necessary so that they suggest new ideas and implement them. If the better and innovative ideas are applied., then it will be quite easy for the business enterprise to maximize their productivity. Team members can also get chance to interact with new people. Furthermore, it is has been inferred that conflicts are mostly arisen between people at working places but it can be solved by adopting negotiating strategies properly. It would be better to avoid conflicts within the business enterprise. Team member would increase their performance level by using their skills. From this brief study, it can be concluded that if relationship between worker and employer is better, then the functions within the organisation would run smoothly. In addition to this it has been examined that employee relation would give a vital aspect to the organisation. Employees may also get opportunities for promotion and personal growth. For making business enterprise a better working place, management should follow all policies and principles related to employees. HRM also prove fruitful in maintaining employee-employer relationship within the firm.

References

  • Akingbola, K., 2013. Contingency, fit and flexibility of HRM in nonprofit organizations.Employee Relations.35(5). pp.479-494.
  • Blau, G. and. et. al., 2008. The relation between employee organizational and professional development activities. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 72(1). pp.123-142.
  • Cattell, A., 2005. Human Resource Development: Strategy and Tactics. Industrial and Commercial Training. 38(4). pp.218 – 218.
  • Devonish, D., 2013. Workplace bullying, employee performance and behaviors: The mediating role of psychological well-being.Employee Relations. 35(6). pp.630-647.
  • Donaghey, J. and et.al., 2014. Handbook of Research on Employee Voice: Elgar original reference. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Doyle, E. and et.al., 2016. Employee voice and silence in auditing firms.Employee Relations.38(4). pp.563-577.
  • Geppert, M., Williams, K. and Wortmann, M., 2014. Patterns of Employee Relations Governance in a Large British Multinational Food Retailer: An Unusual Case of a Longstanding Partnership?.Competition & Change.18(3). pp.200-220.
  • Griffin, J. J., Bryant, A. and Koerber, C. P., 2015. Corporate Responsibility and Employee Relations From External Pressure to Action.Group & Organization Management.40(3). pp.378-404
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