Employee relation in general context can be defined as the mutual understanding between employer and the employee. However, there are several legislation that focuses on managing and controlling the relationship between both the parties so that high level of coordination can be maintained (Armstrong, 2011). Looking at the competitiveness in the present market, it is important for the companies to maintain appropriate relationship with its stakeholders so that they can positively contribute in carrying out business activities. In the present report, researcher has selected British Airways in order to enhance the level of study and develop better understanding for the learners and readers regarding importance of maintaining employee relations. Operating in highly competitive aviation industry it is important for the management to develop and maintain better relationship with its customers by satisfying their needs and wants so that they can provide quality of services to the customer base. Different aspects has been covered in the study that consist of key characteristics of employee relations in adverse situation and the role of negotiation in collective bargaining.
TASK 1: UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT OF EMPLOYEE’S RELATIONS AGAINST CHANGING BACKGROUND
1.1 Explain unitary and pluralistic frames of reference
In order to understand the nature and significance of employee relations, there are certain methods present for the managers of British Airways such as: Unitary and Pluralistic frame of reference. However, both the approaches depends upon different thoughts and views but are focused on developing relationship between employees and employers working the cited company (Gallagher, 2005). The main purpose behind using these approaches is that, they ensures in managing the workforce in effective manner that directly leads to carry out business activities in reliable manner.
In context to Unitary approach of employee relation states that, authority or power lies in the hand of individual that works at the managerial level of business enterprise. However, all the authority and responsibility is with the senior employees of British Airways and staff members are not included in strategic affairs. Furthermore, through the means of this approach, uniformity of direction is maintained as one individual is responsible for making the decision regarding all the other so that relations is maintained in a professional manner. This also leads to promote the commitment as well as loyalty among the workforce. In addition to this, unitary approach is based on the belief that conflicts between employees and employers of British Airways can be avoided.
In context to Pluralistic approach focuses on the belief that, better workplace is developed through the means of different values, attitudes and behaviors. Under this approach, trade union play a significant role and often takes decision in the favor of staff members so that they can be motivated and their divers needs and wants can be satisfied effectively (McDermott Kidney and Flood, 2011). According to this method of employee relation, it is important to carry out series of negotiations so that employees can feel their importance towards the firm. Therefore, these are the two major approaches through the help of top level management of British Airways can easily manage the relationship with its most important stakeholder and carry out the operations in effective and efficient manner.
1.2 Identifying how changes in trade unionism has affected employee relations
Changing legislations in trade union directly affects the employee relation within the organization. In general terms, trade union can be defined as the society of workers and leaders that works together with the aim of providing safe and secure working environment to the employees as well as promote their common internets associated with pay scale and other monetary and non-monetary benefits (Bhatti and Qureshi, 2007). The first Union Movement was carried out in 19th Century with the new models of unions. Whereas it came into existence 1824 with specific legislations in which numerous workers joined the association for getting fare pay of the work done for the organization. While on the other hand, they understood that Trade Unions are against the exploitation of employees and always focus on the benefits of the staff members. However, there are certain changes in trade unions that has affected the employee relation within British Airways which are as follows:
Technological: Constantly advancement in technological aspects has led the firm to reduce the use of labor which indirectly affected the employment of people adversely. In this regard, British Airways is encouraged to amend with the regulations and legislations associated with retrenchment of the human resource (Cox, 2010). However, in such situation, trade union of British airways act as shield for the employees and protect them from bring retrenched from the job. Technological advancement assist BA in enhancing its business operations but at the cost of employee relation.
Political and Legal: Political and legal factors are the major aspects that directly affects the prospects related to the employee relation in British Airways. Further, top level management has to follow different rules and regulations developed by the government of respective country in order to avoid conflicts between employees and employers (Salas, Bowers and Edend, 2001).
However, trade unions are developed with the purpose of protecting the rights of employees as well as promoting the interest of both the parties through the development of effective strategies and collective bargaining. Considering the present condition, trade unions also focuses on removal of child labor and other essential welfare of the society. In addition to it, trade unions leads to organize different training and development sessions for the employees so that they can enhance their skills and abilities according to the need and mold their functioning as per the requirement of emerging trends and environment (Peter, 2013). However, top level management of British Airways focuses on satisfying the needs and wants of customers by employing pool of talented people.
1.3 Role of main players in employee relation
In an organization there are several people who are responsible for maintaining the relationship with employees. However, to maintain healthy relationship between employers and employees it is important for the managerial level people to always take initiative of listening to their staff members and make efforts to resolve their problems (Amos and Weathington, 2008). Following are the major players in maintaining employee relation at British Airways:
Managers: Front line manages of British Airways plays crucial role in developing and maintaining relationship between employees and employers. However, managers should ensure that they provide better and effective working environment to its staff members so that they are not involved in any unethical practices (Cho and Erdem, 2006). Furthermore, they are essential at the time when criticism arises between the employees as that may affect the entire course of functioning. In addition to it, managers have the duty of developing healthy competitive environment so that each employee is motivated to give their best shot while carrying out allocated tasks and operations. Thus, mangers are key players in terms of developing and maintaining employee relation.
Worker: The main obligation of a worker in the organization is to execute the defined tasks or operations in effective manner so that company can attain its desired aim and objectives. Therefore, similar to managers, staff members also has the responsibility to become loyal towards the British Airways and follow proper guidelines while carrying out the work (Demirbas and Yukhanaev, 2011). By following guidelines properly workers comply their part of maintaining relations with its employers.
Government agencies: Being a public limited company, it is important for British Airways to strictly amend all the rules and regulations framed by the government of respective countries where it operates.
However, BA has to take into consideration different acts such as child labor, minimum wage act and health and safety act so that better environment can be offered to the workers (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2005). Through the help of these rules and regulations, government agencies are making their effort to build better relationship between employees and staff members.
TASK 2: UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT AND ITS RESOLUTION
2.1 Procedure for chosen organization to deal with different conflict situation
Operating in such a competitive working environment, several situations arises which creates different conflicts such as strikes and lockouts etc. However, there are various approach through the help of which management of British Airways can deal with conflicts in varied situations. However, strikes and lockouts are the major types of workforce conflicts that can take place at the workplace (Punjaisri and Wilson, 2007).
In general, collective disputes take place in the situation when the working environment of the company or allocation of work or operations by the managers are not done in suitable manager which directly leads to declining of motivation level of employees. Further, due to this, employees raises their voice rather than following the guidelines and carrying out the functioning. If in case, top level management of British Airways discriminate with the employees and allocate the work according to their age can lead to situation of conflict. However, in such situation employees at different levels are affected adversely and does not carry out the work with required precision which directly impact on the sales and profitability of firm. Furthermore, employees will not offer quality of services to the target market audience of BA that causes complaints and feedbacks. In order to overcome this situation, top level management of cited firm has to acknowledge withy honesty and clear communication (Mowday, Porter and Steers, 2013). As well as provide platform to the employees so that they can express their views, thoughts and feelings so that smart and effective solution can be developed.
Apart from this, the major conflict situation in BA arises when employee starts complaining. However, in order to execute smooth functioning of business operations, senior authority has to respond to the employees regarding unfair treatment, unfavorable working conditions etc. By following ethical code of practices managers can offer solution and compromises between employees.
In addition to it, workplace injury to employee leads to conflict with the functioning of British Airways. However, it is the duty of HR manager to make sure that proper facilities are given to the employees so that they can be secured from on the job injury (Hannan, 2005). However, in case if such situation arises and it is due to employer’s negligence than potential lawsuits can be employed as well as ensuring that employees receives medical attention and compensation for the injuries and lost wages.
2.2 Key features of employee relations in selected situation
From the above study, specific conflict situation has been selected for this task is collective disputes. However, due to ineffective allocation of work dispute arises between employees of different departments. By the means of such conflict, overall environment British Airways is affected negatively and impact on sale and profitability performance. Following are the key features of selected conflict situation:
- Dissatisfy with the corporation: The main reason behind arising of a conflict situation is because employees are dissatisfied with British Airways. However, top level management is unable to allocate the tasks effectively which directly affected to the overall functioning of business. Due to this situation, employee relations with its employers will be affected adversely (Ouimet and Zarutskie, 2014). In order to overcome this type of situation, top level management of cited firm has to acknowledge withy honesty and clear communication. As well as provide platform to the employees so that they can express their views, thoughts and feelings so that smart and effective solution can be developed.
- Hindering the relationship between male and female staff members existing BA: Through the means of this collective dispute it can directly harm the relationship between male and female staff member at the workplace. In such situation they will avoid each other and will not like to work in a team which may impact on the services offered to the customers (Kettunen and et. al, 2007).
2.3 Effectiveness of procedures adopted in the selected conflicting situation
According to the conflict situation, it is the duty of senior authority of British Airways to undertake various approaches so that conflict can be resolved in appropriate way. However, in order to overcome the illustrated conflict situation, senior managers can take help of dispute handling procedure which provides appropriate platform for discussion between employees and employers. Along with this, British Airways should acknowledge honesty and clear communication so that each and every individual can understand their duty and tasks accordingly. Furthermore, management can also provide suitable platform where employees can provide their feedbacks and views about their problems and issues so that potential measures can be employed and conflict situation can be resolved (Cox, Zagelmeyer and Marchington, 2006). Furthermore, during the discussion process employees have all the authority to speak and ask anything from the managers so that their queries can be addressed appropriately. In order to handle conflict situation between the male and female employees working in BA informal procedure is effective as through this management can easily interact with both male and female employees and the real cause of conflict can be identified. Furthermore it will assist management in identifying the best possible solution to the problem faced by staff members present in the workplace.
TASK 3: UNDERSTANDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND NEGOTIATION PROCESS
3.1 Role of negotiation in collective bargaining
Collective bargaining depicts the process of the negotiation between the employer and the group of employees in order to establish the agreements regarding wages, working hours, promotions and the other employment terms in order to handle the various disputes which are arising at the workplace. This agreement allow the employer and the employees to reach at the specific aspects. British airways has the large workforce which is employed in order to carry out the various operations. They adopt collective bargaining process in order to negotiate with the employer and adopt the technique in order to present the viewpoint which helps to resolve the various key issues which are faced by the employees who are working in British airways (Brown and Cregan, 2008). With the help of the union officials they present the issues to the employer. Employer adapts the process of the collective bargaining through which they develop the various tactics to meet the demands of the employees and develop the favourable work environment for the employees. There are various roles of negotiation are performed in order to determine the effective collective bargaining are discussed underneath:
Negotiation helps to enhance the quality of work: Negotiation helps to enhance the quality of the work. At British Airways the employees present their necessities in front of the employer with the help of their union officials and negotiate with them in order to carry out various functioning. They bargains with the employer to enhance the quality of work (Samaras, 2010).
Negotiation help to improve the effectiveness: Negotiation helps in improving the effectiveness. With the help of the collective bargaining process the issues which are encountered on the employees can be resolves with the proper negotiation with the employer in British Airways. With the help of collective bargaining the employer discuss the various issues which are raised by the employees and can easily elaborate the solution with the help of discussion with the employees (Cox, 2010). Furthermore it helps in developing an effective and efficient work environment by handling the various issues in an effective and efficient manner (Amos and Weathington, 2008).
Negotiation act as a support system for the firm to reach to productive conclusion: With the adoption of the process of the collective bargaining the employer and the employees negotiate with each other in relation to the various aspects which affect the working practices of the employees of British Airways. The employees select their representative who negotiate with the employer and identify the effective key solution for the various issues which they face while working in British Airways. With the help of collective bargaining process they employer can easy communicate the various modification which helps to reach the productive solution to the problem (Cho and Erdem, 2006).
3.2 Impact of negotiation strategy in the given situation
Negotiation is the method which is adopted by the organization in order to settle the disputes which have been raised within the organization while carrying out the various operations. Negotiation is the aspect which helps to achieve the best possible outcome. British airways negotiates with the employees in order to meet the best possible outcomes for the various disputes which are present in the work environment and negatively impact the performance. With the help of the negotiation strategies the impact can be identified and the ways can be developed to resolve the various conflicts which are raised in the work environment of British Airways (Hannan, 2005). The negotiating strategies helps to identify the best tactics in order to attain the best outcome. The various strategies are discussed below:
- Competing strategies: This is the strategy which reflects the competition which is present in the work environment. As the airline industry is very large there is a huge competition. British airways adopt this strategy as the competitors are winners or the losers. They analyze the each and every aspect as it has the positive impact on the work culture as it lead to attain the success within a short span of time. It has a greater flaw that the employee’s just work as per tis adopted strategy and demand in return a huge benefits (Ouimet and Zarutskie, 2014).
- Accommodative strategies: This strategy is adopted in order to resolve the major issue which is being impacting the performance of British airways to the greater extend. This strategy is adopted in order to meet the financial crises by avoiding the situation of huge turnover and huge termination. They give various offers to the employees in order to remain with them in order to carry out the various operations.
- Avoiding strategies: This strategy is adopted by the employees and employer in order to avoid the major issues which are being faced by British Airways. British Airways adopt this strategy in order focus on the important issue which is being raised by the employees regarding the work schedule. If they are not in the phase to modify it as they are regulated by the government body they try to avoid it to a certain duration and adopt the various tactics to resolve it (Samaras, 2010).
- Compromising Strategies: This strategy is adopted while the employees negotiates for the position which they hold in British Airways. As there are various time constraints which effect the performance of the employees due to the work environment and the position which they hold in British Airways.
TASK 4 UNDERSTANDING CONCEPTS OF EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION
4.1 Influence of EU on industrial democracy
EU has the direct influence on the industrial democracy in which the organization operates. It is the structure which define the work environment according to which the entire organization design its framework. British airways follow the policies and procedure in order to perform the various operations (Bhatti and Qureshi, 2007).
As the culture dimensions differ from place to place these policies determine the level of the various aspects which directly influence the industrial democracy of UK. EU passes the various act which influence the working dynamics of British Airways as the employees are also involved in making important decisions which relate to their effective participation in British Airways. This implementation enhances the work quality of the employees and their standards are raised. Furthermore this is effective as it lead to boost their efficiency as the employer share the information with the employees related to the overall functioning of the British Airways (Kettunen and et.al, 2007).
These policies define the set standards as per the perspective job, terms and conditions in terms to the working environment which avoid the major issues which influences their working. These policies determine the effective and favourable work environment.
4.2 Methods used to gain Employee engagement and involvement in decision making process
There are various methods which can be adopted in order to enhance the work environment of the organization by making the employees engage in carrying out the various activities and functions which determine in accomplishment of the various objectives of the organizations.
British airways adopt the consultation methods in through which they effectively develop the various tactics which directly influences the work environment through which they increases the involvement of the employees as this enhances their satisfaction level as they are involved in the various aspects which are related to the overall functioning of British Airways (Punjaisri and Wilson, 2007). They adopt the suggestion schemes in order to attain new ideas from the employees in order to enhance the work environment in an effective manner and try to accomplish the new standards in an effective and efficient manner. This benefits British airways as they effectively function in the work environment.
4.3 Assessing impact of human resource management on employee relations
Human resource management is the essential aspect which plays a very important role in managing the relation and the functioning of the organization in an effective and in an efficient manner (Role of manager in employee’s relationship. 2015). There are various management strategies which are being adopted by British airways in order to ensure that the management of the various activities are done in an effective manner. British Airways also ensure to provides the effective ans efficient work practices in order to retain the employees for long run . They adopt the various training and development strategies in order to enhance their performance so that the performance aspects could be raised to the greater expend and this ensure an favorable work environment to the employees of British airways(Tan and Nasurdin, 2011). This also enhance the work attitudes of the employees as all the activities and the functions are determined in an effective manner which favor the working of the employees and enhances their willingness to work with them.
In conclusion to the above study it has been observed that, maintaining employee relation is crucial for BA in order to enhance the performance of employees and satisfying the needs and wants of customers. Report illustrates two major approaches such as Unitary and Pluralistic, through the help of top level management of British Airways can easily manage the relationship with its most important stakeholder and carry out the operations in effective and efficient manner. In addition to it, trade unions leads to organize different training and development sessions for the employees so that they can enhance their skills and abilities according to the need and mold their functioning as per the requirement of emerging trends and environment.
Journals and Books
- Amos, E.A. and Weathington, B.L., 2008. An analysis of the relation between employee— Organization value congruence and employee attitudes. The journal of psychology.
- Armstrong, M., 2011. Armstrong's Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management. 5th ed.Kogan Page Publishers.
- Bhatti, K.K. and Qureshi, T.M., 2007. Impact of employee participation on job satisfaction, employee commitment and employee productivity. International Review of Business Research Papers.
- Brown, M. and Cregan, C., 2008. Organizational change cynicism: The role of employee involvement. Human Resource Management.
- Cho, S. and Erdem, M., 2006. Employee relation programs and hotel performance: Impact on turnover, labor productivity, and RevPAR. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism.
- Cox, A., Zagelmeyer, S. and Marchington, M., 2006. Embedding employee involvement and participation at work. Human Resource Management Journal.