Managing Employee Relations
Analysis on Employer and Employees Relation Management
The employment relationship is the behavior and communication between the employer and employee (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy, 2004). This relationship is especially related to employees’ right and its emotional state in their jobs. In order words it can be seen as the legal relationship between an employer and its employee. This arises when an individual performs work and services in return for remuneration (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). Similarly, the term employee relation is interchangeable by industrial relation. Employee relationship involves the work that is concerned with maintaining the healthy relationship between employer and its employee in order to contribute towards the satisfactory productivity, motivation and morale. Therefore, it can be said that employee relationship is concerned with overcoming the various problems which arises within the business organization (Hislop, 2003). Employees should be provided with more health and safety measures. Their basic salary as well as different type of allowances rate should be increased specially for the works who are working late night. Proper lighting facility should be provided to them. Along with these all safely pick and drop facility should be provided to the employees who are working late night.
Employee Voice refers to the participation of the employee in every decision making process of the organization. It can be said that employee voice is the key to a success of every organization (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy, 2004). According to the Clarke, voice of employee is extremely important because there are many challenges faced by the company. And at the same time it could be said that there are many business concepts which keeps on changing and one of the most important one is trust. Thus, listening to the employee voice is very important (Greasley and et.al, 2005).
The essay will examine the case study of London Underground (LU) after workers went on strike over conditions offered to them after a strategy put forward by the major of London to introduce all night- tube service to boost the capitals economy (Sabin, 2015). Almost 20,000 workers went on strike for 24 hours from 6.30 pm on Wednesday 8 July in order to achieve various benefits for the employees who are working late night. In accordance with the case scenario 20000 London underground workers were on strike on Wednesday that was budget day. This was in dispute over all night tube services. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union, Aslef, Transport salaried staff association and Unite were in dispute in relation with the pay that was being offered for new services. The chief operating officer of London underground Steve Griffiths presents that Full and final offer has been made. This presents that there would be a £500 non consolidated “launch bonus” to all the staff on night tube lines and, a £2000 “transition bonus” for the drivers who were working overnight. However, in order to provide the non consolidated bonus, health and safety of the staff members was sidelined.
Proper employee relation will aid the LU management to manage the healthy relationship between the employee and employer (London Underground Case Study, 2016). This in turn will aid the LU to overcome the problem of striking by understanding the needs and demands of the employees.
The present essay entails to understand the interest of different stakeholders. It includes the power, control in the employment relationship. Further involves certainty of conflict. In addition to this it also includes significance of employee voice as well as communication before decision making. The essay involves discussion major causes that results in situation of conflict aroused by workers of London underground. Moreover it covers various necessary measures undertaken in order to resolve the actual cause of strike.
This section of the report covers different aspects related with London underground case study. The part covers the style of management adopted by London Underground. Further it includes key stakeholders of firm and their varied interests. In addition to this it involves discussion on where power lies among unions and management at London underground. Main body also presents importance of employee voice and communication before decision making. The conflict resolution is also discussed within this section of essay.
Stakeholders are an independent party who are affected by the organization, strategy or projects (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). The key stakeholders of London Underground involve employees, customers as well as authorities/ management. This because they have interest in the affairs of the organization. Further stakeholders also includes the one who have invested funds in the organization thus requires appropriate return from the investment. The key stakeholders of LU have been discussed in the manner stated below:
Thus, in order to satisfy the stakeholders LU management has taken into consideration the two styles that is consultative style and collectivism style.
There are three types of trade unions that are taking place in the London (Craft union, industrial union and public employee unions).
Therefore, development of trade union will prove to be beneficial as well as hazardous to the LU management. If trade union is developed then London Union will be able to easily overcome the problem of strike faced by them. They can talk and make understand the individual leader of the union about the solution of the problem. Because making understand a single employee is very easily as compared to speaking to the large number of employees (Greasley and et.al, 2005). Thus, development of these trade unions helps the LU management to easily overcome the strick problem made by the employees in order to get increment in the salary for the employees working after 6:30pm and at the same employees also wants health and safety of their life. By simply offering various offers to the employees against their demand. In the strike carried out by LU the trade union involved is public sector unions. As the case presents that workers are fighting for their interest from government organizations. This demonstrates involvement of public sector trade unions who can work for the betterment of LU's employees. The union size involved in the strike is 20000 that involve workers of London underground who commit stop from work due to non fulfillment of their demands.
This section of essay presents power and control within employment relationship. Further it includes inevitability of conflict. The part portraits the nature and origin of conflict and discussed on where power lies among unions and management at London Underground.
An organization should make efforts to impose various power and control on the employee in such a way that it does not hurt any employee (Kaynak, 2003). A company can use this power in order to overcome the problem of strike faced by London Underground.
Employee relationship shows the behavior and communication that take place between employee and employer (Vinciarelli, Salamin and Polychroniou, 2014). A healthy employee relationship between the employer and employee will create a healthy working environment in the organisation (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). This is because such has ability to increase satisfaction of the employees at work. Further it boosts their morale to work to fullest zeal which thereby results in enhancing their productivity to a greater extent. This in turn will assist the company to achieve its desired objectives. A positive employee relationship will aid the company to overcome the various conflicts that arises within an organization (Bauer and Lingens, 2014). Many a time this employee relationship can also prove to be barrier in the success of the company. It can create groupism in the organization and groupism will lead to the conflict (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). This is because groupism results in inter-specific competition. Further competition is inevitable for growth and success of an individual. Groupism in term is not considered bad but regular conflicts different group is bad. People in corporate searches for one having similar behavior. Once they discover then they tend to group together. Further they tend to protect the interest of group. But major issue arises in case of dissimilarities in the ideas of different group which result in creating situation of conflict in the organization.
Pluralism is the theory which says that several veto groups are formed out among the various political powers in various democracies that should tie in with trade unions (Copeland, 2014). According to this theory only one veto group can win at a time. Thus, taking into consideration the above mentioned case it can be concluded that two veto group is formed out. One is of the employee union and other is of LU management.
The situation of functional conflict arises when there is disagreement among the parties but in a healthy manner (Edwards, 2009). This conflict can be dissolved easily in the general board meeting. Likewise, on the other hand condition of dysfunctional conflict arises when there is disagreement among the parties in an unhealthy manner (Rahim, 2015). This conflict results in strikes and lock-outs.
There are also different types of conflicts that may arise in organization like London Underground. According to the case study of LU it could be analyzed that organized and unorganized conflicts arises (Strike by London Underground workers will 'definitely go ahead'. 2015). The condition of organized conflict arises when the parties to the contract thought that they can successfully be able to counter the other party. Similarly, unorganized conflict arises when the parties who are the actual cause of the organized conflict are not able to introduce any solution or change (Jensen, 2015). It can be said that the condition of organized conflict has arose in the LU because employee wants safety along with an increment in the salary for employee that work at night. Thus, the condition of strike arises because the LU management is not at all able to provide security to the employees on their demand before (Cullinane and Dundon, 2014). Thus, it can be said that the condition of organized conflict has arose in the LU which in turn has resulted in the strikes of the employees (Cullinane and Dundon, 2014).
In accordance with the case study it can be said that power lies in union. Because; union is made up large group of people with high power. Therefore, after applying the concept of pluralism it can be concluded that condition of strike arose in the LU was due to the dissatisfaction among the employees which in turn has resulted in dysfunctional and organized conflicts.
After the section of power, control and conflict that represents the reason due to which conflict occurred. Another part relating with employee voice has been presented. This acts as a major that can assist London Underground in resolving its issues to a greater extent. If employee voice had been taken into consideration than the condition of LU strike would not have occurred. Management of LU can also resolve this problem by listing to the employee voice as; undoubtedly employees are the only people who work for the betterment of the company (Vinciarelli, Salamin and Polychroniou, 2014). Thus, it can be said that its management responsibility to take care of its employee. In order to resolve the strike chief officer of LU has announced an average 2% rise in basic salary, non-consolidated bonus to the employees working late night (London Underground Case Study, 2016). There is certain principle of employee relationship enumerated below:
After taking into account employee voice another crucial aspect of employee relationship is collective bargaining wherein negotiation is done among the employers and employees in order to reach at an agreement so as to regulate working situations. Under this interest of employees are presented by trade unions with which employees are associated. The pay and conditions of most of the employees in the UK are not negotiated. Collective bargaining is not only considered across the economy; (Morgan and Zeffane, 2003) however in the public sector, 63% employees are covered by collective bargaining and the ratio is more as compared to the private sector (Copeland, 2014). In private sector, collective bargaining is only about 16% and when this ratio increases, impact arise most probably on all the levels of company or on business entities (Rahim, 2015).
There is still industry level bargaining in some sectors like textile and furniture industry; however in the year 1980, there was a clear move to bargaining at local level and a number of employer federation found to be involved in collective bargaining (Pozos-Radillo Blanca and Liliana, 2015). In addition to the same, some workers in the public sector are covered by pay review bodies rather than collective bargaining (Guest, Michie, Conway and Sheehan, 2003). There is no legal requirement for the employer to negotiate with the Union except in the case when legal obligations are required to be considered under decision aspects. In such cases, the union has the right to bargain over pay, hours and holidays. Such cases are rare in nature and generally it is the balance of forces between employee and employer at workplace that determines all such domains where bargaining can take place (Robson, 2015).
As per the case scenario of the workers of the LU went to the strike in order to fulfill their demands. Workers demanded for the extra pay if they work after the 6.30pm. In addition to this, workers were not satisfied with the working condition as well as safety measures which are adopted by an organization in order to overcome the strike condition faced by the LU. Thus, better arrangements for the health and safety aspects are also one of the main cause due to which workers went on strike. In order to remove the problem of lock out or strike LU had undertaken the collective bargaining as a tool (Lebbon, n.d. Case studies: London Underground [Online]). Moreover, strike and lock-outs closely impacts the functioning of the business organization. Thus, company arranged the meeting with the representative or leader of the workers to bargain the terms and conditions which are imposed by all the workers. In meeting, leader of the workers presents the demand from the workers side and thereby make efforts to fulfill their all demands (Vinciarelli, Salamin and Polychroniou, 2014). In addition to this, company also represents their views and suggestion.
In collective bargaining, company makes high level of efforts in order to find out the solution of the lock-outs (Zukauskas and Vveinhardt, 2015). Organization had also announced the £2000 in the form of transition bonus for the drivers who performed their functions overtime (Pozos-Radillo Blanca and Liliana, 2015). This aspect evolves satisfaction among the employees and encourages them to perform their best efforts which make contribution in the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives (Muhammad, 2015). In addition to this, London underground had announced £500 as a non-consolidated bonus to all the staff of night tube lines (Atherton, W.N., 2015). Nevertheless, on the behalf of the bonus aspects employees sidelined the health and safety measures (Hislop, 2003). Through collective bargaining organization achieved success in removing the lock outs within 24 hours. Thus, by negotiating all the terms and conditions the organization is able to facilitate the smooth functioning of the business (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004).
Thus, some of the recommendations to the management of LU which they can undertake in order to overcome the problem of the strike and to see that it does not occur again are as follows:-
The recommendations stated above will in turn aid the LU to overcome the problem of strike by properly understanding what are the need and demand of the employees.
From the essay it has been concluded that company undertakes collectivism style to manage the problem effectively and efficiently. It can be seen in the report that it places more emphasis on working in groups as opposed to individually. Through this, the organization is able to build and sustain competitive advantage over others. Besides this, it can be inferred that conflicts arose between the management and staff and they went to strike. Thus, it can be concluded that maintenance of employee relationship in the organization can assist the organization to easily overcome the conditions like strike by providing the employee what they want and what are the reasons for the strike. Moreover, after analyzing the whole situation of LU strike it could be concluded that management of LU was not able to actually understand what employees wants.
This carelessness has resulted into the strike. Thus, in order to overcome this problem LU has undertaken the collective bargaining style to resolve the conflicting situation. By negotiating the terms and conditions with the team leader company got success in abolishing the strike within the 24 hours. However, the negotiations weren’t resolved which resulted in the strikes re-occurring and thus the strike was back in January 2016 this strike occur again because trade union was not happy with the proposal given by the management of London Underground. The four unions that are involved in the LU strike have again planned to do the strike at the end January 2016 and in mid February 2016. This strike has taken place related with the disputes of the drivers pay and staff working conditions (Tube strike: Unions set date for three days of action, 2016).
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