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Employee Relations

Employee Relations

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Published by: anon-108503 on Jul 19, 2008
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Employee Relations
 MALINI JAIN
what is Employee Relations?
Employee Relations
: Covers communications, employee participation in management decisions, conflict and grievanceresolution, trade unions and collective bargaining.
Employee Relations involves the body of work concerned with maintaining employer-employee relationships that contribute to satisfactory productivity, motivation, and morale. Essentially, Employee Relations is concerned with preventing and resolving problems involving individuals, which arise out of or affect work situations. A NUMBER OF FACTORSINFLUENCE / AFFECT THE EMPLOYEE REALTIONS.
Absence management
An effective absence management strategy comprises many elements. Companies must have clear lines of responsibility, access to good qualityattendance data and effective procedures for dealing with short-term and long-term absence. There is no single solution to reducing absencerates, but all effective approaches follow the basic principle of treating all employees fairly and consistently. Employers should not forget thatthey are, ultimately, dealing with people – the vast majority of who will be genuinely ill. However, there may also be a handful of individualswho may think nothing of ‘throwing a sickle’. Any approach therefore needs to strike a balance between being sympathetic, yet firm. Persistentabsentees are often identified using trigger mechanisms and managed through return-to-work interviews and the setting of improvement targets.For employees off on long-term sick the focus is on rehabilitation and a phased return to work under the guidance of occupational healthspecialists. The overriding goal of any absence management process is ultimately to return the employee to work as quickly and safely as possible.
Disciplinary procedures
The introduction of the new statutory right to be accompanied at disciplinary hearings and a revised Code of Practice have required mostemployers to review their disciplinary procedures. While ensuring full compliance with the new law, a number of organizations have also takenthe opportunity to have a more in-depth look at their disciplinary arrangements. Among the wider changes made by some employers are theintroduction of a separate procedure for dealing with performance and capability issues. Other organizations have also clarified the nature of misconduct offences related to misuse of the Internet and e-mail and the sanctions available in such cases.
Employee attitude surveys
Companies are increasingly using staff surveys to measure employee engagement in an effort to improve business performance. Manycompanies now perceive employee ‘satisfaction’ as only a first step - a happy employee is not necessarily a productive one - whereasengagement and commitment, it is argued, can be shown to have a positive impact on the bottom line. By conducting employee attitudesurveys, employers can show they are listening to their staff. Taking action on the findings further demonstrates that employees' views arevalued and can pay dividends in terms of improved morale and commitment. Moreover, an attitude survey can be used to explore specificissues, such as the reasons for high employee turnover. Many organizations opt to use an external supplier to undertake, at least parts, of thesurvey process on their behalf. By doing so, they can benefit from the supplier's specialist expertise and resources, knowledge of best practiceand experience of working with other organizations. Moreover, the independence and objectivity of the third party can help to reassureemployees that their responses will remain anonymous and therefore influence return rates.
COMPANY Works Councils
Although some employers report a lack of real transnational issues for councils to address, companies are becoming increasingly comfortablesharing confidential information with employee representatives. Many are improving the quality of dialogue by devising targeted training programmes and equipping representatives with the skills to carry out their role and participate in meetings more effectively. COUNCILdiscussions can act as a useful barometer of the mood of employees and can help management to think out proposals more carefully in advanceof making an announcement.
Grievance procedures
The key stages of a formal grievance procedure: setting out the grievance in writing .holding a formal meeting hearing appeals.
HR intranets
HR intranets are playing an important part in shifting the HR focus away from administrative tasks and towards more strategic objectives. Attheir best, they act as a portal to an authoritative source of HR policy and guidance and to a suite of online self-service applications. If an HR intranet is to become established as a key communication tool, it is vital that navigation around the site is intuitive and that the language used iseasy to follow. Moreover, to open up the potential benefits to all employees, a company must provide universal access to PCs and may alsohave to consider offering training to certain staff. This HR offers valuable tips on how to design an effective HR intranet and looks at howcompanies facilitate access to these services for their entire workforce. HR intranets often provide links to self-service applications. Theseenable employees and managers to carry out, or at least initiate, basic HR transactions online thereby relieving the administrative burden onHR.
Information & consultation arrangements
many companies already have established employee forums that serve as a channel for a two-way exchange of views and ideas that benefit the business. There is no single model for doing this and they come under a variety of names including: employee forum, company council and joint consultative committee. They can be single-tier or multi-tier in structure; some national forums dovetail with local or European bodies.Different kinds of representative structures have evolved in unionized, non-unionized or part-unionized workplaces. In unionized companies,the information and consultation forum often coexists with a separate negotiating process. Employers are increasingly aware that having amechanism in place to facilitate two-way communication and consultation with employees can be a key contributor to business success by promoting employee engagement and commitment. Management may also find that an employee forum proves to be a useful quality controlmechanism on their decision-making. To give the workforce an effective voice, the forums need to be inclusive in character and employeesneed to perceive that their views are being taken seriously and given the weight they deserve. As far as the process of consultation itself isconcerned, one of the greatest challenges is for all those involved to understand what this entails and when it has run its course.
Internal communications
While technology has opened up new possibilities for communicating to staff, in practice the best results are often achieved through a mix of traditional and contemporary media. Moreover, if internal communications are to be fully effective, management has to have a genuinecommitment to creating a dialogue with staff that involves as well as informs them. Internal communications are defined as 'direct', two-waycommunications between employers and their staff. Therefore, communications involving union or employee representatives - important in themix of communication and consultative processes at most organizations - are beyond its scope. The contribution that clear and effective
 
channels of communication can make to an organization is substantial, not least in enlisting employees' support for business objectives andmotivating them to raise performance. Where appropriate mechanisms are in place, employees are also more likely to offer feedback and comeforward with ideas. CHANNEL includes newsletters, e-mail, business TV, videoconferencing, team briefings and road show events. It alsohighlights the role of communications in change management, showing how special communications exercises are undertaken to raise staff awareness, reinforce messages and provide opportunities for senior managers to listen and respond to employee feedback.
Long-term pay deals
In an extended period of low and stable inflation, long-term agreements have proved attractive to employers and trade unions alike. However,with inflation forecast to rise over the coming months, long-term deals may lose some of their sheen. The reasons why employers and unionssign long-term deals. For the employer, these can include: more predictable labor costs, savings in management time, improved industrialrelations with the removal of the disruption of annual pay talks, and a stable framework to make structural changes. But employers alsoacknowledge potential drawbacks. The most significant is that being ‘locked-in’ to long-term deals may leave them vulnerable to sharp rises ininflation or a general downturn in the economy. Unions take a more pragmatic view weighing up the merits of long-term deals on a case-by-case basis.
Managing redundancy
The announcement of large-scale redundancies is never going to be a good news story. The way the whole process is handled can easily affectthe corporate reputation for better or for worse. Quite apart from the impact on those directly affected, the experience can leave a lastingimpression on colleagues still in post, on surrounding communities, customers and even potential new recruits.
Making the announcement
- external and internal stakeholders all have to be informed at the appropriate time; the initial employee reaction isheavily influenced by how and when they hear the news
Communicating and consulting
- as well as the statutory consultation with employee representatives, one-to-ones, staff briefings andnewsletters can keep everyone involved up to date with developments and can help boost workforce morale
Minimizing redundancies
- efforts can be made to limit the number of compulsory redundancies, particularly by investigating the scope for redeployment
Selecting for redundancy
- in their choice of selection criteria, employers are increasingly seeking to retain employees who exhibit the mix of skills and performance attributes that the business requires going forward
Enhancing the severance terms
- at its simplest this may mean applying the statutory formula but removing the cap on weekly earnings;others will pay several multiples of the statutory entitlement and loyalty payments may be paid to encourage staff to stay in post until their leaving date .Providing on-site outplacement or career transition services - for those employees who thought they had left the world of CVs and job interviews behind them, the workshops, seminars and one-to-one counseling that specialist outplacement firms can deliver through on-siteresource centers can make a real difference as they search for a new job
Partnership agreements
The idea of management, employees and trade unions working together in partnership for their mutual benefit to secure the future of the business is not a new one. Replacing conflict with co-operation is the essence of the partnership approach. What makes it distinctive is thespirit in which things are done and the way decisions are reached by consensus in an atmosphere of greater trust and openness. All the partiesinvolved – management, staff and trade unions – are committed to achieving the same goals. However, partnership does not mean that therewill be agreement on everything. Ultimately, the unions maintain their independent role and still seek to achieve their own objectives, albeit indifferent ways.
Union recognition
Subject to certain conditions, where a majority of workers in the relevant bargaining unit are already members, a union is automatically entitledto recognition without a ballot. In the light of this, and for other reasons, some employers are concluding pre-emptive voluntary recognitionagreements.=====================================
What is employee RELATIONSHIP?
The achievement of business goals and financial returns is increasingly dependent on delivery by front-line employees. ‘EMPLOYEERELATIONSHIP helps a combination of commitment and organizational citizenship. IT IS A routine outcomes of a positive psychologicalcontract. There is no shortage of evidence about people management policies and practices that contribute to building employee relationship.
WHAT MANAGERS CAN TO DEVELOP MPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP
, WHICH include: Builds effective and responsive
interpersonal relationships
. Reporting staff members, colleagues and executives respecthis or her ability to demonstrate caring, collaboration, respect, trust and attentiveness.
Communicates effectively
in person, print and email. Listening and two-way feedback characterize his or her interaction with others.
Buildsthe team
and enables other staff to collaborate more effectively with each other. People feel they have become more - more effective, morecreative, and more productive - in the presence of a team builder.
Understands the financial aspects
of the business and sets goals andmeasures and documents staff progress and success. Knows how to create an environment in which people experience
positive morale andrecognition
and employees are motivated to work hard for the success of the business.
Leads by example
and provides recognition whenothers do the same.
Helps people grow and develop
their skills and capabilities through education and on-the-job learning.·
Balancing Work and Personal Life
everyone is busy today. Managing the responsibilities of work and your personal life is becoming more and more complex. -Helps how to bringharmony into your life with practical methods of making appropriate decisions on the roles you play, prioritizing, time management andorganization.-Helps how to do things right and also do the right thing.------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Communicating with Your Staff 
If managing means getting things done through other people, then communicating is the vehicle to reach that goal.-Helps to gain understanding and practice communication skills critical to building trust, increasing productivity and teamwork. -Helps with theUnderstanding styles of communication, using questioning techniques and giving feedback ----------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Conflict Management
 
Conflict is unavoidable, but not all conflicts need to end in arguments. The problem isn’t the conflict itself, but the way it is managed.- Help you develop the skills to identify, analyze and manage conflict.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Customer Service
Without customers, there is no business. Competition is tough today.
Customers
are more demanding than ever before. Daily interaction withcustomers means you always need to put your best foot forward while still taking care of yourself.-Helps to learn and practice customer service behavior that results in retaining current customers and acquiring new ones, methods to manage adifficult customer, techniques to reduce stress and keep a winning attitude.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Dealing with Difficult People
we all encounter difficult individuals on a daily basis. These are not necessarily bad people, but people whose behavior impacts on productivity,morale and communication. To maintain our own constructive behavior, we need to effectively manage difficult encounters at work and in our  personal lives.-Helps to learn and practice coping methods of communication with common types of difficult people, learn how to turn confrontation intoconstructive problem solving, and understand what really triggers difficult people to behave negatively.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Delegation and Feedback 
Delegation and feedback are hallmarks of good management.-Helps to learn why delegation is critical to meeting your own goals, how to identify and overcome barriers to delegation, to whom and how todelegate tasks.-Helps to learn and practice giving effective and appropriate positive and negative feedback.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Getting Organized at Work 
if you find yourself constantly looking for things, unable to prioritize tasks, overwhelmed with too much paper and too little time.-Helps to learn and practice practical and simple techniques to help you become more productive and confident.-Helps to ''how to end paper build-up, arrange your workspace for optimum efficiency, and get rid of clutter.-Helps to learn to distinguish "must-do" tasks from "can-wait" tasks, avoid being "victimized" by your e-mail, and use your peak energy timesto get more done in less time.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Managing Change
The only constant today is change. We live in a rapidly changing environment. Whether you are a change agent or have to deal withcompulsory changes, managing and coping with change is crucial to success.-Helps to learn to identify resistance factors, create ways to overcome them, and strategies to implement changes with minimum disruption andmaximum results.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Meeting Management
Do you find that you are attending or leading unproductive meetings?-Helps to learn tools and tactics to make your meetings productive and engaging.- Helps you polish your skills of planning for and managing meetings as well as understanding your role as a participant.-Helps to learn how to keep control throughout the meeting while creating a receptive, engaging, and energetic atmosphere.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Performance Appraisals
Employees need feedback in order to know if their performance is acceptable or needs to improve or change. It is your responsibility as amanager to communicate with your employees in a way that allows them to contribute to the discussion, to recognize their contributions,identify their areas of strength, where they need to improve and set realistic goals.-Helps to develop skills and tools to help you conduct a performance review that will increase employee motivation, learning, productivity andcollaboration.-Helps with practice giving feedback and conducting performance review discussions.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Positive Communication
Good business depends on developing solid relationships. To build rapport, you must be sensitive to other people, present yourself in the leastcontroversial way and in essence, be likeable.-Helps with the tools for becoming more likeable, help you understand the impact of the message you are sending through emails, voice mails,telephone and face-to-face interactions.-Helps to learn the importance of netiquette skills and social skills including making appropriate introductions, writing thank you notes, and presenting a professional image.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
Setting Goals
It has been proven that people who set goals for themselves are more successful.-Helps to learn how to set realistic goals and make specific plans to meet them.-Helps to practice making goals, creating intermittent targets with deadlines, setting up accountability methods and learning strategies to stayon course or adapt when necessary.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------·
Stress and Management
everyone is stressed today. Some stress is good but too much of it can impact negatively on productivity, morale and health.-Helps to learn and practice exercises to reduce stress.-Helps to practice deep breathing techniques, psychological tactics to overcome negative self-talk and remain centered, and you will develop an

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