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Published by: Kanhaiya Priyadarshi on May 25, 2011
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Sikkim Manipal University - MBA - MU0012 Employee Relations ManagementSemester: 3 - Assignment Set: 1
Q.1List the core issues of employee relations management?Ans:-
Employee Relations Management (ERM) is a vital business process that manages employer–employee and employee-employee relations. It goes by the maxim that ‘a satisfied employee is aproductive employee’.Organisations following good employee relations realise that employees are important stakeholders inthe organisation. Employees who are content with their employers contribute more effectively towardsthe goals of the organisation.This course explains the importance of ERM in organisations and the organisational aspects that governemployee relations in a organisation. ERM is influenced by organisational strategies, culture and otherfactors like employee commitment and employee engagement. Managing organisational conflicts is alsoan important part of ERM. This course familiarises you with behavioural aspects like motivation,leadership, decision making and communication that play an important role in employee relationsmanagement. ERM is facilitated by tools like Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). Importanceof organisational discipline and grievance handling are also discussed in this course. Further in thiscourse we will see how trade unions contribute towards maintaining good employee relations in anorganisation. Many laws govern employee relations, and an effective ERM considers the laws of theland. We will learn how factors like employee participation, empowerment and employee rewardsinfluence ERM. Further, we will study how to manage employee relations in organisations that have aglobal presence. The contemporary issues like managing employees during crises like recession are alsodiscussed in this course.In this unit, you will study the concepts of Employee Relations, Employee Relations Management, andthe importance of ERM in an organization. This unit introduces ERM tools and core issues like careermanagement and employee retention addressed by ERM.The objectives of Employee Relations Management are as follows:· Improve the effectiveness of the workforce.· Ensure employee satisfaction.· Gain and retain employee commitment.· Prevent conflicts amongst employees· Promote retention of employees.· Improve employee-management and employee-employee communication.some of the core issues of ERM.
Conflict Management
Conflict management refers to the manner in which mangers handle grievances and disputes.According to Gennard and Judge, ‘Employee Relations aims to resolve difference between the variousinterest groups regardless of whether these groups comprise different categories of managers oremployees. Workplace conflicts arise due to differences in perceptions, culture, employee biases, gapsin communication, and so on. A win-win approach is used to resolve conflicts. Mediation and counsellingare adopted for resolving conflicts rather than using formal discipline measures. Managers are trainedboth to avoid and to resolve disputes. External mediators can also be called in if necessary. Largeorganisations like public sector companies prefer to use internal mediators to resolve conflicts.Unresolved work place conflicts can have a negative impact on the organisation. For example, if theproduction manager and the quality control manager have differences about implementation of quality
Sikkim Manipal University - MBA - MU0012 Employee Relations ManagementSemester: 3 - Assignment Set: 1
procedures, then the work of both the divisions is affected. Figure 1.1 depicts some causes of workplace conflicts.
Figure: Causes of Workplace Conflicts
Conflict management skills help employees get along with the other employees, their managers and thecustomers. These skills help managers identify conflicts, respond to them, get better co-operation fromthe employees, and avoid conflicts from spreading to other parts of the organisation.The following skill set help managers deal with conflicts:
Conceptual skills: Managers need to first understand the causes of conflicts and the differentstrategies and tactics they can use to resolve the conflict.
Communication skills: Managers require good listening skills and the ability to ask the rightquestions to ascertain the cause of the conflict. They must avoid harmful statements and remainrational.
Negotiation skills: Managers need to know the policy of give and take required to resolveconflicts.
Conflicts are resolved by adopting the following strategies:
Counselling: Only a few organisations have professional counsellors on their staff. Manyorganisations train their managers to counsel their subordinates. Often, just by employingnondirective counselling (listening and understanding), managers can help frustratedemployees.
Discussions and Debates: Task conflicts are resolved by discussing or debating the options.Consensual decision is made after considering every option.
Compromise: This method tries to resolve conflicts by arriving at a solution which satisfies atleast part of the requirement of each party involved.
Using third parties: As serious conflicts have a negative impact on organisations, third partieswith specialised skills are used as arbitrators, mediators or ombudsmen to resolve them.
Internal Communication
Employee engagement can only be obtained if the senior management communicate frequently on awide range of business and organisational issues. Organisations with good employee relations give a
Sikkim Manipal University - MBA - MU0012 Employee Relations ManagementSemester: 3 - Assignment Set: 1
high priority to internal communication. Such organisations ensure that the employees completelyunderstand the communications made to them.For example, The South-West Trains Company has a very good relationship with its unions. But whenthe management realised that not all employees were being kept informed about the different issues,they decided to use more direct means of communication. At present, ad-hoc forums are held to getfeedback from employees. ‘Time with the manager’ sessions keep the line managers in touch with theoperations staff. The intranet and e-mail are used in addition to team briefings to communicate with allthe employees.
Employee Engagement
Mike Johnson describes employee engagement as a combination of commitment and organisationalcitizenship
. Organisations can be successful only if the employees have a feeling of job security,respect, recognition, and purpose. Organisations that have good employee relations value teamworkand employee feedback. Engaged employees are more committed, helpful, productive and less inclinedto take leave. Figure 1.2 depicts the indicators of employee engagement.
Figure : Employee Engagement Indicators
People management and development activities like training and job design contribute to employeeengagement. A positive psychological contract with the employees enhances performance. HRprofessionals are employee champions and focus on the needs and aspirations of the employees.Employee involvement can be achieved by the following practices:· Having formally designated teams· Having regular team briefings· Undertaking performance appraisals· Using problem-solving groups· Involving employees in decision makingDell is a computer manufacturing company and has been ranked among the top ten companies byFortune magazine. It aspires to be a ‘great company and a great place to work’. It focuses on the teamand individual contributions to the team. Line managers interact with individual team members. Allemployees are judged on the basis of how they interact with people and their technical proficiency.Quarterly results meetings are held across the business and senior managers answer questions posedto them. Managers share results with the team and develop team action plans. ‘Tell Dell’ surveys areheld every six months. These surveys help in finding if the managers give regular feedbacks, manage

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