You are on page 1of 17

Master of Business Administration - MBA Semester 3 MU0012- Employee Relations Management Assignment Set- 1

Q1. What are the reasons for maintaining good industrial relations in an organization?
Ans. The healthy industrial relations are key to the progress and success, Reasons for maintaining good industrial relations in an organization as under Uninterrupted production The most important benefit of industrial relations is that this ensures continuity of production. This means, continuous employment for all from manager to workers. The resources are fully utilized, resulting in the maximum possible production. There is uninterrupted flow of income for all. Smooth running of an industry is of vital importance for several other industries; to other industries if the products are intermediaries or inputs; to exporters if these are export goods; to consumers and workers, if these are goods of mass consumption. Reduction in Industrial Disputes Good industrial relations reduce the industrial disputes. Disputes are reflections of the failure of basic human urges or motivations to secure adequate satisfaction or expression which are fully cured by good industrial relations. Strikes, lockouts, go-slow tactics, gherao and grievances are some of the reflections of industrial unrest which do not spring up in an atmosphere of industrial peace. It helps promoting co-operation and increasing production. High morale Good industrial relations improve the morale of the employees. Employees work with great zeal with the feeling in mind that the interest of employer and employees is one and the same, i.e. to increase production. Every worker feels that he is a co-owner of the gains of industry. The employer in his turn must realize that the gains of industry are not for him along but they should be shared equally and generously with his workers. In other words, complete unity of thought and action is the main achievement of industrial peace. It increases the

place of workers in the society and their ego is satisfied. It naturally affects production because mighty co-operative efforts alone can produce great results. Mental Revolution The main object of industrial relation is a complete mental revolution of workers and employees. The industrial peace lies ultimately in a transformed outlook on the part of both. It is the business of leadership in the ranks of workers, employees and Government to work out a new relationship in consonance with a spirit of true democracy. Both should think themselves as partners of the industry and the role of workers in such a partnership should be recognized. On the other hand, workers must recognize employers authority. It will naturally have impact on production because they recognize the interest of each other. Reduced Wastage Good industrial relations are maintained on the basis of cooperation and recognition of each other. It will help increase production. Wastages of man, material and machines are reduced to the minimum and thus national interest is protected.

Q2.What are the provisions of the Factories Act 1948 that ensure social security measures of workmen in a factory? Ans. IN THE ACT Government has introduced the Social Security Scheme for the unorganized sector worker on a pilot basis in 50 districts of the Country, which was launched on 23/01/2004. This would cover workers in the unorganized sector drawing not more than Rs. 6500 per month. The scheme provides,

A flat rate pension of Rs. 500 per month on retirement at the age of 60 and total disablement. Family pension in case of death of the workers. A personal accident insurance cover for rupees one lakh and 309 Universal health insurance scheme for a worker and his family at the cost of Rs. 548 per annum for a family of 5 members or Rs. 365 per annum for a family of 3 members.

Further, the Ministry took several measures such as labour welfare funds, welfare fund for overseas Indian workers etc.

LAWS RELATING TO SOCIAL SECURITY Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPFMPA): It was enacted to ensure the financial security of employees in an establishment by providing a system of compulsory savings. A provident fund, required to be established under the EPFMPA, is a contributory fund created to secure the future of employees post retirement. Employees are also allowed to withdraw a part of their PF before retirement. Central Board of Trustees, Employees Provident Fund is responsible for administering the EPFMPA. The act is applicable all over India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The schemes provided under this act are Employee provident fund scheme (EPF) 1952. Employees pension scheme (EPS) 1995 Employees deposit linked insurance (EDLIS) 1976.

Establishments with 20 or more workers should register with Employees provident fund organization which comes under any of the 180 industries specified in the Act. EPF, EPS and EDLIS are calculated on Basic salary, dearness allowances, cash value of food concession and retaining allowances, if any. As per the EPF ceiling limit, the employer is liable to pay contribution only on Rs.6500/- irrespective of the basic salary.

Q3. What are the four strategy levels in an organization? Ans. Strategic management is a field that deals with the major intended and emergent initiatives taken by general managers on behalf of owners, involving utilization of resources, to enhance the performance of rms in their external environments It entails specifying the organization's mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the policies and plans, projects and programs. Four strategy levels in an organization are: Top Management:Top managers develop long-range plans, called strategic plans that define the company's overall mission and goals. Strategic planning focuses more on issues that affect the company's future survival and growth, including long-term IT plans. Top managers focus on the entire business enterprise and use information systems to set the company's course and direction. To develop strategic plan, top managers also need information from outside the company, such as economic

forecasts, technology shareholder concerns.







Middle Management: Middle managers focus their goals on a shorter time frame, usually ranging from one month to one year. They develop plans to achieve business objectives in a process called tactical planning. Middle managers delegate authority and responsibility to team leaders or supervisors and then provide direction, necessary resources, and feedback on performance as tasks are completed. They need more detailed information than top managers do, but somewhat less information than team leaders and supervisors. They also use business support systems, knowledge management systems, and user productivity systems to perform their jobs. Lower Management: Supervisors and team leaders oversee operational employees and carry out day-to-day operational plans. They coordinate operational tasks, make necessary decisions, and ensure that the decision support information, consults knowledge management systems, and relies on user productivity systems to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities. Operational Management: Operational employees primarily use TP systems to enter and receive data they need to perform their jobs. In many companies, operational employees also need information to handle tasks and make decisions that were assigned to supervisors. This trend, called empowerment, gives employees more responsibility and accountability.

Q4. What are the benefits that an organization enjoys by implementing employee participation? Ans. Benefits that an organization enjoys by implementing employee participation: Involving employees, empowering them, and bringing them into decision making process provides the opportunity for continuous process improvement. The untapped ideas, innovations, and creative thoughts of employees can make the difference between success and failure. Competition is so fierce that it would be unwise not use every available tool. Employee involvement improves quality and increases productivity, because: Employees make better Employees make better decisions using their expert knowledge of the process.

Employees are more likely to implement and support decisions they had a part in making. Employees are better able to spot and pinpoint areas of for improvement. Employees are better able to take immediate corrective actions. Employee involvement reduces labor/management friction by encouraging more effective communication and cooperation. Employee involvement increases morale by creating feeling of belonging to the organization. Employees are better able to accept change because they control the work environment. Employees have an increased commitment to unit goals because they are involved.

Employees involvement should not be looked at as a fad that will go away soon. It is a way of life, crucial to TQM, and it can mean difference between being competitive and going out of business. Employees not senior management, hold future in their hands. The sign over the plant entrance that says, Through these doors pass our most important asset, our employees does not ring true when employees have a feeling that no one really cares. More involvement might be encouraged by the sign No one of us knows as much as all of us.

Q5. What are the different leadership styles that are adopted by managers as per the Managerial Grid Model? Ans. Managerial grid model : In response to the early criticisms of the trait approach, theorists began to research leadership as a set of behaviors, evaluating the behavior of successful leaders, determining a behavior taxonomy, and identifying broad leadership styles. To lead, self-confidence and high self-esteem are useful, perhaps even essential. The managerial grid model (1964) is a behavioral leadership model developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton. This model originally identified five different leadership styles based on the concern for people and the concern for production. The optimal leadership style in this model is based on Theory Y. The grid theory has continued to evolve and develop. The theory was updated with two additional leadership styles and with a new element, resilience. In 1999, the grid managerial seminar began using a new text, The Power to Change.

Understanding the Model: Using the axis to plot leadership concerns for production versus concerns for people, Blake and Mouton defined the following five leadership styles:

The Managerial Grid is based on two behavioral dimensions: Concern for People This is the degree to which a leader considers the needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task. Concern for Production This is the degree to which a leader emphasizes concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.

Q6.Suppose you are the HR Manager of a software company that is facing severe financial loss due to recession. What action would you take to keep your employees positive and motivated? Ans. In economic downturns, employees are usually concerned with holding on to their jobs. The cuts in workforce that are common to recessions tend to make them stay put. However, having less manpower on hand to do the same amount of work can create a pressure-cooker environment. As soon as hiring begins to pick up following a recession, employers can expect some turnover. That's why it is critical to manage your employees well during lean times, and several low-cost methods can help you retain them during and after a recession. As HR Manager the following action will keep employees positive and motivated: 1) Create flexible work arrangements. Allow your employees to telecommute, work alternate schedules and otherwise have time to take care of other life priorities

during typical work hours. Research by Catalyst and Work Life Human Capital Solutions says that employers' work-life balance initiatives ranked higher than salary in terms of recruiting, retention and job satisfaction. 2) Manage workflows and workloads. Appoint someone to be in charge of knowing who is doing what at all times. If your company has laid off employees, the remaining workers are taking up the slack. Don't be deceived, advises Tony Schwartz, of The Energy Project. The work may be getting done, but in the process your workflow policies may be breeding resentment by exhausted employees and fear and panic in those who need to keep their jobs. 3) Bring on the social activities. Employees spend more time at work than at any other place in their lives. Companies that are stopping celebrations because of the recession are making work less welcoming. Non-work activities need not be lavish or time-consuming. Cut costs by having potlucks, a few sponsored lunches or snacks, even volunteer work to create a cordial, inclusive and team-oriented environment. 4) Acknowledge employees who perform well. Thank everyone from the custodial staff who cleaned up after a client meeting to the intern who fixed the glitch that interrupted a webinar. Respect and short-term rewards are two of the most important factors in employee loyalty, according to HR Tools. 5) Cut bonuses and perks for the big wigs. Nothing breeds resentment like watching your coworkers get laid off and then witnessing senior management get bonuses or even CEOs ride out of the disaster with a golden parachute. Although big bonuses have been an accepted and important part in retaining senior management, employers can restructure their compensation packages to spread the money around. For example, some companies have marginally reduced their fixed-priced bonuses and moved toward performance-based pay, says Business Week. Engage senior managers with the same methods used to motivate and keep your other employees: show them respect, take their opinions seriously, acknowledge their hard work, give them the tools they need to succeed and involve them in creating solutions to problems. 6) Be even-handed. It's the little annoyances that add up over time and make employees bolt. Watch out for favoritism, harassment and discrimination. Ensure all qualified employees have an equal chance at landing the big projects and all discipline processes are meted out fairly and across the board.

MU0012 Set II Q1. What are the components of a Human Resource Information System? Ans. Human Resource Information Systems is a software application that caters to the human resource information needs of the organisation like monitoring employee attendance, payroll and benefits administration, career development, employee information, performance management, and training. HRIS comprises of the following modules: Payroll: This module of HRIS keeps track of the pay grades and positions of the employees. Pay raise details are also recorded. This module gathers information on employee time and attendance. It calculates the deductions and taxes and generates pay slips and tax reports. Benefits Administration: This module tracks and administers employee benefits programmes. The benefits programmes include insurance, reimbursements, profit sharing and pension programmes. HR Management: This module covers many HR aspects which range from employee recruitment to retirement. It records employee details like addresses, training programmes undergone, skills, position and so on. The functions addressed by this module are recruitment, placement, evaluation and career development of the employees. Job sites on the Internet are increasingly being used for recruitment. This module tracks job applications. Interviews and selection details are also maintained. Training: This module administers and tracks employee training and development programmes. Records of employee education, qualification, and skills are maintained. It also outlines the training courses and training materials (CDs, books, web based learning programmes) which help employees develop their skills. Courses can be planned and scheduled using the data stored. Managers can approve training and budgets. Performance Appraisal: This module evaluates the job performance of employees in terms of quality, time and cost. This helps in analysis of employee strengths and weaknesses and suitability for promotions. It gives feedback to employees on performances and identifies employee training needs. It also documents criteria which can be used for organisational rewards. Work Time: This module helps to track the work done by the employees. This module merges the functions of work management and time management across a wide range of activities that include project, tasks, requests and deployment. This

module maintains attendance and leave details of employees which are exported in various formats for further processing. Employee Self-Service: This module permits employees to update their personal details, query HR databases and perform HR transactions. Employees are allowed to apply for leave, raise purchase requests, file expenses, view their salary details and keep track of their project related activities. Employees use this to update their tax savings details and bank related information.

Q2.How are trade unions classified? Ans. There are 4 types of trade unions:1. Craft unions- Craft unionism refers to organizing a union in a manner that seeks to unify workers in a particular industry along the lines of the particular craft or trade that they work in by class or skill level. It contrasts with industrial unionism, in which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union, regardless of differences in skill. Under this approach, each union is organized according to the craft, or specific work function, of its members. For example, in the building trades, all carpenters belong to the carpenters' union, the plasterers join the plasterers' union, and the painters belong to the painters' union. Each craft union has its own administration, its own policies, its own collective bargaining agreements and its own union halls. The primary goal of craft unionism is the betterment of the members of the particular group and the reservation of job opportunities to members of the union and those workers allowed to seek work through the union's hiring hall. 2. Industrial unions- Industrial unionism is a labor union organizing method through which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union regardless of skill or tradethus giving workers in one industry, or in all industries, more leverage in bargaining and in strike situations. Advocates of industrial unionism value its contributions to building unity and solidarity, suggesting the slogans, "an injury to one is an injury to all" and "the longer the picket line, the shorter the strike."

Industrial unionism contrasts with craft unionism, which organizes workers along lines of their specific trades, i.e., workers using the same kind of tools, or doing the same kind of work with approximately the same level of skill, even if this leads to multiple union locals (with different contracts, and different expiration dates) in the same workplace. 3. General unions-A General Union is a trade union (called labor union in American English) which represents workers from all industries and companies, rather than just one organization or a particular sector, as in a craft union or industrial union. A general union differs from a union federation or trades council in that its members are individuals, not unions. The creation of general unions, from the early nineteenth century in the United Kingdom and somewhat later elsewhere, occurred around the same time as efforts began to unionise workers in new industries, in particular those where employment could be irregular.Proponents of general unions claim that their broader range of members allows more opportunities for solidarity action and better coordination in general strikes and the like. 4. White collar unions-The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a bluecollar worker, whose job requires manual labor. Typically white collar work is performed in an office or cubicle. The term "white collar" is credited to Upton Sinclair, an American writer, in relation to modern clerical, administrative and management workers during the 1930s,though references to "easy work and a white collar" appear as early as 1911. Formerly a minority in the agrarian and early industrial societies, white-collar workers have become a majority in industrialized countries due to modernization and exportation of manufacturing jobs.

Q3. Describe the different systems in an organization that use Employee Relation Management tools. Ans. Employee relationship management system (ERM) is an information system that supports the relationship between a company and its employees. The components of an employee relationship management system are multiple, and, as in the customer relationship management achieve the goal of assisting the employees in the whole life cycle of her/his activity in and for the company. In employee relationship information system: management classification we may include many

1)Workflow Management System- A workflow consists of sequence of concatenated steps. Emphasis is on the flow paradigm, where each step follows the precedent without delay or gap and ends just before the subsequent step may begin. This concept is related to non overlapping tasks of single resources. Workflow concepts are closely related to other concepts used to describe organizational structure, such as silos, functions, teams, projects, policies and hierarchies. Workflows may be viewed as one primitive building block of organizations. The relationships among these concepts are described later in this entry. The term workflow is used in computer programming to capture and develop humanto-machine interaction. 2)Workforce management SystemWorkforce management (WFM) encompasses all the activities needed to maintain a productive workforce. Under the umbrella of human resource management, WFM is sometimes referred to as HRMS systems, or even part of ERP systems. Recently, the concept of workforce management has begun to evolve into workforce optimization. Specifically, workforce management includes:

Payroll and benefits HR administration Employee self-services Time and attendance Career and succession planning / talent acquisition Talent management and/or applicant tracking Learning management and/or training management Performance management Forecasting and scheduling Workforce tracking and emergency assist Absence management

3)Knowledge Management System-Knowledge management (KM) comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizations as processes or practices. Knowledge management efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement of the organization. KM efforts overlap with organizational learning, and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on

encouraging the sharing of knowledge. It is seen as an enabler of organisational learning and a more concrete mechanism than the previous abstract research. 4)Social software- Social software applications include communication tools and interactive tools often based on the Internet. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video as well. Interactive tools handle mediated interactions between a pair or group of users. They focus on establishing and maintaining a connection among users, facilitating the mechanics of conversation and talk.

Q4. Explain the challenges that international employees encounter. Ans. Challenges that international employees encounter are as follow: Recruiting: For job seekers exploring the international job market, finding lucrative, legitimate and interesting jobs can be difficult, despite the availability of Internet resources. Job seekers relying on job postings must filter through pages of brief descriptions and hope that their qualifications are well-received by potential overseas employers. HR Practices: Multinational corporations face the challenge of developing human resources initiatives for countries whose employment laws and social practices differ from U.S. laws and social considerations. For instance, U.S. labor and employment laws pertaining to collective bargaining rights differ from similar regulations in European nations. This means companies operating in international markets require human resource professionals who possess knowledge and expertise in employment practices for a number of overseas locations. This may require recruiting human resources experts from those countries to assist U.S. companies with developing fair employment policies and understanding the cultural norms and social practices of international workers. Expatriation: Expatriate employees -- referred to as "expats" -- are those who leave their home country to work abroad. Expatriation is the process of preparing employees for relocating to another country. An expat agreement addresses matters not usually covered by a typical employment contract. For instance, an employer may require that employees model company ethics and philosophy to preserve the employer's global business reputation. In addition, an expatriate agreement sets forth conditions of employment such as term length, compensation, incentive and other international expenses.

Logistics: When U.S. workers accept career opportunities in another country, the human resources department constructs agreements for the safe and efficient relocation and transfer of employees and families. If foreign language skills are a job requirement, the company may provide the resources for such education. Housing accommodations, spousal employment, dependent education and household goods shipments are some of the challenges of international relocation handled by a human resources staff member. Repatriation: Repatriation begins when an expatriate employee completes her assignment and returns to her home country. Often, employees need help readjusting to life at home. Depending on the length of the assignment, employees may have to be re-integrated to the workplace. If an expat has sold his home and uprooted his family, the employer generally absorbs the expenses of these repatriation steps to enable a smooth transition into the workplace. Repatriation can present a challenge in terms of funding the process. Work Visas: Sponsoring work visas for international workers can be one of the most difficult challenges in the international job market for political and logistical reasons. Work visas can be costly and extremely time-consuming because of the amount of paperwork necessary, the limited number of visas available and the lottery-type processes for obtaining visas for prospective employees from other countries. Companies also may have to deal with the negative implications of hiring workers from outside the country. Guaranteeing job security based on work visas can be perceived as innovative or unsettling, depending on how effective global corporations are at managing international employment.

Q5. Every organisation faces disciplinary problems from employees. Explain the major types of disciplinary problems faced in organisations. Ans. The main types of disciplinary problems are explained as follows: Excessive Absenteeism: Absenteeism occurs when an employee does not report to work due to time off, illness or any other reason. Excessive absenteeism results in loss of productivity. Absenteeism is corrected by employing progressive discipline. Employees need to be aware of the absenteeism policy of the company. They also have to be aware of the fact that the company monitors employee absence. Employees need to take responsibility for their absenteeism and substantiate their absenteeism with valid records like medical certificates in case of health related absences.

Poor Timekeeping: Reporting late to work, leaving early, indulging in extended teaor lunch breaks, doing personal work during office hours, and other timewasting practices reduce the time spent doing productive work. Poor timekeeping disrupts business and creates a bad atmosphere. These habits have to be curbed and employees need to know that it is mandatory for them to spend certain fixed hours at their workstations or premises doing productive tasks. Improper Personal Appearance: Dress codes are enforced in organisations to project a professional appearance or for safety reasons. Employees are to be made aware of the consequences of their inappropriate attire. For example, synthetic clothes can catch fire easily. Company policy also needs to describe situations where the employee has to dress formally. Substance Abuse:Alcohol and drug abuse can lower employee concentration and decrease performance. Substance abuse also results in absenteeism, accidents at workplace and inappropriate behavior. Organizational policies on substance abuse need to be communicated with the staff. Employees who are addicted to alcohol or drugs have to be counseled or helped in other ways like therapy and detoxification programmers. Defective Performance:Defective performance results when a task is not completed on time, or is of sub-standard quality, or the task is not done according to requirements. An employee may perform poorly either due to lack of interest or due to lack of capability. Managers need to assess poor performances individually, determine the constraints and take corrective actions. Poor Attitudes: Sleeping on the job, being careless while working, fighting with coworkers, gambling in the work place, insulting supervisors, being rude to customers and colleagues, and such practices reflect poor attitudes. These actions can adversely affect other employees. Thus, these attitudes have to be corrected to maintain a good and productive work atmosphere. Violation of Health and Safety Rules: Smoking in unauthorized places, failure tousle safety devices, not following safety rules regarding fire safety, dealing with hazardous chemicals, electrical and mechanical equipment and radiation protection are serious violations and have to be dealt with immediately and effectively. Workplace Violence: Companies need to have training programmers to its security personnel so that they recognize warning signs and know how to deal with violent behavior of employees. Employee handbooks need to clearly state that violent behavior will not be tolerated and will result in termination.

Harassment: This behavior causes discomfort to the co-workers and reduces employee morale. Making crude and sexual remarks or forcing another co-worker to do certain non-legitimate tasks constitutes harassment. For example, a manager may repeatedly ask an unwilling subordinate for a date. Companies need to have in place a clear sexual harassment policy and employees have to be trained on what constitute harassment. Theft and Sabotage: Sometimes employees steal money, equipment, supplies or confidential information belonging to the company. Some aggressive employees may damage or destroy organizational equipment and facilities. Some employees may falsify records and accept bribes and indulge in actions that are detrimental to the organization. Organizations have to strictly deal with such problems. Q6.Imagine yourself as the HR Manager of a steel company and you find that for members of the production team in your organisation are in conflict and this has affected the productivity of the team. What steps will you take to resolve the conflict and improve the team productivity? Ans. Conflict in the workplace cost company money. Studies show that 24-60% from management time and energy is spent dealing with anger. There is no doubt that this leads to increased stress among employees, hampered performance and absenteeism, which, in the ends reflects in decreased productivity. Furthermore, if you were thinking that employee?s skills and motivation are the main reasons for performance problems, well, researchers estimate that strained relationships between employees have the most significant part of reason (65%). The reasons conflicts might appear into an organization are various.. In this respect I have presented below the steps to resolve conflict: Resolving Conflict: When a team oversteps the mark of healthy difference of opinion, resolving conflict requires respect and patience. The human experience of conflict involves our emotions, perceptions, and actions; we experience it on all three levels, and we need to address all three levels to resolve it. We must replace the negative experiences with positive ones.The three-stage process below is a form of mediation process, which helps team members to do this: Step 1: Prepare for Resolution Acknowledge the conflict The conflict has to be acknowledged before it can be managed and resolved. The tendency is for people to ignore the first signs

of conflict, perhaps as it seems trivial, or is difficult to differentiate from the normal, healthy debate that teams can thrive on. Discuss the impact As a team, discuss the impact the conflict is having on team dynamics and performance. Agree to a cooperative process Everyone involved must agree to cooperate in to resolve the conflict. This means putting the team first, and may involve setting aside your opinion or ideas for the time being. If someone wants to win more than he or she wants to resolve the conflict, you may find yourself at a stalemate. Agree to communicate The most important thing throughout the resolution process is for everyone to keep communications open. The people involved need to talk about the issue and discuss their strong feelings. Active listening is essential here because to move on you need to really understand where the other person is coming from.

Step 2: Understand the Situation:Once the team is ready to resolve the conflict, the next stage is to understand the situation, and each team member's point of view. Take time to make sure that each person's position is heard and understood. Remember that strong emotions are at work here so you have to get through the emotion and reveal the true nature of the conflict. Clarify positions Whatever the conflict or disagreement, it's important to clarify people's positions. Whether there are obvious factions within the team who support a particular option, approach or idea, or each team member holds their own unique view, each position needs to be clearly identified and articulated by those involved. Analyze in smaller groups Break the team into smaller groups, separating people who are in alliance. In these smaller groups, analyze and dissect each position, and the associated facts, assumptions and beliefs. Convene back as a team After the group dialogue, each side is likely to be much closer to reaching agreement. The process of uncovering facts and assumptions allows people to step away from their emotional attachments and see the issue more objectively. When you separate alliances, the fire of conflict can burn out quickly, and it is much easier to see the issue and facts laid bare.

Step 3: Reach Agreement: Now that all parties understand the others' positions, the team must decide what decision or course of action to take. With the facts and assumptions considered, it's easier to see the best of action and reach agreement. If further analysis and evaluation is required, agree what needs to be done, by when and by whom, and so plan to reach agreement within a particular timescale. If appropriate, define which decision making and evaluation tools are to be employed.

If such additional work is required, the agreement at this stage is to the approach itself: Make sure the team is committed to work with the outcome of the proposed analysis and evaluation.