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ASSIGNMENTS

MU 0003
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS MANAGEMENT
Set I

1. Explain the essential elements of a good organizational culture

Essential Elements of a Good Organizational Culture:

a) Vision, Mission and Values

The vision, mission and core values of the organization must not only be
clearly written down, displayed prominently but also be integrated as key
statements of purpose and philosophy into the recruitment and orientation
programs, internal company communications, training and development
schemes, methods of appraisal, recognition and reward. It must be ensured
that each and every employee of the organization is aware of the vision,
mission and values of the organization and is able to relate to it from his
own sphere of activities.

b) New Staff Recruitment

All new recruitments must be done keeping the organization’s values and
mission central. Aspiring employees must be given adequate time to get to
know these aspects before they come and join as members of the team. All
prospective employees must be screened with tools like profiling available
in the market today.

c) New Staff Orientation

The new employees joining the organization must be actively helped in


settling down and given confidence of a long and productive career. Studies
show that employees who get thorough and thoughtful orientations will stay
longer and contribute more throughout their careers.

d) Training & Development Programs

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Investing in training and staff development programs is good. But many
companies engage a wide assortment of trainers and programs, making little
effort to ensure a smooth and beneficial integration. It must be ensured that
all the trainers, be it outside or in-house, are clearly aware of the
organization’s vision, mission and values. They must be able to describe the
issues and major challenges facing their company today.

e) Annual Appraisals

Annual appraisals must be a stamp of quality. If talent has to be retained,


then the assessment must be on the range, depth and volume of the
employees’ ideas. If the organization encourages open culture, the appraisals
must also be on an open format. If, however, a cross-functional and non-
hierarchical communication is desired, a 360-degree appraisal process must
be employed. No amount of broadcasting company values will matter if
people are measured by other standards.

f) Rewards & Recognition Programs

The old adage is true: what gets rewarded gets done. But not all rewards are
monetary. They may be public, private, formal, informal, planned,
unexpected, elegant, simple and unique. The most motivating rewards may
be public celebrations of the people and actions that exemplify the
organization’s highest values. The practices of rewards and recognition must
be highly inspiring, must be applied frequently and consistently. People
thrive on appreciation, recognition and reward and the company culture must
provide enough of this.

g) Company Social Events

Too many social gatherings are expensive undertakings that provide an


outlet for stress but do little to enhance communication or commitment to
the business. It doesn’t have to be this way. Memorable social events can
deliver enjoyment for the staff and build enthusiasm for your company’s
goals, achievements and values. Ideally a cross-functional team must be put
in charge of design and delivery at a social event, given time and budget,
provided with professional and management support, parameters and
guidelines for linkage to the business and the organization set. Such a team
will actually will enhance communication and commitment. Lavish praise

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for an event well done is extremely essential for building a tradition of
interaction that deepens and strengthens as it grows.

h) Suggestion Schemes

Managers want feedback and suggestions for improvement from staff. But
very few organizations can point with pride to widely respected and
frequently used suggestion schemes. Making the suggestion scheme
program more than just a box on the wall requires rapid response from
management, immediate implementation of good ideas, and generous
recognition for contributions. Some companies have instituted novel
schemes like giving gift coupons / incentives every month for the best new
suggestion. Once people realize there is a prize given out every month,
you’ll find the suggestion box brimming with input by the month’s end.

i) Management and Staff Interaction

Management and staff will work better together if they have abundant
opportunities to interact. Frequent team meetings must be scheduled. Secure
opportunities for staff to speak up without fear of reprisal or retribution must
be provided. Panel discussions may be created where all sides can ask
questions and receive candid (not defensive) replies.

j) Rites and Rituals

Companies with strong culture evolve rites or rituals that are memorable and
unique. Such rituals must be such that employees look forward for these and
enhance their performance to compete for recognition. For example, at one
multinational, significant sales are honoured by the key salesperson ringing
a huge Chinese gong at the beginning of the monthly sales meeting. The
message rings loud and clear: Successful sales are good reason for public
celebrations.

At the Service Quality Training Centre of an organization, new trainers are


thrown fully clothed into the water at their first company retreat. The
message: “We’re all in this together. Welcome aboard.”

k) Internal Communications

Internal communication must be clear, unambiguous and follow laid down


channels rather than “leaking”. Memos must be clear, crisp and avoid being
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unnecessarily exhaustive. Bulletin Boards must be devoid of old
announcements, faded backgrounds and ancient pieces of tape. The
organization’s Newsletter must focus on current customers, real issues and
difficult but significant achievements and must be seen as an open forum
rather than sanitized propaganda from Head Office. In case of an e-mail
environment, the access must be open and response encouraged.

l) External Communications

How the organization communicates with the outside world reflects back
upon the internal staff. It must be such that the employees take pride in
advertising and public relations your company sponsors. The corporate
image must be fresh.

m) Management Role Modelling

The most powerful action for building company “culture” is management


members leading by their own example. What is advertised must be
practised.

2. Discuss two types of discipline.

Types of Discipline:

Discipline is classified as either positive or negative. The characteristics of


both are as under:

(a) Positive Discipline:

i) It implies a sense of duty to observe the rules regulations and is


also called self-discipline.

ii) It involves creation of a favourable atmosphere in the


organization whereby employees willingly conform to the
established rules and regulations.

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iii) Positive discipline can be achieved through rewards and effective
leadership.

iv) It is more effective than negative discipline.

v) Positive discipline promotes co-operation and co-ordination with


a minimum of formal organization and reduces the need for personal
supervision required to maintain standards.

vi) According to Spriegel, “Positive discipline does not replace


reason but applies reason to the achievement of a common objective.
Positive discipline does not restrict the individual but enables him to
have a greater freedom in that he enjoys a greater degree of self-
expression in striving to achieve the objective, which he identifies as
his own.”

(b) Negative Discipline:

It is also known as punitive or corrective discipline. It involves imposition of


penalties or punishment to force workers to obey rules and regulations. The
objective is to ensure that employees do not violate the rules and regulations.
Negative disciplinary action involves such techniques as fines, reprimand,
demotion, layoff, transfer, etc. Negative discipline does not eliminate
undesirable behaviour; it merely oppresses it. It requires regular monitoring
causing wastage of valuable time. Punishment also causes resentment and
hostility. While exercising negative discipline, management should proceed
in a sequential manner, viz.,
an oral reprimand, a written reprimand, a warning, temporary suspension
and dismissal or discharge.

3. Explain the operational role of manager.

Operational Roles

These roles include recruiting, training and developing employees, co-


ordinating HR activities with the actions of managers and supervisors
throughout the organization and resolving differences between employees.

i) Recruiter (Talent Acquisition)


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HR managers have to use their experience to good effect while laying down
lucrative career paths to new recruits without, increasing the financial
burden to the company and selection of an appropriate candidate possessing
requisite knowledge, skills and experience

ii) Trainer, Developer, Motivator

HR managers have to find skill deficiencies from time to time, offer


meaningful training opportunities, and bring out the latent potential of
people through intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, which are valued by
employees.

iii) Co-ordinator

The HR manager is often deputed to act as a link between


various divisions/departments of an organization. The whole exercise is
meant to develop good relations with divisional heads, using PR and
communication skills of HR executives to the maximum possible extent.

iv) Mediator

The Personnel Manager acts as a mediator in case of friction between two


employees, groups of employees, superiors and subordinates and employees
and management with the sole objective of maintaining industrial harmony.

iv) Employee Champion

Liberalization, privatization and globalization pressures now require HR


professionals to move closer to the hearts of employees in their own self-
interest. To deliver results they are involved in:

• Placing right people on the right job


• Charting a suitable career path for each employee
• Rewarding creditable performance
• Resolving differences between employees and groups smoothly
• Adopting family-friendly policies
• Ensuring fair and equitable treatment to all people regardless of their
background
• Striking a happy balance between the employee’s
personal/professional as also the larger organizational needs

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• Representing workers’ issues, problems and concerns to the
management in order to deliver effective results

ASSIGNMENTS
MU 0003
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS MANAGEMENT
Set II

1. Explain the characteristics of communication

Characteristics of Communication:

a) Communication is perception: The essence of communication is


getting across what you exactly want to. If the other person fails to
perceive what is intended in the message, no communication takes place.
The effectiveness of communication thus is limited to the range of
perception of the recipient.

b) Communication is expectation: People perceive only what they


expect to – depending upon their own needs, values, motives,
background or even the situational context. The unexpected is ignored or
misunderstood. For example, two persons, in a park may observe entirely
different things while looking at the same object. It is because they
looked for or saw in the light of their needs, values, etc.

c) Communication makes demands: Communicational demands are in


terms of emotional selection, preference or rejection, on part of the
receiver from all that is being sent to him. Communication also demands
of the receiver to do or believe something or for that matter become
somebody.

d) Communication differs from information: Communication is highly


personal and has a large component of emotions, values and needs of
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individuals. At the same time, communication and information are
interdependent.

e) Channels of Communication

The table 3.3 depicts the different forms of channels, one or more of
which can be used to convey a message.

Mode Vocal Non-Vocal


Verbal / Written words, Facial Expression, Posture,
Spoken words, Sigh,
Gesture (body language) Spatial
Non- Grunt, Inflection
relationship
verbal

2. Explain the causes of Industrial disputes

Causes of Industrial Disputes:

(a) Wages and Allowances: Demand for increase in wages and


allowances not being agreed to by the employer are one of the most
important causes of industrial disputes.

(b) Bonus: Workers and trade unions want a share in the profits of
industry. Employers’ refusal to share the profits results in disputes.

(c) Personnel and Retrenchment: Victimization of workers, refusal by


employer, to recognize trade union, communication gap between employers
and employee, suspension and dismissal of workers fall in this category.

(d) Leave and Hours of Work: Poor working conditions and violation of
Factories Act, 1948 provisions concerning leave and working hours is
another cause industrial unrest.

(e) Indiscipline and Violence: Lack of discipline among workers and


violence on the part of employers, trade union leaders and workers result in
serious disputes.

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(f) Other Reasons: Inter-union rivalry, multiplicity of unions, political
pressure on workers, petty quarrels, misbehaviour, automation and other
similar factors.

3. Explain the impact of globalization on HRM

Impact of Globalization on HRM:

Globalization has wide-ranging effects on different aspects of human


resource management.

a) Impact on Employment

Entry of multinationals and expansion of Indian firms since 1991 has led to
increase in employment opportunities. At the same time, closure of several
firms, which, could not survive in a highly competitive market, has resulted
in loss of employment. The Government of India has created a National
Renewal Fund to compensate workers thrown out of jobs.

b) Impact on Human Resource Development

Under global competition, more qualified staff is required to satisfy and


delight customers. Therefore, globalization and liberalization have positive
impact on HRD. Proactive and continuous learning has become necessary.
Along with competency-building, building of positive attitude and values are
being stressed upon.

c) Impact of Compensation

Globalization has resulted in higher salary benefits for highly skilled and
committed employees but low wages for the unskilled and indifferent.

d) Impact on Trade Unions

Initially, trade unions in India resisted the policy of economic liberalization,


globalization and privatization. But gradually, they have accepted the
realities. In some cases, unions are co-operating with management to ensure
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the survival of their organisations, which is at stake in a competitive
environment.

e) Other Effects

Globalization has improved professional human resource practices such as


employee empowerment, quality circles, employee counseling, and flextime.

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