Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 3 MU0003 ± Employee Relations Management - 2 Credits

(Book ID: B0775) Assignment Set- 1

Question 1: Elaborate on the framework of Employee Relations? Answer 1: The Framework of Employee Relations Any organization, in order to attain its goals successfully, must always endeavour to develop and maintain healthy employee relations. The framework for such relations must be based on the following: a) Integration: The needs of individuals, groups and the organization must be seamlessly integrated. Such cross-matching of interests will invariably result in a healthy organizational climate and promote creativity and productivity. It is a management responsibility to initiate measures to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding so that the employees appreciate both organizational and environmental constraints and support the company at all times. b) Employee Participation: Supportive climate and mutual trust and confidence can be created by involving workers and their groups in the decision-making process. Management should be open to ideas and accept or reject an idea or suggestion based on its merits and not on the source of the idea or suggestion. The management must appreciate the problem of the employees and strive to resolve these at the earliest. Communication channels must be kept open and the employee must be given an opportunity to be heard. Such involvement not only improves the quality of decisions but also leads to the satisfaction of ego needs of employees. They feel recognized and their attitude is always positive. Joint management councils or committees consisting of equal representative of workers and management may be constituted. Frank and fair discussions/meetings help to secure and preserve unity among workers and managers. Effective use of group dynamics is a must.

c) Congenial Work Environment: Management must create a work environment wherein workers can perform their jobs with a sense of security and camaraderie. They must value the task they are performing. Simultaneously, the management must ensure job security, a meaningful and challenging job, scope for opportunity and advancement and satisfying interpersonal relationships for the employees. d) Communication: Most of the employee relations problems arise due to lack of communication or inadequate or a distorted communication. The desire to have knowledge about the current situation, future prospects, company policies and contemplated changes is one of the basic needs of an employee. Lack of communication leads to fear, misunderstanding and distrust. Therefore, management should maintain open channels of communication, particularly upward communication. Employee handbooks, grievance procedures, suggestion schemes, etc. enable management to understand the feelings, fears and aspirations of employees. Informal communication or grapevine is generally used to supplement and support the formal channels of communications. However, strict vigil on rumours must be kept with all efforts to arrest them at the earliest. e) Adaptive Leadership: Leadership style must be determined by the situation and must be flexible. An effective leader is one who fully understands his employees and adapts his approach to the requirements of the situation. In order to develop healthy relations, managers should listen carefully, talk less and give decision in the opportune time. Decision delayed is harmful to the organization as it leads to mistrust. Managers must uphold the dignity of the individual employees and must have a positive attitude. Orders must be clear and unambiguous. f) Resolving Conflicts: Continuous efforts must be made to reduce and minimize inter-personal and intergroup conflicts. The genesis of the conflict must be identified and the solution must be such that it satisfies the interest of both parties albeit not fully. Healthy employee relations can be developed through an integrative and problem-solving approach in which both the parties gain satisfaction of their needs in a co-operative manner and not at the expense of one another. Such a situation requires impartial, continuous and positive communication with the parties concerned.

g) Conditioning Behaviour: Conditioning the behaviour of people is one of the effective ways of building healthy employee relations at work. This involves the use of positive and negative reinforcements. Rewards must be used to reinforce desirable behaviour while punishment must be used to discourage undesirable behaviour. The most important aspect being that the managers must themselves have exemplary conduct. h) Personnel Counseling: An ideal manager must have big ears to listen to all the problems, a pair of big eyes to observe things, a big head to analyze and arrive at an effective solution, a big tummy to keep things confidential and a small mouth to speak less. Thus a manager must listen patiently and help expeditiously resolve the problems faced by workers both inside and outside the organization. Counseling reduces the build up of tension and improves their self-confidence. The employee feels at home in the four walls of the factory or office.

Question 2: Discuss any five important elements of good organizational culture. Answer 2:

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

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.

Question 3: Mr.Kapoor is the CEO of Dream Décor Furniture¶s Company. He has to diversify his business. He wants to assess the leadership style of some of his senior managers. Manager 1- (Has a high consideration for people and low for structure) Manager 2 ± (Has a high consideration for people and also high for structure) Manager 3 ± (Has a low consideration for people and high for structure) Manager 4 ± (Has a low consideration for people and low for structure) Refer to the Grid approach and help Mr. Kapoor to clearly understand the leadership styles for all the managers. Which style is best, according to you? Explain.

Answer 3:

Grid Approach of Leadership (Blake ± Mouton)
The grid approach to leadership has been developed by R.R. Blake and J.S. Mouton. It was primarily developed for assessing the personality of a leader in terms of his concern for task and concern for people, and later, attempting behavioural modification in him through Managerial Grid training program. Since each axis of the grid has 9 steps, a leader¶s performance can be plotted anywhere on 81 small boxes of grid by obtaining his score with the help of a questionnaire. However, for the purposes of studying the styles of leadership the grid can be divided into five main areas. These are shown in Figure Below:

Figure: Grid Approach of Leadership i) Location 9, 1 Style (Task) This style represents the task or mission oriented leader. He cares little about the feelings of his group members. He believes in close supervision and proves impatient about the slackness, delay or failure on the part of group members. This type of behaviour of leader is suited for handling certain types of emergency conditions. ii) Location 9, 9 Style (Team) This type of leader tries to integrate both mission accomplishment and welfare of men. He helps the development of those members of his group who are committed to the achievement of organizational goals. Such members, with their stake in the organization¶s purpose, co-operate with each other and work in an interdependent manner. They trust and respect each other and that helps them in creating a congenial work environment. This makes the task of the leader easy. He works with conviction that µpeople support what they help to create¶.

iii) Location 1, 9 Style (Country Club) The leader belonging to this quadrant of the grid is also called the club manager. The welfare of people is his sole aim. He is likely to fail in achieving organization¶s time bound objectives. Since his heart is full of compassion and he cannot see people suffering. He lives with the idea that µa happy team produces the best results¶. iv) Location 1, 1 Style (Impoverished) This is the non-involved type of leader. He neither causes any event nor directs any event taking place on its own. He considers that mission accomplishment and welfare of people are conflicting goals. The best results are achieved if the procedures established in the past are allowed to continue. An organization headed by such a leader can consider itself lucky if it could just maintain the standards of efficiency achieved under an earlier dynamic leader. v) 5, 5 Style (Middle Road) This is the leader who follows µmiddle-of-the-road¶ policy. He thinks that by being µfirm but fair¶ he can achieve the best results. He is a compromiser. He strives to achieve results without unduly upsetting the people. Such a leader is best suited to play the role of a conciliator in the labor management conflicts.

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