Term Paper, 9 pages (2000 words)

Term paper on managing human resources and industrial relations

Section A

Question One:
– Adopting a union substitution strategy and refusing to negotiate with the union
This approach involves a complete oversight of the union. The approach would enable the company to necessarily bypass the union and negotiate any issues with the employees either individually or collectively. This approach bears fruit in cases where the union wields a lot of powers that in many cases may threaten the operations of the organization. However, it equally comes with the risk of losing the employee trust and recognition. Employees often feel respected and recognized by the employer who allows them to operatein unions for purposes of negotiations and collective bargaining. In the case of Moddern Food the approach will not be justifiable.
– Union recognition strategy limited to negotiation of tradition Industrial Relations matters
Under this approach the organization would afford the employees the opportunity to champion their plights and concerns through the union. However, the scope of the negotiation would be limited to traditional industrial relations matters. This approach empowers the employees with the traditional rights such as right to collective bargaining on the remuneration and allowances. It need be noted that the union recognition approach would earn the employer the recognition and trust of the employees as they would possess a feeling of belonging and acceptance by the organization. This approach equally protects the employer from unnecessary demands by the union as the subject of discussion is predetermined and limited to the traditional industrial relations matters. Anything over and above that is considered beyond scope and subjected to special negotiation which may take different forms. This approach is the best recommended for Moddern Foods for it protects them from unnecessary and excess liabilities and demands while allowing the employees a degree of power and expression.
– Agree to work in partnership either with union or employee individually on a full range of issues
This approach entails an open door policy where any and every issue arising even though not predetermined may be subjected to negotiation. It allows a degree of dialogue and a cohesive approach to work. This approach bet works for organizations where the conflicts between management and employees is minimal and under control. In that context, no party stands to lose and no deadlocks are likely to be experienced. However, for organizations where the interests of the parties are diverse and run the risk of conflicting, it may fail. This approach would likely subject the organization to deadlocks in which the delays would devolve into operating losses and opportunity costs. In that context, it remains an area worth exploiting in the near future after the organizational objectives have been harmonized to be in tandem with those of the employees hence reducing the occurrences of conflict of interest.
– Different approaches in different divisions
This approach suggests a hybrid arrangement for the three main divisions. Under this approach it would be essential for the organization to assign the best form in relation to the employees in the divisions. For instance, for Moddern Food (Holding) which is majorly functional and service based, it would be appropriate to apply the union recognition subjected to an unlimited range of issues. This is because this division is likely to understand the position of the management as far as matters of organizational interests are concerned. For the Moddern Gourmet Delights, it would be recommended that the union be recognized but for a limited range of issues only related to traditional industrial relations. This will best cushion the organization from instances of conflict of interest while at the same time retain the skilled manpower in the division due to the recognition of their union. Lastly, for the Xpress Frozen Wonders it would be essential to adopt the union substitution method. This is the only safe division that can entertain the union substitution for its employees do not require skills. The organization would be able to easily replace the employees who exit as they only require elementary knowledge to cover the work. However, this approach is discriminative and would likely lead to apathy among a section of workers in some divisions which beats the spirit of teamwork and team building hence not recommended.

Question two: Incentive based and broad banding strategy in improving the employee behavior

It is essential to motivate the employees in whatever cadre of employment they are placed. For that reason, it would be essential for the organization to apply an incentive based strategy that ropes in the entire organization irrespective of the special and diverse contributions of the employees. It would, therefore, be essential for the employer to adopt a strategy that is inclusive and necessarily gets into board the entire employee base. In that context, an approach recommended is based on the broad banding. Under broad banding, the remuneration is not only pegged on the structure and category in which an employee falls. Rather lateral skills in the cadre are put into consideration in computing and arriving at the remuneration to be set. For instance, for the employees in the Moddern Food (Holding) the system would consider the additional skills in the service department. An employee would be remunerated for his special skills in bookkeeping and other accounting functions. In the Moddern Gourmet Delights an employee would be remunerated based on the skills in preparing the fresh orders. This would be a lateral skill in relation to culinary capability rather than merely relying on the overall cadre that the employee falls in. In addition, the system needs to be nuanced by the incentive based approach. In this approach, the main consideration would be the motivating factors for the employees. This approach can be used to justify an application of different motivators for the different divisions of employees. For instance, for the Xpress Frozen Wonders, the main incentive may be the provision of job security as their work is merely rudimentary requiring no special skills. On the other hand, in the Holding division the main motivation to the employees could be the provision of clear mechanisms of promotion. These employees may be in need for promotion and growth and would be able to sacrifice other lucrative offers that have no clear signs of growth and promotion. It is essential for the employer to understand the special interests of his employees in devising the structure for the organization. The suggested modes offer the employer an opportunity to create a unique yet fit in structure for all employees despite their special and diverse interests and qualifications. In the long run, the employer must seek to instill a rigid structure that would work for the organization and withstand the industrial pressures and developments.

Section B

Question 3: As the perpetrator of employees’ exclusion from the organization, the employer is placed in a situation that would seem to run counter to a high commitment strategy.
The statement refers to the conflicting dual function played by the employer. The employer is expected to work in harmony with the employee. A harmonious work organization would only be possible if the approach is inclusive, consultative and cooperative with the employer and the employee working as partners. However, in the same breadth the employer equally has the role of ensuring the organizational interests prevail and that organizational objectives are achieved. This has many a time led the employee into acting in an exclusionary approach. In the need to secure and fully implement its organizational objectives, an employer may be compelled in limiting the excesses of the employees. In that context, the employer may support approaches that are contrary to the expectation of the employee and the overall employee interest. It is this that often leads to a perpetration of the employees’ exclusion. The employee has to be denied participation in some quarters and at some levels for the very reasons that his interests will end up contrasting to the organizational objectives and hence complicate the implementation and design. In that context, employers have often resorted to having the participation at least incorporated at the implementation level and limit the formulation to the management only. This has been seen as an affront to the overall high commitment strategy as it plays contrary to the expectations of team work and team building. However, it is essential to examine the situation from a wider spectrum and gain an understanding of the underlying issues. Foremost, it is essential to appreciate that the employer is often in business. For that reason, the employer has definite and predetermined objectives. Often the objective could that of profit maximization through the minimization of operation costs. In that context, it needs to be understood that as much as the employer needs to incorporate the interests of the employee, it is primal that these interests do not go contrary to the overall employer objectives.
In addition, the idea of high commit strategy can only be applied in as much as it solves the interests of both parties. This concept should not be invoked to merely advance the courses of the employees. While the approach assumes that the two parties are equal, in actual sense, the employer often wields more power for reasons not limited to but including the fact that employers are the owners, they are the risk sufferers and will incur any losses that occur. It is, therefore, advisable that the high commitment be limited to some extent so as not to present situations where the employer fails to meet his interests. This is not to say that the exclusion should be applied absolutely. On the contrary, the exclusion needs to be justified and only applied to the extent of its necessity. Where no substantial interests are in conflict, it is advisable that employers apply an inclusive approach by including the employees through participation in decision making and policy formulation as well as implementation. In the long run the success of the organization would depend on the extent of structuring and an inclusive approach often stands a higher chance of success.
Question 2: Contradictions inherent in different employee participation and employee involvement schemes will become evident where such schemes are adopted in isolation because they are the latest ‘fads’, rather than as part of an integrated approach to the whole work environment of the organization.
The statement refers to the challenges facing implementation attempts bordering on matters of employee participation in schemes. The main problem that the designers of these schemes are yet to deal with concerns their sufficiency to address the employees’ problems and needs. The isolationist approach adopted has only worsened the situation because the product that is arrived at is not inclusive and in worse cases is faced with complete opposition by the employees. It is important for the project managers and the designers to devise mechanisms that would enable thorough consumption of the employee wishes and the incorporation thereof in the final postulated program. The scheme will be fully owned and implemented if the employees feel involved and have the feeling of belonging in the scheme. It is consequently a matter of procedural importance for the devising and designing of these schemes to take into cognition the desires and wishes of the employees.
This would be in line with the current trends of integration of processes. The line between the management and the employees need not be entirely be scrapped. However, there is pressing need for the robust nature of this line to be weakened. The organization must come up with inclusive structures that provide for the contribution, participation and feedback incorporation of the employees. This would lead to the reduction of the conflicts often inherent in the scheme and seen during the roll out. It would be important for the organizations to apply a proactive approach that seeks to establish the inclusion of all rather than make changes upon the implementation. The best approach in addressing this important element entails the involvement of the employees not only at the implementation stage, but right from the planning and formulation stage. The employees would welcome the idea if and when it is proven to them to be a product devised for their own good. In addition, employee inclusion enables sufficient time to explain the overall interests and reconcile these interests with the employees’ before roll out. It equally gives the chance for employees to argue their case and present their ideas for the betterment of the schemes which after all are meant for their welfare.
However, this does not mean that the managers fully delegate all the duties in the scheme. The scheme must take the form of the intention and concerns of the managers. In that breadth, the managers cannot fully delegate the duties. They ought to merely involve the employees in the policy formulation and implementation stages. This can be done for administrative purposes in a representative manner. The best form of representation is the choice of the employees. For that reason, the managers are best advised to allow the employees recommend their representatives without interference. The employees would feel fully represented if the persons involved are their choice rather than a choice of the employer from the employees. Lastly, the scheme must have an overriding objective which needs to be communicated to everyone in the organization. This would reduce the resistance which is often a result of misinformation and miscommunication.


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