Employment Relations Essay
Over the years employment issues have raised concerns almost in every country in the world. The issues include; available job opportunities, the manner of recruitment into jobs, remuneration, conflicts in job places arising from poor management and poor employee employer relationships. The declining job opportunities have given most employers the opportunity to take advantage of the high labour turnover by frustrating their employees.
As employers seek to maximize their profits, some of them have done this at expense of their employees by providing poor working environment or low salaries and wages that are way below the conventional standards. Nowadays most employers have adopted policies of providing employment on contract basis, temporary or even make them part-time jobs to avoid any permanent binding contract and the disadvantages (to the employer) that go with it. Most company managers do not take into account the best management strategies or policies that would result in employee motivation and as a result an increase in employee performance.
Two common approaches have been developed to explain some management strategies employed by most employers. They are; the pluralism approach and unitary approach and both give have divergent views on management. THE PRINCIPLES OF UNITARY AND PLURALISM APPROACHES Unitary approach
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Besides, trade unions are perceived to be the cause of conflict in the organization since they are seen as competing with the management. (Dundoon & Rollinson, 2004). Unitarism therefore derived from the fact that employees are pursuing one common goal and receiving orders from one sole authority in the organization. On the other hand, the pluralism approach assumes that the organization is comprises of powerful and divergent sub-groups that include the management and other employees (trade unions). In the organization, management and ownership are separate entities.
According to the approach conflicts of differing interest groups; that is the management and employees normal and inevitable. Thus the role of the management would be more of enforcing, controlling and co-ordination of the activities within the organisation. It recognizes trade unions as legal representatives of employees and therefore is mandated by the employees to perform a collective bargaining role with their managers on their behalf. Managers should therefore be aware that conflicts are part and parcel of any organization and should always be ready to resolve conflicts arising within the organization using a set of rules and procedures.
(Keke, 1993). This approach derives its name from the fact that any organization applying such an approach recognizes divergent opinions from the different sub-groups that exist in an organization. These two approaches view management of organizations differently, but each tries to explain management could be made to achieve its objectives in the best way possible. However in the 21st century where the world is struggling to achieve democracy, improve the living standards of the people by achieving greater economic growths; it would be appropriate if most organization apply more democratization strategies such as the pluralism approach.
According to this approach, Employees are also involved in the decision making and therefore they are motivated to perform better and they feel like they are part of the company since their views are taken into considerations especially that, that involves their welfare. Again organizations applying such an approach to would normally recruit its employees on permanent basis and have clear structures of employee appraisals. Besides, the recognition of the unions by the organizations makes negations for salary increment or improvement of working conditions easier and legitimate.
These conditions would encourage an employee to be more committed in the job and hence be more innovative. MANAGEMENT DIVERSITY OF ORGANISATIONS Different organizations employ different approaches while some would try to integrate the approaches for better management of the organization. Organizations that employ the unitary approach use autocratic means on their employs and use their authority bestowed in the management office to rule rather to manage. In this approach, formation of trade unions by employees is not permitted.
An employee is supposed to act as an individual within the organization and should always present his or her grievances as an individual. In such organizations, if a union is recognized by the company then it only plays a mere role of communicating organization’s information between groups of staff and the company. Managers unchallenged powers over their juniors and therefore have the authority to allocate tasks to any employee with any prior consultation to discuss whether the employee can perform the job or not.
Again in such organizations, managers try to maintain their employees’ loyalty by designing a reward system that ensures employee loyalty and commitment within the organization. Appraisals are normally not on merit but how loyal one is to the management or the immediate supervisor. The management does not allow for formation of trade unions since they believe that trade unions if allowed in the company would champion the rights of employees. Managers therefore employ intimidation and frustration tactics like employing workers on contract and constantly threatening to sack anybody who fails to be loyal.
In this case employees have no job security. The government may not be able to be able resolve any conflict resulting from such management problems since employees can prove any binding contract between him or and the company. In summary, in organizations applying this approach, managers treat workers impersonally. Organizations which emphasize the application of the pluralism approach tend to be better managed although with constant conflict resolutions, but workers feel motivated and hence find a reason to work in such organization.
One of the most important things is to work in an environment where you feel free and not constantly intimidated by the management. In such companies workers grievances are tabled to the management and is discussed by the trade union leaders and the managers; and their opinions taken into consideration. Managers perform their roles organizing, controlling and co-ordination activities; and more of persuading role in order to make the organization run smoothly.
These organizations which apply such an approach normally employ their staff on a more long term basis and the policies of job appraisals and rewards are clearly stated and are not floated as opposed to the unitary approach. Workers are appraised on merit and based on how loyal one is to the immediate supervisor. They therefore strive to achieve appraisals to other levels. According to this approach the management recognizes that trade union is not a cause of conflict within the, but rather expressions of diverse interests within the workplace.
It enables the management to deal with problems on a collective basis and is also regarded as an effective and efficient institutionalizing employment rules within the organization. Again, it creates a kind of balance of power between the management and the employees due to its role of collective bargaining. (Jarvis, 2005). TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT These two approaches provide different reasons and forms of employee training. T he unitary approach, employees chosen to suit the job to be performed and not according to the job requirement since the job is broken down to suit low level skills.
The employees are therefore trained to perfect their performance in those areas. Employees are expected to be flexible and multi-skilled so as to do any job he or she may be chosen to perform. In the pluralism approach the management recognizes that an employee performs better in are that he or she has specialized in. It recognizes that one has to be properly trained and manipulated like a robot. If one has to do a job that he or she is not trained in the he or she has to undergo a special training regarding that job before being assigned to perform the job.
CONCLUSION For employees to be motivated to perform and to feel to be part of the organization, there is need to put in place practices that make feel like so. Employee participation in decision making should be part of organization policies so as to encourage creativity, innovation and team work spirit within the organization. This would also make problem solving within the organization easier and discourage rebellions within the company since their problems and grievances can always be presented to the managers by the trade union leaders without any victimization.
In other words, trade unions should be encouraged and trade union leaders should be given the green light to carry out their representative duties. There should also be good terms and conditions of employment by providing good remuneration packages which should always be revised; and also favourable working environment. Finally, the organizational goals should be communicated and discussed with the employees of the organization. Companies should also seek help from external arbitrators in conflict resolution situations. (Kamoche, 2001). REFERENCE Chang, C. & Liao, I.
(2009). Individual Characteristics, Organizational Justice and Job Attitudes of Employees under Non-standard Work Arrangements: Study of Employees of International Tourist Hotels. International Journal of Management. Dundoon, T. & Rollinson, D. ((2004). Employment Relations in non-unions. Firms Routledge, New York. Jarvis, C. (2005). Seminar 3, Systems Perspectives: Hard and Soft Kamoche, K. (2001). Understanding human resource management. Open University press, Buckingham. Keke, J. (1993). The morality of pluralism. Princeton University Press, Princeton.