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Managing Employee Relations

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Introduction to Managing Employee Relations

Employment relationship is the behavior and communication between the employer and employee (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy, 2004). This situation arises when an individual perform work and services under in return for the remuneration (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). It can be said that employee relation is concerned with forbid and overcoming the various problems arises within the business organization (Hislop, 2003). Proper employee relation will aid the London Underground management to manage the healthy relationship between the employee and employer. This in turn will aid the London Underground to overcome the problem of strike by properly understanding what are the need and demand of the employees. At the same type management of London Underground will also be able to know the exact reasons for the strike. In this report, London Underground’s offer an average rise of 2% and £2000 for drivers who work after 6:30pm. According to this case study almost 20000 workers were on strike for 24 hours from 6:30pm on Wednesday. In of which LU's chief operating officers Steve Griffiths has talk to staff and offer them the following things. Officer announced an average 2% increase in the basic pay, RPI inflation, whichever is greater in year 2016 and 2017. He also announced £500 non consolidated “launch bonus” to all the staff on night tube lines. He also announced £2000 “transition bonus” for the drives who were working overnight.

Therefore, in this essay interest of different stakeholders are discussed. In this power, control and conflict of the employee in relation to the employee relationship is also included. In this report various necessary measures have been undertaken in order to find out the actual cause of the strike. At the same time various steps have been undertaken to satisfy the employee by providing them what they want.

MAIN BODY

If the condition of the strike arises again than in that case management of London Underground should thoroughly understand what employee wants. What is the main cause for the strike? Management should talk to all the employees and try to resolve the problem. They should try to provide to the employee what they want. Strike was fairly handled well. The reason behind this could be that management of London Underground are easily able to dissolve the strike with 24 hours by offering them various allowances that employee's really wants.

1) Stakeholders

Stakeholders are independent party who are affected by the organization, strategy or projects. And at the same time these stakeholders can affect the working of the organization. These stakeholders can be present at both internal and external environment and they can be at the junior or senior level.

Some of the key stakeholders and there vary interest in lieu of the London Underground case are

Employee

Employee is the persons who work for the betterment of the company. In order to achieve the success in their business satisfy each and every employee is very important (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). Thus, an organization should make an effort s to satisfy its employees by providing them healthy work environment and job security. These employees in lieu of London Underground strike simply want safety of their life and at the same time relief from late night job or increase in the basic salary or monthly bonus and remuneration.

Customer

Customers are one of the valuable assets to the company. If customers are not satisfied; than in that case sales and profitability of the company will reduce (Guest, 2002). Customers simply want value for their money. They want high quality product at low price. Therefore, in lieu of London Underground customers want that they need not to wait for long time for the tickets and at the same time they want healthy environment at the station and safety of their life.

Authorities/Management

Management and authorities are the backbone of the company. They want to achieve the set target easily by managing all the activities (Baarslag and et.al, 2014). Thus, in context of London Underground strike case, management has made a certain offers in front of the staff members in order to manage all the problems that arising. Management by forming various strategies can be able to overcome the condition of the strike faced by the London Underground in lieu of the late night working of the employees

Thus, in order to satisfy the stakeholders London Underground management has taken into consideration the two styles that is consultative style and collectivism style.

Consultative style is the style of leadership which focuses on using the skills, experiences and ideas of other people in order to solve various problems that arose out of London Underground strike by the staff members (Bauer and Lingens, 2014). By using this style management has collected various ideas from them and then at last make the final decisions by themselves in lieu of which they have offered various solutions to the staff members like increasing their average pay or providing them bonus and many more things (Edwards, 2009).

Collectivism style - It is the style in which an individual form a group in order to achieve the desire target effectively (Morgan and Zeffane, 2003). In case of London Underground strike same style was adopted by both the employees and the management.

Employees form a large group of about 20000 individual employees in order to achieve their desired target, which was increase in pay, health and their safety (Oyserman, 2006). A large pressure by the group of employees forces the London Underground management to accept the demands of the employees. Similarly, in order to overcome this problem London Underground management has considered the following style. They have form a big association considering the Rail, Maritime and Transport union in order to overcome the problem of strike. They have considered the various idea and suggestion given by different union to satisfy the employees. These suggestion provided by different union should be undertaken by the London Underground to overcome the situation of strike.

There are three types of trade union that are taking place in the London (Craft union, industrial union and public employee unions).

Craft union represents the workers in specific occupation. Craft union was developed from the medieval Europe this union main aim is to represent the workers in the specific occupation, according to their skills (Cullinane and Dundon, 2014). This union tries to develop employee relations by studying every individual behavior and its related occupation.

Industrial Union represents the workers in the industrial sectors like transportation and food services. This union symbolizes the workers in long-haul trucking which comprises of variety of industrial jobs like trucking, construction and warehouse (Muhammad, 2015). One of the largest industrial trade unions in London is International Brotherhood of teamsters. This union makes an attempt to develop the employee relations by considering the various activities performed by every individual (Sy, Tram and O’Hara, 2006).

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Public sector unions are similar to that of industrial union. These union works for all regardless of their occupation (Guest and et.al, 2003). This union develops employee relation by considering the demand and behavior of the employees.

According to Robson, 2015, development of trade union will prove to be beneficial as well as hazardous to the London Underground management. If trade union is developed then London Union will be able to easily overcome the problem of strike faced by them. They can talk and make understand the individual leader of the union about the solution of the problem. Because making understand a single employee is very easily as compared to speaking to the large number of employees (Greasley and et.al, 2005).

2) Power, control and conflict

An organization should make efforts to impose various power and control on the employee in such a way that it does not hurt any employee (Kaynak, 2003). Company can use this power in order to overcome the problem of strike faced by London Underground.

Employee relationship shows the behavior and communication that take place between employee and employer. A healthy employee relationship between the employer and employee will create a healthy working environment in the organization (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). A healthy working environment in the organization will assist the company to achieve its desired objectives. A positive employee relationship within the organization will aid the company to overcome the various conflicts that arises between employee and employer, employee and employee (Bauer and Lingens, 2014). Many a time this employee relationship can also prove to be barrier in the success of the company. It can create groupism in the organization and groupism will lead to the conflict (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004).

Pluralism is the theory which says that several veto groups are formed out among the various political powers in various democracies especially in United States (Copeland, 2014). According to this theory only one veto group can win at a time. Thus, taking into consideration the above mention case it can be concluded that two veto group is formed out. One is of the employee union and other is of LU management.

The situation of functional conflict arises when there is disagreement among the parties but in a healthy manner (Edwards, 2009). This conflict can be dissolved easily in the general board meeting. Likewise, on the other hand condition of dysfunctional conflict arises when there is disagreement among the parties in an unhealthy manner (Rahim, 2015). This conflict results in strikes and lock-outs.

There are also different types of conflicts that arise in every business organization. According to the case study of London Underground it could be analyzed that organized mad unorganized conflicts arises (Strike by London Underground workers will 'definitely go ahead'. 2015). The condition of organized conflict arises when the parties to the contract thought that they can successfully be able to counter the other party. In other words it could be said that the condition of organized conflicts arises when the union-management conflict explores in the form of strikes and lock-outs. Similarly, unorganized conflict arises when the parties who are the actual cause of the organized conflict are not able to introduce any solution or change. In this case the condition of absenteeism, late coming and turnover starts taking place (Jensen, 2015). Thus, it can be said that the condition of organized conflict has arose in the London Underground which in turn has resulted in the strikes of the employees (Cullinane and Dundon, 2014).

Thus, according to the case study it could be said that power lies in union. Because; union is made up large group of people with high power. Thus, after applying the concept of pluralism it can be concluded that condition of strike arose in the London Underground was due to the dissatisfaction among the employees which in turn has resulted in dysfunctional and organized conflicts. In this case a groupism of the entire individual has resulted into the strike (Robson, 2015). And at the same time these groupism has also aid all the employees to achieve what they want to achieve.

3) Employee Voice

Employee should be provided with more health and safety measures. There basic salary as well as different type of allowances rate should be increased specially for the works who are working late night. Proper lighting facility should be provide to them (Detert and Burris, 2007). Along with these all safely pick and drop facility should be provided to the employees who are working late night.

Employee Voice refers to the participation of the employee in every decision making process of the organisation. It can be said that employee voice is the key to a success of every organization (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin and Cardy, 2004). According to the Clarke, voice of employee is extremely important because there are many challenges faced by the company. And at the same time it could be said that there are many business concepts which keeps on changes and one of the most important one is trust. Thus, listing to the employee voice is very important (Greasley and et.al, 2005). If employee voice has been taken into consideration than the condition of London Underground strike would not have occurred. Management of London underground can also resolve this problem by listing to the employee voice. Because; undoubtedly employee’s are the only the persons who work for the betterment of the company (Vinciarelli, Salamin and Polychroniou, 2014). Thus, it can be said that its management responsibility to take care of its employee. Thus, in order to resolve the strike chief officer of London Underground has announced an average 2% rise in basic salary, non-consolidated bonus to the employees working late night (London Underground Case Study. 2016).

Benefits and Criticisms of various principles mentioned.

Consultation

It is the process of formally consulting the expert. Therefore, there are various advantages which London Underground Association can avail. Consultation with the higher authority will aid the association to know the various ideas and suggestion which in turn can result in strict resolution (Guest, 2002). Consultation with the higher authorities will assist the company to assimilate and communicate to each and every employee effectively. But at the same time use of this method will increase the cost of the Association. At the same time poor design can produce the misleading results which in turn can enhance the condition of conflicts (Guest and et.al, 2003). Moreover, it could be said that use of these principle will prove beneficial for the managers and Association (Hislop, 2003).

Employee involvement

Employee involvement exists in the organization that deliberately establishes work cultures, processes and systems to encourage the employee input and feedback (Jensen, 2015). In other words it could be said that employee involvement is the involvement of employee called up by the manager of the organization in decision making (Zukauskas and Vveinhardt, 2015). Use of these principles will aid the London Underground Association to generate better ideas in order to resolve the condition of conflict. Employee involvement will aid the London Association to increases the employee commitment (Lebbon, n.d. Case studies: London Underground). The principles of employee involvement will also benefits the company in managing the manager-employee Boundary (Greasley and et.al, 2005). But at the same time it could create criticism for the London Underground Association. It can generate a legal problem and at the same time creates capacity for mistakes (Strike by London Underground workers will 'definitely go ahead'. 2015[Online]).

Employee participation

Employee participation is the participation of the employee directly. In this case employee goes directly to the management in order to share their various ideas and suggestions (Kaynak, 2003). Thus, it could be said that principle of Employee participation will prove to be beneficial for the company only when London Underground association will consider the involvement of employee who have came directly to share their ideas and solution (Jensen, C., 2015). But at the same time it could create criticism for the London Underground Association if the ideas and suggestion given by the employee are not in their benefits. It will create the securities risks and at the same time it will result in Union Objections (What Is Employee Relations? - Definition & Concept. 2015).

Management rationale for involvement

In order to ensure that decision made is the best, it must be rational. In order to manage all the activities properly London Underground Association should consider the management of rationale for involvement.

4) Collective bargaining

The pay and conditions of most of the employees in the UK are not negotiated. Collective bargaining is not only considered across the economy;(Morgan and Zeffane, 2003) however in the public sector, 63% employees are covered by collective bargaining and the ratio is more as compared to the private sector. In private sector, collective bargaining is only about 16% and when this ratio increases, impact arise most probably on all the levels of company or on business entities (Rahim, 2015). There is still industry level bargaining in some sectors like textile and furniture industry; however in the year 1980, there was a clear move to bargaining at local level and a number of employer federation found to be involved in collective bargaining (Pozos-Radillo Blanca and Liliana, 2015). In addition to the same, some workers in the public sector are covered by pay review bodies rather than collective bargaining. There is no legal requirement for the employer to negotiate with the Union except in the case when legal obligations are required to be considered under decision aspects. In such cases, the union has the right to bargain over pay, hours and holidays. Such cases are rare in nature and generally it is the balance of forces between employee and employer at workplace that determines all such domains where bargaining can take place (Robson, 2015).

As per the case scenario of workers of London underground went to the strike in order to fulfill their demands. Workers demand for the extra pay if they work after the 6.30pm. In addition to this, workers are not satisfied with the working condition as well as safety measures which are adopted by an organization in order to overcome the strike condition faced by the London Underground unit. Thus, better arrangements for the health and safety aspects are also one of the main cause due to which workers went on strike. In order to remove the problem of lock out or strike London underground had undertaken the collective bargaining as a tool (Lebbon, n.d). Moreover, strike and lock-outs closely impacts the functioning of the business organization. Thus, company arranged the meeting with the representative or leader of the workers to bargain the terms and conditions which are imposed by all the workers. In meeting, leader of the workers presents the demand from the workers side and thereby make efforts to fulfill their all demands (Brown, Bryson and Forth, 2008). In addition to this, company also represents their views and suggestion.

In collective bargaining, company makes high level of efforts in order to find out the solution of the lock-outs (Zukauskas and Vveinhardt, 2015). In this, organization had announced that they will rise in the basic by 2% and the inflation whichever is higher in 2016 and 2017 (Sy, Tram and O’Hara, 2006). Along with it, organization had also announced the £2000 in the form of transition bonus for the drivers who performed their functions overtime (Pozos-Radillo Blanca and Liliana, 2015). This aspect evolves satisfaction among the employees and encourages them to perform their best efforts which make contribution in the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives (Muhammad, 2015). In addition to this, London underground had announced £500 as a non-consolidated bonus to all the staff of night tube lines (Klasa, S., Maxwell, W.F. and Ortiz-Molina, H., 2009). Nevertheless, on the behalf of the bonus aspects employees sidelined the health and safety measures (Katz, H.C., 2012). Through collective bargaining organization got success in removing the lock outs within 24 hours. Thus, by negotiating all the terms and conditions organization is able to facilitate the smooth functioning of the business organization (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004).

CONCLUSION

From this project report it has been concluded that company undertakes collectivism style to manage the problem effectively and efficiently. It can be seen in the report that it places more emphasis on working in group rather than individually. Through this, organization is able to build and sustain competitive advantage over others. Besides this, it can be inferred that conflicts arose between the management and staff and they went to strike. Thus, it can be concluded that maintenance of employee relationship in the organization can assist the organization to easily overcome the conditions like strike by providing the employee what they want and what are the reasons for the strike. Moreover, after analyzing the whole situation of London Underground strike it could be concluded that management of London Underground was not able to actually understand what employees wants. This carelessness has resulted into the strike. Thus, in order to overcome this problem London underground has undertaken the collective bargaining style to resolve the conflicting situation. By negotiating the terms and conditions with the team leader company got success in abolishing the strike within the 24 hours.

REFERENCES

  • Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Baarslag, T. and et.al., 2014. Decoupling negotiating agents to explore the space of negotiation strategies. In Novel Insights in Agent-based Complex Automated Negotiation. Springer Japan.
  • Bauer, C. and Lingens, J., 2014. Does Collective Wage Bargaining Restore Efficiency in a Search Model with Large Firms?. The Economic Journal. 124(579). pp. 1066-1085.
  • Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P., 2004.The dynamics of employee relations. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Brown, W., Bryson, A. and Forth, J., 2008. Competition and the retreat from collective bargaining. Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Copeland, C., 2014. Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2013. EBRI Issue Brief. pp. 405.
  • Cullinane, N. and Dundon, T., 2014. Unitarism and employer resistance to trade unionism. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 25(18). pp. 2573-2590.
  • Detert, J.R. and Burris, E.R., 2007. Leadership behavior and employee voice: Is the door really open?. Academy of Management Journal, 50(4), pp.869-884.
  • Edwards, P. ed., 2009.Industrial relations: theory and practice. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Gomez-Mejia, L.R., Balkin, D.B. and Cardy, R.L., 2004.Managing human resources. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
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