Employee Relations Essay
Firstly, the literature review will begin with the use of source 1, books; this source will give an expert outlook from highly respected authors and academic professionals. This will include different perspectives, approaches and definitions of “what employee relations is”. “Employee relations is a common title for the industrial relations function within personnel management and is also sometimes used as an alternative label for the academic field of “industrial relations”.
The term underlines the fact that industrial relations is not confined to the study of trade unions but embraces the broad pattern of employee management, including systems of direct communication and employee involvement that targets the individual worker. ” (Heery &ump; Noon, 2001) From this definition, the researcher is able to determine that Heery &ump; Noon are stating that, employee relations involves the bulk of work that focuses with maintaining employer and employee relationships within the organisation and contributes to upholding satisfactory productivity, employee motivation and work morale.
Nevertheless, Heery &ump; Noon’s employee relations definition is understood by the researcher that, it focuses on preventing and resolving problems which may arise within the workplace regarding employees and also gives individuals at work some involvement in the organisation rather than it being more based around industrial relations. Trade unions also embrace employee management patterns but also have restrictions in interacting with employees.
Heery &ump; Noon mention that employee relations is a common title for the industrial relation functions, but in some case, employee relations has different perspective and approaches than industrial relations and can also be used differently, this difference can be seen from Blyton &ump; Turnball (2006). Blyton &ump; Turnball’s definition regarding employee relations believe that “industrial relations have became inevitably associated with trade unions, collective bargaining and industrial action, and has very strong tendencies to view the world of work as the same with the heavy extractive and manufacturing sectors of employment.
These sectors or work areas that were dominated solely by male manual workers working full-time and which are in decline in nearly all developed economies. ” Turnball (2006) also point out that “employee relation enables an organisation to adopt a broader approach to focus the study on employee relations upon the collective aspects of the employment relationship and includes non unions as well as union scenarios and relationships” This definition is understood and agreed by the researcher that employers today would rather create an atmosphere conduce to high levels of productivity, commitment and satisfaction rather than an autocratic atmosphere, employees would come into work and then leave without their verbal inputs being heard.
This kind of approach does not come without its problems, employees and employers will always have different ideas and views, and it is up to ‘employee relations’ and without question human resourcing, to maintain tranquillity and peace in the workplace for both employer and employee from top down and down upwards perspective.
“Employee relations is more inclined as a term that refers to a certain function of industrial relations that is concerned to managing personnel in a company, organisation or a simple workplace, It gives another face to industrial relations, making it appear that it has a broad scope, it shows that the industrial relations does not only focuses on trade union but also with employee management”.
Heery &ump; Noon (2001) Therefore from this definition, the researcher has gathered that even through industrial relations uses a human face to put across intentions of being based around employee relations or to make it appear as if it has a broad scope, but actually its focuses also on trade unions and its way of thinking and observing employee sitituations. Nevertheless, that Heery &ump; Noon are stating that industrial relations also have a connection with employee relations. In today’s terms, industrial relations refer generally to any dealings between management and workers about employment conditions.
Most commonly, industrial relations also refer to dealings between the management and a workforce that is already unionized, or has the potential to becoming unionized, this undoubtedly give workers the right to form unions and bargain collectively concerning any working issues or conditions that they felt wasn’t being met by the company they worked for. This part of the review will consist of the use of source 2, Critique’s. The critique’s that have been gathered will give different if not the same type of approaches and views in relation to Employee Relations.
If the decline of industrial relations thinking leaves a gap that matters to managers, it in terms of the need to recognise that employees’ interests are not necessarily identical with those of their employer; that despite the decline in strikes and other forms of industrial action, workplace conflict still needs to be managed; that HR management philosophies may understate the ‘messy realities’ of managing people (Edwards 2003) Research can show that with the decline in ‘Industrial relations’ it is generally understood to refer to relationships between employers and employees collectively.
Today, such terms are no longer widely used by employers but often summons up a set of employment relationships that no longer widely exist, except in specific sectors and, even there, in modified form. Examples of this is in the Google or Facebook company where employers expect employees to communicate and interact with different levels of management and to generally exchange opinions, ideas and concerns collectively. Scott et al. (1989) “see the interpenetration of personal and industrial relations as a key feature of relationships in small firms. Indeed they argue that the importance of affective ties and other positive networks is the extent to which they function as intended by the owners, yet at the same time function in order to obscure the employment relationship: to gain the goodwill and commitment of some of the workers while exerting pressure in an indirect way on others”.
From Scott et al. (1989) the researcher can place together that employee relations is not based on a impersonal “structured” type of characteristic which mainly focuses only on large firms. From this, it becomes merely a collection of individual interpersonal relationships that are involved in a loosely structured distribution of authority and power, as in ties of friendship in the organisation. Rather then the characteristic features that occur in smaller firms which tend to overlap between personal and employee relations.
Guest (2001) “Employee Relations concerns the relationship of employees with the organization and with each other. It includes the processes of developing, implementing, administering and analysing the employer-employee relationship; performing ongoing evaluation of it; managing employee performance, and resolving workplace disputes. It does not include matters involving union organising, union elections, collective bargaining and ongoing union-management relations, which is highly used in matters involving industrial relations.”
From the Guest explanation, the researcher understands that, employee relations views and approaches simply and obviously include providing equal employment opportunities, fairness and consistency in the treatment of employees, effective communications between management and employees, documentation of employment actions, I. E. a written up complaints letter, recordkeeping as required by law and practice. Employee relations also include the business’s overall approach to maintaining a positive, productive and cohesive work environment within the organisation’s particular business model and corporate culture.
This part of the review will consist of the use of source 3, Academic websites. From these academic websites the researcher will be able to gain up to date definitions and theories of what employee relations is. (www. transtutors. com) “Employee relations consist of all those areas of human resource management that involve relationships with employees – directly and/or through collective agreements where trade unions are recognized.
Employee relations are concerned with generally managing the employment relationship. These relationships deal with the agreement of terms and conditions of employment and with issues arising from employment” From this definition, the researcher can identify that employee relations, from the above definition, covers a broader range of the employment relationship than industrial relations, this defeats Heery &ump; Noon (2001) definition of industrial relations having a “human face”.
This as a result is regarded as being primarily about dealings between managements and trade unions. This wider definition recognizes the move away from collectivism approach towards a more individualism in the ways in which employers can relate to their employees.