7HR01 Assignment Example
- February 16, 2022
- Posted by: Harry King
- Category: CIPD Level 7
Write a report for the board of your organisation that critically evaluates the effectiveness of the current employment relations strategy (or strategies) and practices in your organisation, with respect to its effectiveness in; accommodating short-term external competitive pressures (Assessment Criterion 2.2)
Write a report for the board of your organisation that critically evaluates the effectiveness of the current employment relations strategy (or strategies) and practices in your organisation, with respect to its effectiveness in; fostering positive employment relations (Assessment Criterion 1.4)
Write a report for the board of your organisation that critically evaluates the effectiveness of the current employment relations strategy (or strategies) and practices in your organisation, with respect to its effectiveness in; promoting informal and direct voice (with the implications for employee outcomes and organisational performance) (Assessment Criterion 3.3)
Write a report for the board of your organisation that critically evaluates the effectiveness of the current employment relations strategy (or strategies) and practices in your organisation, with respect to its effectiveness in; its use of third-party options in resolving disagreements at work (Assessment Criterion 4.3)
Accommodating short-term external competitive pressures (Assessment Criterion 2.2)
Employee relations entails the relationship between employees and their employer’s. Consequently, these relationships determine how businesses handle different situations, including managing conflict, change, and remaining competitive in the industry (CIPD, 2021). Therefore, to begin with, it is imperative to appreciate the efforts implemented by the organisation with regards to understanding the internal and external factors that influence the organisation. For instance, the use of SWOT Analysis, which indicates the strengths weaknesses of Opportunities, can be an instrumental tool for improving the understanding of the organisation’s employment relations strategy and organisational practices and their effectiveness in accommodating short term and competitive pressures.
One of the short-term external competitive pressures that an organisation can experience is attracting and retaining the best talents, especially in a tight labour market. An employer brand refers to an organisation’s reputation as an employer; as such, it reflects what others perceive the organisation as a place of work. Employer brand encompasses the overall identity and quality. Numerous studies have shown that an authentic and well-defined employer rand is vital in recruiting and retaining candidates since it attracts informed candidates.
Notably, the organisation has a strong employer brand due to investments in the implementation of strategies such as employee recognition, streamlining of internal communication, offering of rewards and promoting diversity. Notably, attraction and retention of the best talents are integral in helping the organisation minimise hiring costs and leverage the creativity, innovation, knowledge, and experiences of diverse employees. This acts as a source of competitive advantage in the industry.
Besides, the organisation has significantly invested in implementing policies that guarantee compliance with employment laws in the United Kingdom. This includes the Equality Act of 2010 that obligates employers not to discriminate against workers based on protected characteristics and to offer equal pay for equal work to all employees regardless of gender. Moreover, the organisation consistently publishes gender pay gap information which has helped strengthen the organisation’s brand due to internal diversity.
Lack of employee capabilities
According to Hagel & Wooll et al. (2020), organisations must develop their workers’ human capabilities to cope with the increasing business pressures. Consequently, as unexpected events such as pandemic outbreaks proliferate, organisations are under pressure to deliver consistent financial returns and increase the return and guarantee customer satisfaction. While the organisation has positioned itself as an employer of choice through strategies such as providing rewards and recognition and promoting diversity, the area of employee capability has been negated and may negatively affect the organisation’s ability to respond to shorter- and long-term competitive pressures. The aforementioned predisposes the organisation to wastage of time, financial losses, poor working environment, and could ultimately lead to organisational failure (Jane, 2021).
Workforce planning presents opportunities for the organisation to overcome challenges about lack of capabilities. Workforce planning entails ensuring that the organisation has the right skills and competencies to achieve its organisational goals currently and in the future. As a result, the organisation can analyse, forecast, and plan workforce supply and demand (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). Besides, through workforce planning, inefficiencies in terms of capability can be addressed by implementing better recruitment and section and providing professional development opportunities. The aforementioned may include enlarging the talent pools to attract diverse and more qualified talent and providing opportunities for training and development. This ensures that employees are better equipped with skills to handle external pressures such as changes in technology, changes in consumer demand and quality and guarantee customer satisfaction.
Another opportunity for the organisation is to conduct external benchmarking. External benchmarking provides a good opportunity to measure organisational performance against industry standards and best practices set by market leaders (Masters, 2022). This ensures that the organisation adjust its internal procedures and practices to match those implemented by market leaders to achieve organisational success.
One of the major threats against the organisation is technological developments. Over the last two decades, technological developments have improved significantly, and businesses that fail to integrate technology have faced significant challenges competing in the industry. For instance, the organisation needs to implement a wide range of technologies to boost collaboration in the workplace; this could be through collaborative tools such as video conferencing and people analytics to enhance decision making.
Business, political and economic threats could also derail the organisation’s success. Regardless of the employee relationship strategies implemented in the organisation, economic conditions strongly impact an organisation’s productivity and performance in the consumer markets. For instance, Brexit had a significant impact on business in the United Kingdom since they had to adjust their internal policies and supply chains to comply with the new rules and standards implemented regarding trading with the European Union. Moreover, the implementation of tariffs and changes in inflation rates may affect business productivity and trigger internal policies that may include downsizing or redundancies.
Despite a strong employer brand, lack of capabilities was established as a major problem facing the organisation. As such, the organisation must introduce learning and development opportunities to improve their skills and competencies and support employee personal and professional growth (Mailepors, 2015). This promotes retention and ensures that employees are motivated, satisfied at their jobs, and more productive.
The absorption of technologies should also be accelerated with regard to the use of people analytics and the delivery of learning and development opportunities. The aforementioned enhances the outcomes of training initiatives’ outcomes, improves the quality of decisions made, and better responds to external changes.
Moreover, workforce planning should be used to ensure that the organisation is prepared to handle current and future changes in the workforce. This could entail enlarging the talent pool to increase the quality of hires and promoting succession planning within the organisation to ensure employees are prepared to assume vacant roles.
Fostering positive employment relations (AC 1.4)
Notably, it is the responsibility of organisations to ensure that their people ate satisfied in their roles. Moreover, positive employment relations foster increased happiness and productivity of employees; an Oxford University study indicated that employees who are happy at work are 13% more productive than an unhappy workforce. Furthermore, positive employee relations foster staff retention. Notably, when employees are happy and contented about the working environment and relationships, they are less likely to seek other opportunities elsewhere. Besides, while the organisation may be able to hire the best talents, positive employee relations are key to ensuring such employees remain. While the organisation has attempted to create a positive working environment, certain areas must be improved.
Employee onboarding refers to when an organisation provides new hires with training and information that assist them in getting acclimated to their new positions. Onboarding employees into the organisation is important because it ensures that new employees physically, emotionally and professionally integrate into the operations and culture of the organisation (Indeed Career Guide, 2021). Moreover, by onboarding employees, new hires understand their roles easily, their employers’ expectations of them and the organisation’s culture. Onboarding can be improved by effectively planning the recruitment and onboarding program, including how new employees will be trained, paperwork processed and introduced to work for teams. Moreover, it is important to ensure that the new hires workspace is organised to provide a good first impression. New employees should also be assigned a mentor from the existing team to help the new employee learn more about their new roles.
By ensuring that an onboarding program is implemented in the organisation, there are several benefits to be reaped by employees and the organisation. For instance, employee onboarding increases employee and organisation productivity. In addition, onboarding engenders the values of a people-first culture in the organisation leading to happier staff who understand their roles and organisational processes. This ultimately increases their productivity and that of the organisation. Besides, employee onboarding significantly reduces the levels of employee stress. Notably, new hires may be confused or worried about whether they will fit in their roles and manage their responsibilities ejectively. Nevertheless, when they are provided with the right information tools and are introduced to other team members, their anxiety and stress are reduced significantly.
Besides, onboarding ensures that new hires build new and strong relationships with existing team members leading to more substantial teams. Most importantly, effective onboarding can save the organisation from costly recruitment and hiring costs and disruption of work processes due to employee turnover. When employees lack role clarity and the necessary support to discharge their duties, they become unhappy and consider leaving the organisation. Nevertheless, onboarding can ensure employees are engaged in the business culture, thus promoting retention.
Create open lines of communication
Creating open lines of communication is central to positive employee relations and, consequently, a positive working environment (Indeed Career Guide, 2021). Direct and clear communication forms the foundation of a great team by creating a strong support system and a sense of community. Moreover, open lines of communication between the organisation’s top management and employees ensure everyone understands their roles and what is expected of them. It also builds synergy and promotes transparency and trust, critical components for a motivated and productive workforce (Summer, 2018).
Notably, to streamline communication, the organisation needs to develop a good communication plan covering appropriateness in timing content, style and channels used. Besides, the communication should be clear, honest and consistent and allow dialogue between management and the employees (Maxwell, 2021). Moreover, discussion forums can provide good opportunities for employees to express themselves, including areas that should be improved. Besides, communications should be tailored for all audiences in the organisation using different styles, including intranet and collaborative tools.
Respect work-life balance encourages creativity.
Providing employees with work-life balance is also an important strategy that the organisation should implement to enhance its employment relations. It should be emphasised that employees sacrifice their personal goals, needs and stress to grow their careers while fulfilling their employers’ organisational goals (Summer, 2018). An ideal work environment should be one where employees are motivated and encouraged to live a balanced life. While employees may be willing to work extra hours to bolster their performance at work in pursuit of promotions, bonuses, salary increments or recognition, it is the organisation’s responsibility to ensure that their employees have a work-life balance.
Key policies that should be provided are opportunities for remote working. In an era where digital technologies enable individuals to access information from any location, employees should be equipped with the right tools to work remotely. This allows them to balance their personal and professional lives. The organisation should ensure that employees have a reasonable workload that does not place undue stress on them, encourage time off, and mandate breaks between work (Summer, 2018). Besides, the organisation should implement training programs to create awareness regarding e burnouts and employee stress and manage them. Ultimately, providing work-life balance will ensure the organisation reaps benefits such as increased employee morale and productivity, decreased rates of absenteeism and presenteeism, reduced rates of employee turnover and employee job satisfaction.
Provide recognition and opportunities for training and development
Notably, employee recognition is vital for an organisation that seeks to build a motivated workforce. Employee recognition sets a precedence that employees hard work is appreciated and acknowledged, thus motivating the workforce to continue with their good work (Indeed Career Guide, 2021). To this end, the organisation must create reward programs that recognise employees’ achievements monthly or quarterly. Employees could also be issued gifts and awards as part of the recognition. This creates a positive work environment and enhances job satisfaction and retention (Summer, 2018).
Notably, providing opportunities for training and development is vital towards ensuring that workers have the right capabilities to discharge their duties. Consequently, rather than the organisation focusing on short term goals and productivity, training and development opportunities send employees that their employer is invested in their personal and professional development (Summer, 2018). Apart from improving employees’ skills and productivity in the long run, training and career development opportunities can also help the organisation raise engagement levels and retention rates. Some of the measures that the organisation should implement include creating mentor programs providing employees with the opportunity to sign up for organisation sponsored courses and conferences revenant to their role. The organisation could also provide employees with allowances and tuition to spend on training. Besides, workers could be provided with extra time to focus on their own development initiatives.
Promoting informal and direct voice (AC 3.3)
While top organisation management is responsible for making numerous strategic decisions affecting the organisation, it is important to note that employees also want their voices heard at a strategic level. According to CIPD, employee voice refers to employees’ ability to express their views, opinions, concerns, and suggestions to influence decisions regarding their work. Notably, two-way communication cannot exist in an organisation where organisations do not listen and act on employee voices. Besides, employee voice ensures greater transparency and honesty in an organisation which can improve employee relations and boost performance and productivity.
It is important to point out that employees may have their voice heard and acted upon through collective or individual channels. The aforementioned may be classified as either direct or indirect voice. Briefly, a direct voice arises when employees are directly involved and work with their line managers and top organisation management in expressing themselves regarding various aspects of their jobs. The aforementioned may be achieved through appraisal systems, group meetings, teams and managers. In short, in direct voice, employees have involved themselves and not through other forms of intermediaries. On the other hand, direct voice entails the collective repetition of employees through union and non-union structures. Notably, there are several measures that the organisation should implement to promote employee voice.
The pluralisation of employee representation
The organisation can promote indirect voice in the organisation by pluralising employee retention. According to ACAS, more than half of all employee representatives in the United Kingdom are now non-unionised (Harding & Twitchett, 2019). Such unionised representatives in the UK include representatives on pensions, safety, collective redundancies and safety and those sitting in employer established employee forums. Therefore, it is important for the organisation to ensure it recognises or employee representatives who also possess statutory rights to represent employees in different scenarios and conflicts arising from the organisation. The aforementioned ensures employees feel comfortable knowing their voice matters and can improve retention. Besides, the organisation could invite union and non-union representatives to key meetings and presentations and involve them in meaningful discussions regarding a broader business topic beyond those formally agreed (Engage for Success, 2021). Moreover, the organisation could seek representatives’ inputs and encourage them to contribute ideas that may improve the business and overcome certain challenges.
Promote workplace equality
Promoting workplace equality is an important strategy the organisation can use to promote employee voice in the organisation. The Equality Act 2010 mandates employers to treat all employees equally regardless of age, gender, beliefs and race. When employees are treated equally in the organisation and promoted diversity and inclusion, they feel more at ease airing their opinions and ideas without fear of reproach. This can be vital in enhancing creativity, innovation, and performance since they may provide ideas about improving work processes and maximising the bottom-line.
Developing management practices and proactive leadership
To begin with, the organisation should embark on training line managers on the need to take a more collaborative management approach which entails creating opportunities for employees to dialogue with senior managers (CIPDc, 2021). Such training can ensure line managers develop skills and knowledge necessary to promote employee voice in the workplace; this includes ensuring managers understand how to give feedback, deal with difficult conversations and conflicts, listen actively (CIPDc, 2021). Besides, it is important for organisations to develop a mechanism for gaining employee feedback. The aforementioned may include providing suggestion boxes, carrying out staff engagement surveys, and developing an employee voice forum.
Promoting positive workplace environment
By promoting a positive working environment, organisations can improve their workers’ efficiency and effectiveness since the workplace becomes more enjoyable, makes fewer errors, are less absent, and are more productive. Briefly, a positive working environment refers to a workspace that promotes employee wellbeing, productivity and growth. In addition, numerous studies have shown that positive employee relations lead to less stress and burnout. For instance, the UK labour force survey noted that over 828000 employees in the United Kingdom experienced workplace-related stress, anxiety and depression, resulting in huge financial losses.
Ensure Psychological Safety
It is worth mentioning that for employees to be vocal about their grievances, ideas and concern about work, there must be an environment that promotes a sense of meaningfulness and respect. The organisation must ensure that employees ideas and proposals are considered and implemented where necessary; employees will be less likely to share their ideas when they believe that the organisation may not take them seriously (Brandy, 2022). Furthermore, when engaging employees, the organisation should maintain openness, respect and honesty, ensuring workers feel psychologically safe to communicate openly. The organisation can also stress that communication from the employees will be received without judgement.
Employee voice and employee output and organisational performance
A relationship exists between employee voice, employee output and organisational performance. For instance, when employee voice is heard, employees become happy, satisfied with their jobs, and therefore more productive. Besides, when employees voice is heard, they feel valued and appreciated for their work in the organisation. As a result, they become more passionate and demonstrate organisational citizenship and discretionary behaviours (Murdok, 2020). Besides, promoting employee voice helps reduce employee absenteeism rates in the organisation. When employees don’t feel valued and their ideas and opinions are not considered, they may fail to develop a sense of purpose and commitment to their jobs, translating to increased absenteeism rates. Nevertheless, when they feel valued, they develop a sense of purpose since they contribute as team members to fulfil organisational goals and objectives (Murdok, 2020). Consequently, promoting employee voice can help the organisation in raising the retention levels. Notably, employee voice leads to higher engagement and creates a sense of community and belonging. As a result, they are less likely to pursue other job opportunities.
Use of third-party options in resolving disagreements at work (AC4.3)
In the workplace, conflict and disagreements of some sort is bound to arise. This is because organisations are comprised of individuals with diverse opinions and experiences; nevertheless, conflict in such an environment is natural. Besides, this diversity enhances creativity and dries innovation in organisations (CIPDd, 2021). Notably, some of the common causes of conflict and disagreements in the organisation include differences in personality, styles of working, miscommunication and misunderstandings, lack of support and availability of resources. Other causes of disagreements may be due to poor management, discrimination and harassment and contract employment. The latter may arise following disagreements regarding being valued and accommodated and breach the employee contract. Therefore, to deal with misunderstandings at work, the organisation must improve its strategies.
Implementation of preventative measures
The first step the organisation should implement is to curb the rising cases of disagreements by implementing preventative measures. It is worth emphasising that conflict is bound to persist and aggravate when ignored. Therefore, the organisation should ensure line managers are equipped with the right skills and confidence to intervene at earlier disagreements to prevent them from escalating. Line managers should also deal with such conflict proactively and positively to boost team morale.
Moreover, organisations must strengthen their relationships with their employees by understanding them better (CIPDd, 2021). The aforementioned should be implemented through open communication and promoting employee voice. The aforementioned ensures that managers can anticipate conflict within the team and understand the personal issues, working styles, and factors that could affect workers at work.
Ensure clarity about expectations of team conduct
It is worth stressing the need to ensure clarity regarding the organisation’s expectations of the employees, both at their job roles and regarding their conduct. The aforementioned may entail developing an organisation’s code of conduct that helps maintain professionalism in the organisation (CIPDd, 2021). Besides, the organisation’s values should be known to the employees and stress dignity and respect. In addition, fairness, equality and justice should be promoted.
Encouraging alternative ways of resolving conflict
Despite the implementation of measures to prevent disagreement, they may still arise. As a result, the organisation must take measures to resolve them informally. Briefly, alternative dispute disagreement methods refer to processes and schemes that allow employees to resolve conflict without going to court (Employment Solicitors, 2021). The aforementioned is because the court’s process may be lengthy and the most common forms of alternative disagreements resolution methods are mediation, arbitration and conciliation.
Mediation refers to an alternative dispute resolution method where a neutral third party, referred to as a mediator, facilitated dialogue using a structured multi-stage process to assist disagreeing parties in reaching a conclusive and mutually satisfactory agreement (Employment Solicitors, 2021). It is important to note that the role of a mediator in mediation is not deciding on forcing an agreement. Nevertheless, the mediator helps by identifying each parties’ interests, priorities, needs and issues (Peninsula UK, n.d.). Notably, a mediator describes the process to be used and the ground rules to be followed during a mediation process. Notably, mediation may be considered by the organisation n several instances, including when employees are unable to negotiate resolutions amongst themselves or the organisation and the employees. Notably, the use of mediation to resolve disagreements can benefit the organisation; for instance, it provides an opportunity to resolve disagreements without involving courts and tribunal. Mediation is also confidential and prevents public discourse and disclosures that may have serious damage to company reputation. Besides, it can help reduce hostility and enhance ongoing relationships.
Arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution method entails disagreeing and disputing parties presenting their disagreement o an arbitrator or a panel of independent arbitrators who determine the outcome of their case (Which? 2021). Notably, the arbitration process is headed by an impartial arbitrator in a process mirroring the court process since only one side prevails. Following the review of the evidence, exhibits and testimonies of the disagreeing parties, the arbitrator then decides which binds them all (Peninsula UK, n.d.). Notably, arbitration may be used in instances where the organisation engages in a dispute with employees in matters related to employee contracts, including conduct and performance and disciplinary action. Arbitration presents some advantages because it is voluntary, confidential, less structured than a formal court process and allows all parties to present evidence before a decision is made.
Conciliation may also be used as an alternative method to dispute resolution. It entails individualising the optimal solution towards a satisfactory common agreement by the disagreeing parties (Peninsula UK, n.d.). It is worth pointing out that while there may be some similarities with mediation, some differences exist. For instance, in conciliation, the conciliator has a direct role in advising the parties and providing proposals for settlement. Moreover, the conciliator is the authority figure responsible for developing a solution. One of the benefits of suing mediations to solve disputes at work is that the conciliator looks beyond traditional notions of fault (Employment Solicitors, 2021). Besides, conciliation can help the organisation avoid escalation of the disgorgement to an employment tribunal, which may be costlier and harm organisational reputation.
Nevertheless, the organisation must be cautious in using alternative dispute resolution methods since they are not always suitable. For example, where an organisation wants the settlement of the disagreement to be publicised, that may not be achieved through alternative dispute resolution since all proceedings are confidential. Moreover, alternative dispute resolutions are based on both parties agreeing willingly to participate in the negotiations. If the parties do not agree to negotiate, the disagreement may not be solved. Moreover, if an unrealistic settlement to the disagreement is proposed, the parties may disagree. Besides, when handling disagreement arising from employee conduct, the organisation must follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (ACAS, n.d.). The provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 should also be followed where disagreement arises regarding employee rights (LexisNexis, 2021).
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