Best Practices Guide To HRM

Employer’s Perspective and Voice 1
Induction and Dismissal 2
Commonly Used Retention Strategies by companies 4
Concentration of well-being of Employees 4
Work Related Perks 4
High Level of Motivation from Leaders 4
High Level of Remuneration 5
A Sense of Family with the Colleagues 5
Performance Management 5
Employer’s Perspective 7
Employee Absence 8
Employee Engagement 10
Learning Organization 11
Bibliography 13


1. Explain which theory or theories you consider best explains the occurrence of conflict in the employment relationship.
The assumptions under the pluralist view seem to understand the issue of employee conflict in a better way compared to any other theory. Employee conflicts are often caused by a conflict of interests which can be a natural course of events at times and should be taken as a common event. If the underlying issues are resolved, the frequency of conflicts will automatically decrease. The nature of conflict can be individualistic at times arising due to a problem affecting a single individual and in certain occasions it can be a collective problem which affects many individuals at once. The underlying causes of conflicts in an organizations can be poor ER policies, bad systems and a bad communication system. It is often witnessed that one way communication from top level to bottom level can lead to conflicts. The steps of dealing with conflicts suggested in the pluralist view are fairly detailed and suggest a specific process which can resolve ER conflicts at every level. The method suggested in the pluralist view starts from identification of core problems though realizing the separate interests which leads to a dispute resolution process. It gives space for unions to exist in an organization but due this detailed conflict resolution process, the possibility of conflicts would decrease. This theory is more acceptable in current times as cultures in many countries are individualistic which means that different people have different set of interests and it is essential to recognize them.
2. Which theory do you think is most helpful in understanding how to manage and encourage the development and maintenance of harmonious employment relations
The Pluralist view would be the most suitable and vital theory in understanding employee conflicts and promoting the development of peaceful employee relations. Contrary to other views, it delves in accepting the reality that employees can have individual interests which can give rise to certain problems. Also that employee communication has been given due importance in this theory which can actually lead to resolution of conflicts as well as increase in productivity. By applying this theory, an effective way of employee participation can occur in the organization. As there is a dispute resolution process included in the theory, encouraging the maintenance of peaceful employee relations with a pluralist view is highly recommendable. The primary focus of managing employee relations is to understand the root cause of employee conflicts in the organization, which can be effectively done by the application of this theory. The poor communication channels providing one way communication and bad ER policies can definitely cause conflicts in the organization due to communication gaps. The pluralist theory is suitable for both managing good employee relations as well as for promoting peaceful employee relations in organizations. Through the help of a dispute resolution process and improvement in communications channels providing smooth communication, peaceful employee relations can be well maintained.
The ACAS Guide: Discipline and Grievances at work.
The ACAS guide for maintaining discipline and solving grievances a work is a concise and clear manual for employers for adopting a system that can help to maintain harmonious employee relations. The introduction contains systematic charts about maintaining discipline in an organization. The part regarding discipline contains many steps about handling problems related to discipline in the organization. The steps are like maintaining a formal procedure about resolving problems through development of rules and procedures and maintaining written records along with a section about solving issues also in an informal manner. Other disciplinary steps include the establishment of facts and organizing a disciplinary meetings after informing an employee with a specific manner. The procedure of fairly dealing with an employee includes the fact that employees also have a fair right to appeal in case of a conflict or grievance. During this formal and fair trial, employees also have a right to be accompanied by either a co-worker or a trade union representative. After this disciplinary meeting has been concluded, actions are taken according to the facts observed in the meeting. These actions include written warnings, and final warnings in case of serious misconducts. A section about special cases is included which includes steps to be taken in cases like trade union officials, criminal convictions, and when external consultants are involved.
The partition about grievances contains varied steps about managing grievances in the workplace. The first step again is to manage grievances in an informal manner. If this step does not work out, then a formal procedure is recommended. Following a formal procedures the formation of certain rules and procedures. The meaning of grievance is explained in detail before the beginning of a discussion regarding a grievance procedures. The formal procedure includes the same steps which were advised in the section about discipline. It includes the steps about maintaining written records and a procedure about how to deal grievances in a formal manner. This means dealing with the issues promptly and carrying out required steps in matters of investigation. The employer of the organization has to be made known about the grievance through either a line manager or the HR manager. Holding a grievance meeting requires specific set of steps for managers regarding preparation as well as the conduction of the meeting. The grievances can be about personal hygiene, attitude, or capability regarding the job. The employees also have right to be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative. The decisions which are taken after the meeting, are to be communicated through formal writings. The employees also possess the right to take the grievances further through an appeal to a higher level of management if a grievance is not resolved. The rest of the content in the guide contains templates regarding appeals and warnings which are useful in the procedures of discipline and grievances. There is also a specific section about dealing with absence of an employee and procedures which can be taken about it. (ACAS, 2015)
It is one of the most common trait seen in the firms with the highest employee satisfaction. Due to this strategy, the employees maintain proper health and their well-being and hygiene improves over time while working with the company. Such facilities inside the company or health oriented activities organized by the company make the employees realize that the company which they work for, values them beyond the efforts that they put for the company. This feeling of value that an employee gets from the company after they realize that how much they mean to the company as an employee, they prefer not to leave the company to work for another company.
The perks which the employees get from the company in these companies range from travel packages, free meals, leaves in case of emergency or health situations as well as fun team activities which build the culture of the organization and strengthen the bond between employees. Due to these perks, employees get to spend quality time with their families, get deserved rest during an emergency, and employees do not feel as if they are a cog in the corporate machine. They feel that the company treats them as an individual and not just as an employee.
A repeating factor among the highly rated companies is that the employees feel a strong connection with the leader and are deeply motivated by the leader to work harder. This has been achieved through strong communication and motivational skills by the leader through which the employees of the organization feel a strong purpose by working alongside the leader and achieving the goals of the organization. A great leader can make the employees work harder as well as feel motivated and happy about working in the company. The trait of motivation is one that should be focused upon by companies to ensure high level of employee retention.
Surprisingly, high remuneration is not one of the top three reasons why employees tend to continue working in the organization, as the employees value perks and personal well-being more than money at times. It is still one of the top priorities through as when an employee thinks that he is paid sufficiently for the hard work that he/she puts in everyday working in the company. It is not always possible that employees are paid very well but it has to be made sure that the employees are paid what they deserve or it can be said that the employees are to be paid in proportion to the work they have to do in the company.
If the employees of the company have a strong bond between each other and the company through things which organizations do like giving chocolate to families on Easter or providing roses to employees on Valentine’s Day. These kind of efforts make the employees of the company feel that they are a part of the community which loves and respects them as a colleague, team member and an employee. This type of bond with the company can be formed by strong communication between employees and quality values instilled in the company by its leaders.
(O’Connell, 2015)

1) The combination of interventions laid down by ford during the period of plant modifications gave the company a chance to work upon the skills of the employees and train them for excellence. As the time period was utilized for not one but multiple interventions executed for multiple objectives, Ford could achieve the objective changing the approach of workers through the interventions. As Ford was going through a rough patch, the time period obtained for modifications led Ford to the achieve objective of changing the mindset of the workforce from a volume driven production to a quality driven production. For achieving this, Ford opened centers of excellence to maintain the quality of the produced cars and also through this, new processes could also be taught to the workers of the company. Open discussions were initiated due to the new open management style which facilitated a strong bond between the employees of the company leading to the formation of a strong bond. The combination of these interventions were successful in instilling multiple values into the workforce in a valuable amount of time leading to a huge uplift in the performance of the workforce making them the best from the worst.

2) The intervention regarding the creation of centers of excellence to enhance the abilities of workers and for better quality control. The new assignment of roles to the new processes was possible due to this intervention which led to a positive impact of a highly enthusiastic work approach. The highly commended innovation was the one that gave the employees in the production line the power to halt production in case of any quality issues. This intervention highlighted that value of each worker in production quality of the cars. Training on trial car-building was a fruitful activity which provided employees with expertise and ability to train other operators at ford. The answer to the question regarding the possibility of adapting similar changes elsewhere is yes.
3) This intervention related to the stopping of production for quality issues can also be used for production processes in other industries like bottling plants or other similar industries. The intervention regarding the centers of excellence can be utilized in other companies also during certain periods when the production will be closed or during breaks to train employees for quality management and this can also lead to a smooth communication channel and a strong bond between the employees and the leader. The trial building experience can be done in other companies if the performance of one unit is high and other workers from other units can perform industrial visits to the units and gain expertise. Other measures which can be applied for sustaining high performance are the application of total quality management, with focus on quality, the performance of the employees will be focused on quality and quality performance can be sustained.
1) Why did TU membership decline from 1979?
There were many reasons considered behind the decline of number of trade union members. One of the reasons given behind the decline of number of union members was Thatcherism. During the time of Margaret Thatcher, trade unions started working in a legal framework which was getting strict day by day. The new rules regarding trade unions was that strikes required pre-strike ballots and the closed system was abolished. This brought into light the underlying issue behind frequent strikes which was that the strikes occurred at times only due to the will of trade union leaders while the employees did not have an issue every time and were willing to work. There was also a transition observed in trade unions that the union leaders were richer and did not get affected by the financial effect of strikes which affected the rest of the workers. The earlier condition present in the industry was that when an employee started working, he had to be a member of the trade union and participate in any strike that occurred. During the rule of Thatcher, another rule imposed by the government was that during any event of an illegal strike, the liability of that event was laid on the head of the trade unions which led to a decrease in the number of strikes. The impact of trade unions was very wide due to the fact that the trade unions were not under government control which made it a big reason why the frequent number of strikes led to bad consequences in the economy.
2) Difference between Trade Unions and Employer’s Organization
Trade Unions are associations of employees which work in unison for a common goal. The formation of trade unions is done to protect the welfare of workers in the union which can include workers from all over a state, a country or a specific industry sector. The protection of welfare is done by the trade unions by putting forwards demands for better conditions of work and better wages. An employer association works for the achievement of organizational goals. The members of an employer organization are employees that work for the company or represent the company in a certain manner. The function of employer’s organization is to lobby on the governments legal or political matters on behalf of the company they belong to. The employer’s organizations also provide counsel to companies and such other services. The employer’s organizations solve issues that the leaders or employers of a company might face in the near future. These are the problems that might affect the employees, the government or the environment or the industry sector in general.

Do you think attendance awards or bonuses would reduce absence? Write your answer, giving reasons, in your workbook

Employee attendance determines the level of organizational performance. It is evident to all that employees represent the greatest organizational assets. It would be difficult or impossible to execute certain daily activities without these employees. Therefore, a company should never be inconsiderate about the employee attendance records. Therefore, it needs to provide rewards or recognition to the consistently present employees with non-financial gains. The company also needs to consider measurements criteria related to the employee motivation for improving their attendance. Therefore, there is a need to carry out a root cause analysis for the same. It can be started with the basic understanding for types of absences as the short term and long term absence. There are various reasons for the long terms absence in the form of the acute and stress medical conditions. For countering these kinds of absences, one could go beyond providing bonuses and awards. They can work upon offering an environment which is free from stress. This environment would lead to a healthy and better relation between managers and their subordinates. In this manner, employees can look forward to work productively rather than concentrating upon the stress factors. This way, the employee can enhance opportunities related to the work performance rather than working under total state of stress. However, one cannot do anything against diseases and other physical conditions but still, if the work is leading to these medical conditions, then this factor can be controlled in some way. For example, a mine worker can come across asthma as there is tremendous amount of dust involved in the process of working.
These rewards can indirectly force the employee to work under stringent health conditions too. However, it would not lead to the increase in the level of performance and quality offered by the employee. One would not be able to utilize the 100% potential. Therefore, it would be recommended to give holidays to such employees so that they can work more productively after recovering from the illness. Therefore, the key to success in this case is based upon the provision of a stress-free environment by the company. One can work in a more socially amicable manner while being relaxed and focussed at the same time.
Short term absence is another aspect of the consideration where the employee is absent due to minor illness like headaches, cold and stress. Again stress is revealed as the prime reason for these kinds of absences as well. In this case, employees are hesitant towards approaching their seniors due to the poor professional relationships. It leads to various misunderstandings and can become the prime reason for increase number of conflicts. Here, rewards and bonuses would not be motivating workers but it would definitely increase the turnover rates. The management can use this time into relationship building in the form of parties, get-togethers and other social aspects. During these events, employees can make professional relationships and new friends. It would directly motivate the person where one can take up responsibilities in a more positive manner. It would also decrease the level of conflicts between employees as they have become more understanding and patients during any course of grievances.
Therefore, all in all, I would not recommend bonuses and rewards for increasing the employee attendance rate. Apart from that, a stress free environment can definitely lead to the rise in the level of attendance along with the decrease in the number of conflicts.
What advice would you give to senior management to improve the way they manage their graduate trainees to maximize employee engagement?
Senior management needs to work upon their management aspects for their graduate trainees in order to maximize the employee engagement. They need to understand that the effectual management of trainees is based upon the factor of employee engagement. Employee management is the mixture of the organizational commitment along with its values. The management may have decided their own philosophy where they wanted trainees to learn by themselves. Also, it may work effectively if the message is effectively and properly delivered in the beginning only. Therefore, management could decide to give it completely to trainees but they should have the willingness to help them out when required. It is a basic part of the organizational citizenship as employees feel like taking responsibility for the company.
Employee engagement also demands for the workplace approach where employees are inducted about goals and vision of the company. In this case, employees were not properly inducted and trained. They were left on their own and this system cannot really help any organization as employees do not feel related to the company. It is a basic aspect of consideration where the company needs to understand some virtues and facts related to the employee engagement. Employee engagement is directly linked with the employee motivation where the employee feels connected and contributes quite positively for the organizational success.
There are a number of performance outcomes related to the engagement correlation that includes the turnover, retention, recruitment, customer service, individual productivity, operating margin development, customer loyalty and revenue development rates. The company should have defined the employee engagement in a positive manner. It is important because it provides an assurance to employees where they can actually see methods followed by the company to measure and invest money. There are various consultants that can provide means to measure the employee engagement along with the checkpoints to maintain it.
The company could not manage to define their employee engagement aspects in a proper manner. They did not make those trainees feel related to the organizational vision of the company. They could have implemented certain existing theories in the form of the physiological contract, organizational citizenship behaviour, employee commitment, job satisfaction, motivation and empowerment. Employee engagement is also important in a way as it leads to the increase in the employee productivity. This is a cutthroat business environment now where everyone wants to lead the race. There is a lack of monetary resources and businesses want more out of an employee with less consideration of the money. Therefore, an engaged workforce can really assist them in developing the proper corporate philosophy. Organization needs to know that it is always about people in terms of the employee and the customer. The greatest assets, a company might have during the course of action is the people or involved stakeholders. These people are the basic source of innovation and production. The organization needs to know that the best employee is not the most productive employee but the most engaged employee in the organization. Therefore, the company needs to consider these aspects for improving their ways for managing their graduate trainees in order to maximize the employee engagement.
Q. Summarize in your own words what you understand about Learning Organizations. Do you think it is possible for a real life organization to really become one? Give reasons for your answer.
A learning organization can be defined as the one which encourages the prospect of learning amongst people. It leads to the promotion of information exchange between various employees. Therefore, it can lead to the creation of a more knowledgeable and commendable workforce. It can lead to the increase in the flexibility of the company where people can adapt and accept new changes as well as ideas by using the effectually shared vision.
A learning organization is capable of discovering the actual effective parameters with by reframing its own learning as well as experiences from that particular process. It is also considerable as an organization with a deep-seated philosophy to anticipate, react and respond to the uncertainty, complexity and change. By this, the organization can respond to every type of new information by the alteration of the programming for the processing and evaluation of the information.
For effective understanding of a learning organization, there are certain characteristics which are:-
• Constant learning where people can share their knowledge with each-other and use their occupation for the creation and application of knowledge
• Knowledge sharing and generation for developing systems related to the creation, capture and sharing of the knowledge
• Critically systematic thinking can encourage employees for thinking new means of development while seeing relations and testing assumptions
• Learning culture leads to the learning aspects which hare rewarded, supported and promoted by the top management
• Experimentation and flexibility encouragement for taking risks, exploring new ideas, innovating, trying new procedures and developing new products as well as services
• Employee value by concentrating upon the wellbeing and development of employees
There are two particular models of a learning organization as the Senge’s Fifth Discipline Model and Kandola and Fullerton’s Six Factor Model. The first part of the Fifth Discipline Model is based upon the single loop or adaptive learning. It concentrates upon resolving issues in the present scenario without particular examination of the existing learning behaviours. Second part of the same is based upon the double loop or generative learning which emphasises upon the constant feedback and experimentation in an existing examination for defining as well as solving problems. Senge has clearly defined a learning organization for its values it derives from its competitive advantage from the constant learning of the both collective and individual aspects. Here, five disciplines are in the form of personal mastery, shared vision, systematic thinking, team learning and mental modes. At the same time, Kandola and Fullerton’s Six Factor model is based upon six factors as:-
• Supportive culture
• Shared vision
• Supportive structure
• Motivated workforce
• Enhanced learning
• Empowering management
By effective management of all these aspects, a real organization can definitely transform into a learning organization. There are constant changes in the business sector and most of the businesses have started expanding in such a way where both learning as well as earning parameters are considered. However, it takes certain initiatives from the management along with the proper support from the management for proper transformation of the organization into a learning organization.

ACAS. (2015). ACAS Guide: Discipline and Greivances at Work. London: ACAS.
O’Connell, D. (2015). 100 Best Companies to Work For. Retrieved from The Sunday Times:


Posted on

March 7, 2018

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