Influences on the Extent and Methods of Employee Involvement in Decision Making
In the UK, employer/employee relationships are founded on the contract of employment which lays out the roles, responsibilities and obligations of both employer and employee.
Duties and rights of employers and employees include:
- Contract of employment
- Health and safety
- Equal opportunities
An organised association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.
Trade unions act on behalf of groups of employees when negotiating with the employer on rates of pay and working conditions.
By joining a trade union an employee strengthens his or her bargaining power in a way that wouldn’t be possible if he/she tried to bargain as an individual with the employer.
People join trade unions for:
- Collective bargaining
- Health and safety
- Equal opportunities
- Range of services
An organisation within a business that represents the workers at a local level. They can act like a trade union but are formed for that particular business, so will be more familiar with the needs of that business.
How to Manage and Improve Employer-Employee Communications and Relations
Inevitably there is a separation between the employer and employee when it comes to communications. Effective communication and relations overcome this and other barriers.
An employer expects quality and efficiency from an employee. The hope is for innovative solutions for problems and ideas on how to advance the business.
__An employee expects fair pay and good working conditions. __
They may hope for stimulating work, a chance for promotion and a say in the way the business might grow or be managed.
The main difference in point of view arises comes from the need to be profitable where the employer will have to control pay and other benefits in order to make a profit.
Key Ways To Manage The Relationship
- Understand the objectives of both parties.
- There will need to be some form of compromise.
- Both will want the business to prosper, but not at the expense of workers’ rights and benefits.
- Strong culture of mutual benefit
- A soft human resource approach understands that the workforce is the key asset.
- Both parties must trust each other to want to develop the business.
|Hard human resource management||Workers are just one of many assets in a business, and are hired and fired depending on the current needs of the business.|
|Soft human resource management||Workers are the key asset in the business and need to be nurtured.|
|Trade unions||An organised association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.|
|Works councils||An organisation within a business that represents the workers at a local level.|
- What is an organised association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests?
- Trade union
- What is an organisation within a business that represents the workers at a local level?
- works council
- What is the key factor that helps improve employer and employee relations?
- Exam Style QuestionExplain why a business might benefit from employing workers who belong to trade unions. [5 marks]
- Your answer should include: motivation / safety / communication
Explanation: This is a 5 mark question. You would spend around 5 minutes in the exam on this. You should define a trade union, and then consider the impact of a trade union on a worker's ability to be more effective in the workplace. For these questions, make a point, explain why it's relevant to this question, then explain the business studies behind it.
Value of Good Employer-Employee Relations
Employees can add enormous value to the business:
- Improve quality.
- Suggest changes to cut costs or save time.
- Interact more effectively with customers.
- Be open to new methods and training.
They also need to be aware if a business is struggling and the need to help find ways to survive.
The employer has to recognise the value in the workforce while still keeping their costs under control.
Clear communication through the right channels helps. This is important because some workers may not understand the complexities of a business or their role within it. This is why, for some, being part of a trade union reassures them with advice and representation.
In general, trade unions have an important role in helping a business make sensible decisions with their workforce.