Managing Employee Relations: Pasta Case Study
Management of employee relations refers to the ways in which organizations use to control the interactions with their workers so as to achieve the goals and objectives of the company (Millward, & Brewerton, 2015). The methods used by the company should be properly analyzed since a wrong choice of the strategy may cause employees to have a negative attitude towards the organization. Q.1) Key events/issues the case raises and their significance regarding Employment Relations
- Being a member of union groups
According to the Pasta company case, Terry, sales supervisor, had not been a member of any union group for the past 13 years of working. The union groups help employees in various ways such as assisting workers to resolve workplace issues. They are advocates of the employees by ensuring that they meet the minimum obligations (Gall, G. Ed. 2016). If Terry had been in a workers’ union, then they would have helped him when the problem occurred in his workplace. The New South Wales Award and the Commercial Travelers Award were concerned with matters concerning employee wages, working hours and conditions. However, issues concerning workplace laws, discrimination policies and rights were not considered.
- Individual contracts that are given by the new human resource manager (HRM)
Once the new HRM was appointed, he brought about disruption to the entire sales staff by issuing them with individual contracts which stated that they were to go to probation for six months before confirmation of their continuing employment status. It seemed to be an insult to workers such as Terry who had worked for approximately 13 years. Probation is a management tool useful in coaching new employees, those with problems in work and also training employees in new positions (Madhusudhan, & Nagarajamurthy, 2015). However, this was not applicable for Terry and seemed to cause a big issue to the sales staff.
- Sales staff declined to sign the initiative contracts
The new HRM experienced a hard time when all employees refused to sign the contracts he had offered to them. It shows that they were unhappy and were not willing to co-operate with this initiative. Eventually, the manager had to withdraw the contracts, but this issue affected Pasta Company negatively. Terry and some of his colleagues remained but did not work to their best as earlier. Other employees left Pasta Company for rival companies.
Significances in regarding employee relations
(Fossum, J. A. 2014) identifies the following significant ideas in regarding poor employee relations;
- Employees raise attention to the management. Declining to sign the probation contracts attracted the HR staff towards the sales workers. It became a matter of interest.
- Improvement of ideas. The management within a period of about five months considered dropping the initiative plan after realizing it would not work well.
- Engagement of employees. The management will involve the workers to decide on what is best for the firm.
- Confidence and morale. Sales officers of Pasta Company were able to unite and rejected the initiative. Others became confident enough to leave Pasta Company for it was not valuing its employees’ relations.
Involvement in the implementation process-Pasta Co has to involve managers, workers, and directors in decision making. During this process, it will be easier to understand if the initiative will work or not.
Use of vertical communication –The HR manager should hold an open meeting to explain to the sales staff about the initiative. He must mention why he thinks it is important for the firm.
Organizational culture– The HR manager should encourage employees to accept changes in the organization for it promotes a good organizational culture.
Q2b.) Do you think Terry’s right to be skeptical? What sort of risks or challenges do Pasta Co managers face in trying to implement a new business strategy and make changes to employment practices as well?
Terry was not a skeptic person; he was decided since he called his colleagues and organized a meeting with the sales manager to raise concerns to the senior management. Managers face the following challenges when implementing new strategies;
Resistance from the employees– employees fear changes in the organization and most decline to accept change (Hon, Bloom, & Crant, 2014).
The loss in productivity– the new initiatives imposed to a firm such as Pasta Co may discourage employees who may opt to quit their jobs and move to the competing firms. Those who remain have low morale which causes a decline in productivity of the organization.
Business failure– if the initiative introduced is too hostile to the employees, they may all quit jobs, organize strikes or fail to adhere to the policies of the initiative. At the long-run, if the business does not withdraw the project, possible losses will occur and may be shut down.Q3) Looking at the key issues the case raises, discuss what steps organizations might take to resolve this problem and minimize the likelihood of it arising in future.
Terry and other employees in the sales department are not willing to co-operate with the new HRM. There is a conflict between the two. The Human Resource team should find an appropriate method to resolve this dispute. (Goetsch & Davis 2014) explains that the following six steps which the management can use to encounter the problem;
- Clarification on the disagreement
The management of Pasta Company should call the sales staff for a meeting to understand the situation. The meeting should be in a quiet place where everyone feels free to talk. This act will facilitate constructive conversations and honest communication. The appropriate time is allocated for the meeting since it is hard to solve complex disagreements within fifteen minutes (Hales, S. D. 2014).Each member will then have time to speak his or her issues so that the HR department can note down as the agenda of the meeting.
- Establishing a common goal of the organization
After knowing what the disagreement is all about, the chair of the meeting should remind the employees as well as the HR staff that they should work towards achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. The interests of both parties are pulled to a common place. Employees provide labor and skills while the company provides wages and factors of production to assist in making the firm produce quality products to the public (Farndale, Pai, Sparrow, & Scullion, 2014).For each party to get its reward, it must work towards achieving the objectives of the company for profit maximization.
- Discussing on methods to meet the common goal
Now that each party understands the goals of the firm, the chairperson should decide what they should do to achieve their targets. Decisive acting and keeping the communication open is advised here. At the end of this stage, there will be established guidelines on reaching the best for the company.
- Focus on the barriers to organization success
It simply focuses on the conflict. Both sides of the party will recommend on what should be done to eliminate the barrier. In our case, the sales staff will request the HR management to do away with the project. Similarly, the management will consider the same since the initiative does not apply to long-term workers like Terry.
- Formulate an agreement suitable for all
It is the duty of the chairperson in a meeting to ensure that the conflicting parties have resolved and come up to an agreement (Gheorghe, Măda, & Săftoiu, 2015).A win-win outcome is recommended to avoid an occurrence of another dispute.
The parties should come to a conclusion, pick favorable implementations and do away with the barriers of the organization’s success.
- Acknowledgment and establishing responsibilities
Now that the problem is solved, the staff is required to get back to the duties assigned. The ideas discussed can be summarized and recorded for reference. There should be no more misunderstanding between the employees and the HR management.Management of employee relations is a duty of the Personnel and Human Resource departments. Employees should be treated fairly to avoid the emergence of an employee against management conflict as witnessed in the Pasta Company. A company which formulates its objective without considering the welfare and its relations with the employees is likely to cause a huge barrier towards the success of the business organization. Business organizations should also include workers’ representatives in planning and decision-making process.