Employee and Industrial Relations Case Study

Pages: 4 (1222 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Careers

¶ … employee and industrial relations and strategic human recourse management (HRM) is rooted in the alignment of goals, visions and belief systems between the employee and the organization. An organization's human resources have always been a critical asset, however employee relations is becoming increasingly valuable in the hypercompetitive marketplace of the 21st century. As such, "a firm's internal resources and intangible capabilities are the primary source of value creation for the future, since they offer a more reliable and controllable foundation for strategy making" (Burke & Cooper, 2005, p. 35).

Essentially what this means for the employee-HRM dynamic is that employees are intangible assets because they are not easy to quantify. Each employee has his or her own unique way of thinking, behaving and responding to various situations. For example, while one employee might react to criticism by rebelling, another may take it in stride, and another may use it to fuel his fire to improve. Because employees cannot be quantified like tangible assets, they are more difficult to manage and predict. At the same time however, this means that they can be used far more creatively and flexibly than tangible assets can. This makes them inimitable. While competitors can always replicate formulas and strategies, they can never truly harness the unique capabilities of the individual worker. Therefore, the fact that people are an intangible asset, also makes them a most valuable asset.

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Taking this into consideration, improvement strategies for industrial relations and strategic HRM must center on maximizing this valued asset. In other words, using people to their greatest advantage is the most critical part of any company enhancement initiative. But how is this done? First and foremost, it requires a strong focus on employee satisfaction and motivation. An unhappy employee is an unproductive employee, so it is only logical that to use employees to their optimal capabilities, their needs have to met and they have to be motivated to excel.

Case Study on Employee and Industrial Relations Assignment

According to Cottringer and Kirby (2005) this can be accomplished simply by performing the following actions: "setting achievable objectives, using their employees' skills wisely, understanding the factors behind poor performance, being consistent, providing rewards, breaking bad behavior patterns, leading by example, communicating effectively, building a team, and saying 'thank you' for a job well done" (p. 90). While this may seem like a lot to bite off, each of these strategies has been shown to be effective at increasing employee production. Therefore, it is critical that managers strive to incorporate all of these elements into their strategic human resource plan.

Engaging employees in their work -- that is, making them feel that their job is a pleasure rather than a chore -- is a key component of successful industrial relations. Traditional ways to achieve this are described above. Every action mentioned by Cottringer and Kirby (2005) can significantly contribute to creating engaged, loyal and productive employees. However there is also a need for managers to 'think outside the box' and devise strategies that are specifically designed to inspire the unique members of their workforce.

One of the best ways to find out exactly what those inspirations should consist of is simply to ask the employees. Most companies conduct regular evaluations of their employees so that they can determine who is being productive and who is not. But few organizations go beyond the "who" to find out the "why." Knowing what makes some employees more productive than others is crucial information to have in order to design an improvement strategy. Therefore, company evaluations should be expanded to include either interviews or surveys asking employees what motivates them. This will also provide a forum for employees to air any grievances… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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