EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND IT EFFECTS ON EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY
One of the most pressing issues facing most organizations today is the need to raise employee productivity. There is a widespread belief that productivity improvements can only be achieved through a fundamental reform in the area of employee relations. Changes are thought to be necessary both in the organization and structure of work and in the way in which employees are trained, remunerated and motivated. Moreover, it is argued that these changes cannot be separated from the need to overhaul our system of interest representation and dispute resolution. The activities of trade unions and the operations of arbitration tribunals are one viewed as impediments to management efforts to the competitive performance of their organizations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate these arguments, identify ways employee relations affect productivity, and how to improve productivity in organizations. South Akim Rural Bank was used as a case study for this research, as various employees and management of the bank were used as respondents for the study. Responses gotten from the employees and employers were analyzed to bring out findings as well as recommendations for this study. With regards to the research methodology of this study, the casual research design was chosen as the most appropriate research design for the study. Data was gathered form both primary and secondary sources of information. Responses from questionnaires and interviews with management of the bank formed the basis for the primary data, while books, articles and journals on employee relations acted as the secondary data. Findings from this study revealed that employee relations practices affect productivity through employee morale, quality and quantity of output/product. Other findings include various challenges that employees face at workplace and various ways to enhance healthy relationship between employees and their employers in an organization. The most valuable recommendation given is to treat employees with great care.
Maintaining healthy employee relations in an organization is a pre-requisite for organizational success. Strong employee relations are required for high productivity and human satisfaction. Employee relations generally deal with avoiding and resolving issues concerning individuals which might arise out of
or influence the work scenario. Strong employee relation depends upon healthy and safe work environment, cent percent involvement and commitment of all employees, incentives for employee motivation, and effective communication system in the organization. Healthy employee relations lead to more
efficient, motivated and productive employees which further lead to increase in production level. Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500. While it is possible that employees enjoy working at these organizations because they are successful, the Watson Wyatt Worldwide Human Capital Index study suggests that effective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes more than positive financial outcomes lead to good practices.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE
Employee relations had its roots in the industrial revolution which created the modern employment relationship by spawning free labour markets and large-scale industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers. As society wrestled with these massive economic and social changes, labour problems arose. Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes, and the threat of social instability. Intellectually, industrial relations was formed at the end of the 19th century as a middle ground between classical economics and Marxism, with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb’s Industrial Democracy being the key intellectual work. Industrial relations thus rejected the classical econ. Institutionally, employee relation was founded by John R. Commons when he created the first academic industrial relations program at the University of Wisconsin in 1920. Early financial support for the field came from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who supported progressive labour management relations in the aftermath of the bloody strike at a Rockefeller-owned coal mine in Colorado. In Britain, another progressive industrialist, Montague Burton, endowed chairs in industrial relations at Leeds, Cardi and Cambridge in 1930, and the discipline was formalized in the 1950s with the
formation of the Oxford School by Allan Flanders and Hugh Clegg. Industrial relations were formed with a strong problem-solving orientation that rejected both the classical economists’ laissez fair solutions to labour problems and the Marxist solution of class revolution. It is this approach that underlies the
New Deal legislation in the United States, such as the National Labour Relations Act and the Fair Labour Standards Act.