Research on employee relationship management of a large family owned manufacturing business
1.0 Introduction 简介
Employee relationship management is the work of an enterprise’s adoption of various measures to adjust the interrelationship and influence between the enterprise and its employees, as well as between employees, so as to improve employee satisfaction to create a positive working environment to support the realization of other management objectives (Wok and Hashim, 2015) Employee relationship management has a positive effect on modern enterprises, which is reflected in improving work enthusiasm and loyalty of employees to improve the efficiency of work and management and reduce management cost of enterprises’ (Lee and Kim, 2016). This essay first of all reviewed literatures relating to employee relationship management, taking a large family owned manufacturing business (hereinafter referred to as the company) as the research objects to discuss its deficiencies in terms of employee relationship management. Finally, the author put forward some suggestions for improvement of the enterprise.
2.0 Main body 正文
2.1 concepts and principles about employee relations
2.1.1 Employee communication management
Employee communication management refers to the management towards process of communication and feedback of information, knowledge, thought, emotion and so on between enterprises and employees. Employee communication management has great significance to the success of modern enterprise. Good employee communication management makes the information of all departments and personnel in an enterprise be fully shared, which improves the possibility of correct decision-making of the enterprise leaders (Jacobs, Yu and Chave, 2016). Employee communication helps management to understand staff work situation, it also helps employees to correctly understand the tasks and requirements assigned to them, prompting employees to be coordinated to work effectively (Karanges, Johnston, Beatson and Lings, 2015). Employee communication facilitates leaders to motivate subordinates to build good interpersonal and organizational climate, so as to improve employee morale (Jacobs, Yu and Chave, 2016). Good employee communication management includes work of two major aspects, first is establishing a good communication mechanism, so that employees have the opportunity through formal channels, informal channels to express their views. Second is to build an "open, sharing" corporate culture to develop a close relationship between leaders and employees, thus stimulating employees’ sense of pride, a sense of belonging for an enterprise (Jacobs, Yu and Chave, 2016).#p#分页标题#e#
2.1.2 Employee management by participation
Participation in management refers to allowing employees and subordinates to participate in an organization's decision-making process and management at all levels, so that and employees and senior management of the enterprise are in an equal position to discuss the organization's major problems, employees can feel superiors’ trust, so as to stimulate employees’ sense of responsibility. Participation in management not only creates incentives for individuals, but also guarantees the realization of organizational goals (Roughton and Crutchfield, 2016). There are four key factors in the process of employee participation management: power, that is, to provide employees with enough power to make decisions, for example, employees are asked to give advice to managers, employees can make decisions collectively and so on (Groen, Wouters and Wilderom, 2016); information, an organization should ensure that the necessary information can flow smoothly to staff involved in management. This information includes data on operational processes and results, business plans, competitive conditions, working methods, and the concept of organizational development (Groen, Wouters and Wilderom, 2016); knowledge and skills, employees’ participation in management requires that they must have the knowledge and skills required for making good decisions. Thus an organization shall provide training and development programs to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of staff’s (Roughton and Crutchfield, 2016); remuneration, remuneration can be a powerful incentive for employees to participate in management. Meaningful opportunities of participation in management on one hand provide employees with internal remuneration, such as self-worth and self-fulfilling feelings, on the other hand, it also provides employees with external remuneration, such as wages, promotion and so on (Roughton and Crutchfield, 2016).
2.1.3 Attention to the role of trade unions
A trade union is a social organization organized on the basis of common interests. This common interest group includes employees working for a same employer, individuals in a particular industry area. The main purpose of establishing a trade union organization is to negotiate with employers about wages, working hours, working conditions and so on. The role of trade unions in a modern enterprise includes three main aspects, first, it helps to protect the rights and obligations of employees’, thereby improving staff’s satisfaction and loyalty for an enterprise. Second, it helps to make the relationship between management and employees close to establish a mutual trust between the two sides, so as to reduce disputes arising. Finally, it promotes employers and employees to make use of a more rational, easing, legal system to resolve the contradictions between the two sides (Han and Castater, 2016)
2.1.4 Collective bargaining and joint consultation
Collective bargaining refers to that in collective bargaining, all negotiations are carried out between an employer, a number of employers or several employer organizations and a or several worker organizations for the following purposes: determining working conditions and conditions of employment; adjusting the relationship between employers and workers; adjust the relationship between employers' organizations and workers' organizations (Berg, Kossek, Baird and Block, 2013).
Joint consultation is an act on the basis of equal consultation between employees' representatives and representatives of an enterprise about matters such as wage distribution system within the enterprise, the form of wage distribution, the level of wage and enterprise management to reach wage agreement (Okpu, and Jaja, 2014).
Collective bargaining and Joint consultation are commonly found in employee relationship management of modern enterprises. Their common roles and characteristics lie in the following points: firstly, the purpose of both is to solve the contradiction between labor and enterprise, to coordinate the system of labor relations, both give employees the rights and opportunities to influence business decision-making. Secondly, the degree of government intervention in the implementation process and results of the two systems is relatively low. Only when labor disputes involve public domain, will a government intervene. Finally, considering from the results, both of them contribute to the coordination of labor relations and give workers more opportunities to participate in the management of an enterprise, which stimulates the enthusiasm and creativity of laborers’ to improve labor efficiency and enterprise productivity, thus economy efficiency will have a fundamental guarantee.
2.2 Deficiencies of the company in terms of employee relationship management
2.2.1 Employee inequality
In the case, the staff of the company pointed out that in some areas there seemed to be problems with staff not getting on well with their supervisors, and commenting on favouritism in allocation of work and approval of requests for time-off etc.
There are a variety of stakeholders in an enterprise, if an enterprise is only concerned about its own interests while ignoring the interests of employees in the management process, in the long run, it will inevitably harm the overall interests of the enterprise’s. Therefore, an enterprise should be based on its objectives and its competitive situation to establish the fate community of survival and development between the enterprise and its employees, which is the fundamental starting point for dealing with employee relations. Roughton and Crutchfield (2016) pointed out that the fundamental of employee relationship management is internal equity, his survey showed that the first reason for staff turnover is not a low level of pay, but staff’s internal sense of unfairness. Internal inequity is reflected in incentives, career development, and empowerment. Considering from this case, the company's management did not attach great importance to the interests, suggestions and rights of employees, nor did them realize the important role of staff for the long-term development of the enterprise, employees were not seen as one of the members of the enterprise, the management focused only on their own interests and ignored the interests of employees’, which inevitably led to problems relating to internal equity. For example, the management were based on their preferences to distribute staff work and determine the permission for staff’s leave, those who have a good relationship with the management could get a good job with low intensity, high return, and it is easier for them to ask for leave; while who have a bad relationship with the management often get a high-intensity, time-consuming, relatively low return work, and they are difficult to get approval for leaving, such phenomenon of internal unfairness led to the staff’s dissatisfaction with the enterprise and its management, and ultimately resulting in high employee turnover, even the company has adopted a raising salary strategy to retain employees, which did not play the desired role, a fundamental reason was that the interests and needs of the employees’ have not been respected by the enterprise, the employees have been unfairly treated in the company.#p#分页标题#e#
2.2.2 Trade union
In this case, the employee pointed out, “staff feels that management should recognize a trade union so that more decisions can be made jointly and equitably. It can be seen from this that the union of the enterprise failed to play its intended role. Firstly, the existence of trade unions is reasonable for employees, because workers and capital owners have the right to participate in corporate affairs, the right to speak and make decisions. Because once a company is established, it is a social community and it is not the shareholders’ private property, but a competing contract organization of a variety of interest groups. Although because of its own characteristics of laborers' human capital, its value is uncertain, laborers bear the same business risk. In other words, workers have to bear the risk of wage reduction when the company's performance is bad; when a company closes down, workers have to bear the risk of unemployment, and because workers have long been engaged in a certain industry, the difficulty of their career change is sometimes greater than the difficulty of shareholders’ realizing assets. Therefore, as stakeholders and those who bear risks, workers in a company should have the right to participate and speak (Ng, 2015). Equality of labor and labor refers to the equal personality of laborers and shareholders. Workers and shareholders are the participants in the normal operation of a company, they are equal in legal status, shareholders can not illegally occupy or deny the legitimate rights and interests of workers’, workers can not deny their duties and obligations. As workers can not effectively fight for their own rights and interests by their own, only to unite to form a union can they have the power, trade unions can organize and ensure that employees can participate in enterprise management and supervision of enterprises, in terms of violation of labor laws and regulations, infringement of legitimate rights and interests of workers, trade unions have the right to require enterprises or relevant government departments to seriously deal with. Trade unions have the right to participate in the mediation and arbitration of labor disputes, and have the right to support and assist employees in litigation. If workers bring legal action to the court, trade unions will give support and help (Han and Castater, 2016). Therefore, trade unions are very necessary to ensure that employees can participate in the management of enterprises and ensure that their rights and interests can be guaranteed. Of course, trade unions also help to eliminate labor conflicts, guiding and educating employees to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with laws, so as to achieve the harmonious coexistence of management and employees. In the case, the company did not attach importance to the roles of trade unions, so that employees felt that their rights were not effectively protected, their opportunities to participate in business management were reduced, staff recommendations were not valued, there were tense labor relations, which ultimately led to decreased employees satisfaction and high turnover rate in the enterprise.#p#分页标题#e#
2.2.3 Lack of communication mechanisms
In this case, the staff mentioned that it was needed to establish appropriate mechanisms to resolve both individual and collective conflict at work. It indicated that the enterprise management failed to have a good communication mechanism to solve both individual and collective conflict at work. The role of communication is the basis and security to optimize organizational management environment, improve relations between management and staff, and overcome management barriers. Organizational environment is characterized by uncertainty, complexity and variability. As management, if they do not pay attention to the collection of information, pay attention to the changes of environment and understand influencing factors of environment, it will inevitably produce contradictions and conflicts. If there is no timely communication and effective measure, it will be difficult to resolve conflicts. Therefore, communicating information and knowledge with employees, exchanging ideas and emotions with employees will help to reduce and eliminate conflicts to prevent the occurrence of unexpected events (Jacobs, Yu and Chavez, 2016). Communication is an effective tool to improve employee loyalty, satisfaction, creativity and organizational effectiveness. Communication is good for management to motivate subordinates, so as to establish a good interpersonal and organizational atmosphere to improve staff morale. Communication can make management understand what employees need, taking the needs of employees’ into consideration in making decisions to improve employees’ work enthusiasm (Karanges, Johnston, Beatson and Lings, 2015). In this case, the lack of good communication mechanism led to that contradiction between employees and management failed to be solved properly, what employees needed has not been paid attention, resulting in lower employee satisfaction for the enterprise and high staff turnover rate.
2.3.1 Maintain staff fairness
Roughton and Crutchfield’s (2016) study shows that, regardless of whether the final distribution is fair, as long as employees have the right to participate, and they actually participate, their sense of fairness will be significantly improved. Employee participation has many advantages. First, employees can represent the interests of employees of various departments, making distribution procedures more fair. Second, they can monitor the implementation of a distribution system, as long as it is implemented strictly in accordance with the system, employees will have a sense of fairness. Third, it can improve the upper and lower relations, and promote mutual understanding between the upper and lower levels. Enterprises should let employees participate in the formulation and implementation of its development strategy, distribution system, incentive system, promotion system and evaluation system, so that in the participation, staff will understand the principles, advantages and disadvantages of establishment of the systems to cooperate with corporate policy implementation, which reduces the resistance to reform and improve staff motivation (Groen, Wouters and Wilderom, 2016).#p#分页标题#e#
Enterprises can make use of market-oriented measures and scientific performance measures to establish a scientific and fair human resources management system to enhance staff’s sense of fairness. Enterprises should implement a market-oriented pay strategy, so that salary can reflect the market value of employees and allow employees with different abilities to be paid differently, regardless of seniority, so that each staff can play their roles, thus a remuneration system with an internal fairness and external competitiveness can be developed to enhance employees’ sense of fairness and stimulate employees’ initiative. Enterprises can establish a scientific and effective performance management system, so that the performance of employees and the overall value of the enterprise can be linked closely, the personal interests of employees and business benefits are really linked to make the value of individual employees be measured fairly, and objectively, and staff can be paid fairly (Groen, Wouters and Wilderom, 2016).
In the long run, the company should cultivate a fair corporate culture, so that the concept of fairness and equality is deeply rooted in the hearts of management, the pursuit of fairness will be carried out in the daily management of the enterprise to create a fair staff work atmosphere.
2.3.2 Improve trade union system
In this case, staff of the company believed that the trade union of the enterprise did not play a role in protecting the rights and interests of employees and encouraging employees to participate in management, indicating that the institutional construction of the trade union was not perfect, the union's own authority has not been established, the union could not effectively supervise and balance the enterprise’s management, nor could it effectively safeguard the employees’ rights of being involved in business management. In the future, the trade union of the enterprise should re-establish and improve the management system of the trade union according to relevant laws, including re-establishing and improving its financial management system, communication, consultation system and supervision system of trade unions, etc., according to these systems to carry out their responsibilities and obligations to establish its authority to better serve for the enterprise and workers (Ng, 2015).
In addition, in improving their own rules and regulations, at the same time, the trade union should also actively improve their own role of balancing the enterprise management, playing the role of a balancer between the enterprise and workers (Ng, 2015). Relevant laws provide detailed and rigorous stipulations on the rights, obligations and responsibilities of trade unions, thus the construction and management of the trade union in the future should work in accordance with the laws and in accordance with the laws to ensure the employees’ rights and obligations in participation and supervision of decision-making of the enterprise management, as well as staff remuneration and labor safety, using legal means to maintain employees’ rights when the enterprise has the acts of harming interests of staff and trade union.#p#分页标题#e#
Under the conditions of modern labor relations, the ability of workers in protecting their rights depends to some extent on the levels of their education. The ability and effect of a trade union in maintaining the rights and interests of members are proportional to the overall quality of trade union personnel (Ng, 2015). Therefore, in future, the trade union management should pay more and more attention to education, carrying out cultural knowledge, business skills and management knowledge and other aspects of training for the staff and the trade union personnel, which will on the one hand help to improve the ability of trade union staff to better safeguard the rights and interests of the employees and their ability of putting forward advice for the company and supervision of the company, on the other hand, it will allow the trade union to adopt a more rational, win-win approach to deal with labor conflicts.
2.3.3 Establish efficient communication mechanism
Considering from the results of Jacobs, Yu and Chavez’s (2016) study, communication management is significantly negatively correlated to employee turnover. The company has many deficiencies in terms of communication management, the lack of communication mechanisms made the needs of employees’ failed to be valued and satisfied. Communication mechanisms are usually divided into two kinds, one is formal communication mechanism. The other is the informal communication mechanism. Formal communication mechanism includes monthly meetings, weekly meetings, symposiums, collective bargaining and joint consultation, as well as other forms. Judging from the characteristics of the case, a communication mechanism of collective bargaining and joint consultation can be adopted. When they discuss enterprise development strategies, business decisions, and communicate about pay, working hours, benefits, etc., joint consultation can often be used. Collective bargaining is generally only used to communication about the content relating to employee compensation, working hours, benefits, and so on. This formal communication mechanism has a positive effect on the resolution of collective conflicts.
In the long run, formal communication mechanisms are not enough, informal communication mechanisms should be used as a supplement. Informal communication mechanisms include e-mail, weekend trips, small gatherings and individual conversations (Jacobs, Yu and Chavez, 2016). Thus management of the enterprise should carry out an in-depth communication with staff to fully respect views and suggestions of employees’, prizing excellent staff and guiding staff with inadequacies to enable employees to establish a strong self-confidence, so that staff can not only fully respect leadership, but also be willing to work seriously under the leadership of management and be unlikely to leave easily, maintaining a certain degree of loyalty. The management should summarize reasonable recommendations from staff, through in-depth discussion with the staff to optimize and improve the recommendations to make use of the recommendations, so that employees dare to make comments, and are willing to make recommendations to form a virtuous cycle of management communication system. Thus there is not a simple relationship between the upper and lower levels, but a relationship between friends. Then staff will work together with management to share risks and interests, ultimately establishing an efficient communication system to create a good atmosphere for communication for enterprises by establishing the ideology of providing quality services to each other by management and staff. Informal communication mechanisms have a positive effect on the resolution of private conflicts.#p#分页标题#e#
3.0 Conclusion 结论
Employee relationship management is very important to the success of modern enterprise. The content of employee relationship management includes: employee participation management, communication management, trade union management and so on. This essay took a large family owned manufacturing business as the research object and found that it was involved in problems in management, communication, trade union and other aspects. The author was based on the results of the analysis, from internal fairness, employee participation management, communication, trade unions, these aspects to recommend on the enterprise’s future employee relationship management.