DEAKIN STUDENT ID: 214311899
LECTURER: JOHN MOLINEUX
Word Count: 3483 (excluding cover page, tables/figures, references and appendices)
In earlier days, Employee Relations, or Industrial Relations as it was known then, was largely concerned with the management and worker relationship and the role of regulator mechanism in order to resolve any industrial dispute that arose. K.Aswathappa defines that IR was “ … concerned with the systems rules and procedures used by unions and employers to determine the reward for effort and other conditions of employment, to protect the interests of the employed and their employers, and to regulate the ways in which employers treat their employees.”(K.Aswathappa, 1999).
In 1970s, much of the research on IR found that most IR theories and procedures were outdated. With developments in industry and labour markets, theoretical concerns made researchers focus on employment relationships more than bargaining relationships. The changing economic, political and legal context in that period helped accelerate the research on the new theory. The changes that occurred with the shift from IR to employment relationships dealt with all types of employee issues both in unionized and non-unionized workspaces.
In order to enhance the performance of their human capital, organizations must ensure that their workforce functions to its full potential and stays committed to the organization, i.e. organizations must encourage their employees to participate actively in the functioning of the organization. (Baumruk, 2004).
Active participation of employees has become a critical ingredient for the successes of modern businesses. Businesses have realized that apart from a strong brand, they also need their workforce to go that extra mile in order to increase growth and productivity. This has made employee engagement a top priority for organizations which are increasingly turning to HR in order to form an action strategy to enhance employee motivation (Harter, 2002).
Motivated employees are emotionally and intellectually attached to the organization and exhibit greater levels of involvement and commitment hence improve productivity in the organization and ultimately have a positive impact on business results (Hewitt, 2013).
Employment relations—which for most of the 20th century was called industrial relations, is a multidisciplinary field studying all aspects of work and the employment relationship (Ackers and Wilkinson, 2003; Budd, 2005; Kaufman, 2004).
Employee Relations mostly concerns issues relating to employment, unemployment and self-employment. They stress on the interests of individual employees, groups of employees, the organizations and the state. Employee Relations also addresses issues relating to how the interests of all parties involved are represented and how individual or group of employees promote and manage their interests and how effectively do they participate within an organization. They also help regulate and manage conflict between various groups with different interests within an organization by encouraging team building exercises. (Rasmussen and Lamm, 2002).
Work or the lack of it is a significant part of an individual’s life. This is why the working conditions, job status, rewards and perks associated with the job and relationships with co-workers have a significant impact on individuals. It affects how much an individual is satisfied with his job and how motivated he is to engage and innovate in his job. Any employee in a good state of mind is an asset to the company. Such an employee actively participates and is highly motivated which helps in increasing organizational productivity. One of the most frequent definitions of employee participation is the emotional and intellectual commitment an employee has towards the organization