Monday, May 18, 2015

Changes & trends in Employee relations

One of the most important factors in Human resource management is employee relations. Employee relations can be simply identified as: The maintaining of the relationship between employer and employee. That maintenance should have a positive effect on certain factors as productivity, motivation & the individual’s psychological well-being. Mainly employee relations focus in solving and preventing concerns that could evolve or emerge through work situation that involves individuals. (, 2012) (Torrington, Hall and Taylor, 2008).

Changes & trends in Employee relations
Current trends in employee relations as mentioned in Torrington, et al. (2008) seems to show that the cultural aspects have changed the relation in where employees and employers attitudes have developed that forms a relation of partnership (Torrington, Hall and Taylor, 2008).
The employee relationship has emerged from being union based where individual relations came secondary, towards non-union based, it has been reported that in 1998 in the UK, “47% of workplaces have no union members at all” (Gennard and Judge, 2005: 10).
Due to the changing environment and factors such as, labour market competition, globalization, low barriers of trade, technologies and the trends of trying to develop and provide all customer needs and wants as they request it have led the organizations to negotiate and focus with “individuals rather than employees as one collective body” (Gennard and Judge, 2005: 11) in terms of how each can add value to one another through exchange of services.
Current employment relations that are based on “employer and individual employee” is based on certain factors such as:
·         The accomplishment of the organization
·         Employee trust, fairness and commitment
·         Involvement and engagement.
·         Supporting the organization in enhancing efficiency, profits and productivity.
             (Gennard and Judge, 2005)
However, there is an evidence as well that there is an unhealthy sign of feeling insecure in organizations and that employees are silenced by fear ‘‘at least 70% of the 260 people we interviewed said that they had hesitated to speak up because they feared some type of repercussion.’’ (Jennifer J. Kish-Gephart et al., 2009 cited Ryan and Oestrich 1998:  ). So there seems to be a gap between that.
In such setting, it is impossible to claim if this current trend and position of employee relations is for the benefit to the employee or not. It depends on the direction of each single organization, and each one is structured differently based on certain factors. Such as:
Product market: Patterns of demand & industry competition.
Employer: Procedures & policies, inner culture, size of the company, financial capacity & expectations.
Employee: Experience, efficiency, productivity & performance. Awareness of rules, regulations and rights.
Job Characteristics: Contract, position, pay & incentives.
External labour market: Availability of employee replacement, availability of jobs, threats that can accrue from unions, government rules and regulations.

We have also seen 2014 was a busy year for state and federal legislatures in the employment law area – which means 2015 will be a challenging year for employers from a compliance standpoint.  A number of new laws and policy initiatives go into effect in 2015 that will have a substantial impact on your business through the significant changes in the employment law landscape.
Have an insight on current trends and recent developments in areas such as:
  • Pregnancy Accommodation Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act and the EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines
  • It’s a Wellness Policy – that has to be good, right?
  • Ban the Box legislation and the continuing saga of criminal background checks
  • Guns, Drugs [and Rock-n-Roll?] in the workplace
  • And other hot employment law topics.