Managing Employee Performance & Development
1) What are the differences of interest between appraisers and appraisee?
The performance appraisal system forms an integral part of the employee development process in any organization. It reflects the ability of an organization to define goals and expectations from employees. A fair and just appraisal process is essential for the company’s well-being and it plays a significant role in bringing out the best in workers. Salary revision following a performance appraisal is a great motivating factor and a fair performance appraisal process goes a long way toward reducing attrition rates. The core of the appraisal system is an interview between the appraiser and the appraisee and covers the individual’s teaching, research and administrative/collegiate duties.
The interview should be seen as a two way process and is intended to provide an opportunity for individuals to put forward their future plans and aspirations as well as to raise any problems they may have with particular areas of work. The appraisal, where possible, should reinforce the satisfactory aspects of a member of staff’s performance. It should seek the improvement of less satisfactory activities by identifying steps which can be undertaken before the next appraisal and which can then be listed on the appraisal form and reviewed when the next appraisal takes place. If there are criticisms to be made, the appraiser should show that they have a basis in fact and are not the product of vague rumor or personal feeling.
In a sense, it is a challenging exercise as there is a difference between the appraiser and the appraisee’s perceptions. The fact that these ratings have a direct implication on bonuses and salary adjustments, it further aggravates the situation.
A well-managed appraisal scheme represents an opportunity to reflect on how the abilities and interests of staff are being employed, and to identify areas for development, which will enable all staff to enhance their contribution. The primary outcome from appraisal should be a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the appraisee’s performance in relation to current and expected needs. There will also be a clear action plan, which sets out the specific objectives and training and development opportunities, which need to be pursued by the appraisee, and the role of the appraiser in helping to ensure that they are actually undertaken. Open communication channels between an appraiser and an appraisee are the backbone of any successful appraisal system. Regular discussion between the two is necessary as it helps develop a positive relationship. Positive achievements of the appraisee should be highlighted and problem areas dealt with before they spin out of control. Addressing problems instantaneously ensures the reinforcement of good performance as it motivates employees to excel in their work. Regular discussions with employees help raise motivation levels and reinforce their belief in the organization. It eventually leads to higher productivity, quality work and effectiveness of employees as a group. It is the responsibility of the appraiser to evaluate the performance of the appraisee, and also to collect any appropriate supporting evidence, including statements from relevant colleagues (if the appraisee works to another person), and/or clients. If other people are to be approached by the appraiser then this should be agreed with the appraisee.
2) In what ways can employees individually and collectively express their voice at work?
Working people in all walks of life join together in unions to gain a voice at work. Union members have a say about pay, benefits, working conditions and how their jobs get done and having that say gives them a “union advantage.” Today, more people are looking into joining unions than at any time in recent history. Appropriate employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons, to attend union meetings and in many other ways to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees’ efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. Employees often have ideas, information, and opinions for constructive ways to improve work and work organizations. Sometimes these employees exercise voice and express their ideas, information, and opinions; and other times they engage in silence and withhold their ideas, information, and opinions. On the surface, expressing and withholding behaviors might appear to be polar opposites because silence implies not speaking while voice implies speaking up on important issues and problems in organizations. Challenging this simplistic notion, this paper presents a conceptual framework suggesting that employee silence and voice are best conceptualized as separate, multidimensional constructs.
Many professionals consider there is a basic aggression flanked by unionism and their line of work. They have a depiction of unions as adversarial striking, picking fights or imposing work rules that will limit employees as well as management. Professionals are employees who have the same problems as other workers. Every employee, for instance, needs a chance to do her or his job well: sane hours, a manageable workload, a decent wage, and a guarantee of fair benefits, protection from unjust treatment, respect, and acknowledgment of skills, education, and expertise. Labor unions are made up of working people working together to solve problems, build stronger workplaces and give working families a real voice. Unions give workers a voice on the job about safety, security, pay, benefits and about the best ways to get the work done. Union workers earn 30 percent more each week than nonunion workers and are much more probable to have health and pension benefits. Unions give working people a voice in government. They represent working families before lawmakers, and make sure politicians never forget that working families voted them into office.
Conflict is more often than not viewed as objectionable and unenthusiastic. Recent observed work, nevertheless, has documented several positive outcomes from conflict. Benefits range from better problem solving and understanding to higher employee efforts. Since allowing employee’s voice in organizations raises cognitive conflict levels, one expects attendant benefits. However, conflict also leads to bad feelings and threatens those with a stake in the status quo. Consequently, programmed conflict is needed. Going forward it will be important to identify how successful unions have maintained the activism and involvement of their members at the workplace over time. Workers continue to desire collective representation and formal involvement in decision making in their workplaces. A process of renewal through an ongoing commitment to organizing both internally and externally and a careful consideration of how best to engage proactively with and on behalf of members with the employer would make sure unions stay a pulsating institution in these countries.
3) Why did trade union membership decline in UK between 1979-1997? Which possible explanation do you most agree with?
Trade union association in the UK has declined every year ever since 1979. This is the highest constant period of turn down since records began in 1892. By 1996, trade union density had fallen to about 32% of the employed workforce, having peaked at around 56% in 1979. In practice, unions have failed to recruit in private sector services, among “atypical” and “contingent” workers, among young workers and among women workers, in sufficient numbers to replace the members lost from sectors of traditional union strength, such as manufacturing. A central issue in developing a recruitment policy in the UK is that existing union practice is geared to recruiting at sites where there is already a union presence. Shop stewards are the most flourishing recruiting agents, but tighter restrictions imposed on facilities time by employers have condensed opportunities for shop stewards to recruit at non-union workplaces.
The 1980s saw a transformation in the structure and nature of the UK economy with the decline of manufacturing and increase in importance of the service sector. The quickness of this decline has been attributed to the historical lack of investment; the withdrawal of state aid; government macro-economic policies (the overvaluation of exchange rates and high interest rates) as well as the supremacy of the deregulated finance sector prioritizing short-term returns to shareholders. It involved waves of job losses; in 1978, the percentage of the labor force employed in manufacturing was 27 per cent, by 2004, it had fallen to 12 per cent. The figures also suggest regional unpredictability; for regions and locations dependent upon certain manufacturing sectors, the result has been de-industrialization and the destruction of communities. In the context of economic globalization, the growth of the ‘knowledge economy’, the deregulation of labor markets and rapid technological advances the UK government has focused attention on supply-side measures. Economic discourses linking lifelong learning to national competitiveness, productivity and suppleness have become especially powerful. UK government policy has more and more reflected these concerns and the language of employability and skills formation largely dominates this discourse. The impact of union mergers on membership and influence appears to be fairly insignificant.
Although the circumstances is complex in the United Kingdom, there is evidence of a greater ambition in the selection of organizing targets, the spread of more systematic organizing informed by the ‘organizing model’, and the emergence of specialist roles. There is also evidence of unions seeking to accommodate workforce diversity in their organizing activity. These changes may fall short of a fully developed ‘organizing culture’ but they are not trivial, and they correlate with improvements in aggregate union membership and recognition. Why has there been a growth of union activity? The answer seemingly has to do with the incentives and opportunities facing British labor and internal conditions that have allowed for learning from overseas and the diffusion of organizing knowledge.
Even though it has resulted in significantly fewer unions than 20 years ago, it does not appear to have reduced inter-union competition. The union movement is progressively more dominated by multioccupation, multi-industry unions, each covering a large and diverse set of overlapping job territories, which thus give rise to both intra- and inter-union competition. The competitive effects of this union pattern are in turn exacerbated by the employer preference for single union recognition agreements. The impact of social partnership agreements on union membership and influence is as yet unclear, although the limited evidence to date does not look encouraging.
4) For what reasons might people join trade union?
Trade union is an organised group of workers. Its major goal is to defend and precede the interests of its members. A union often negotiates agreements with employers on pay and conditions. It may also provide legal and financial advice, sickness benefits and education facilities to its members. Because workers can freely choose whether to join unions, economists argue that workers will vote for certification only if the union can make the worker better off. However, improvements in employment conditions come at a cost. The union’s demands—for higher wages, shorter hours, or more valuable fringe benefits—typically raise the firm’s costs of production. These higher costs may encourage the firm to cut back on its employment, perhaps by laying off some workers or by subcontracting with cheaper labor markets in other states or countries. The transfer of union jobs to nonunion workers, a phenomenon known as the runaway shop, occurred in the textile industry during the 1950s and 1960s, when many New England textile manufacturers moved their factories from the unionized Northeast to the nonunion South. Today this phenomenon also occurs as outsourcing, in which an employer subcontracts work to a nonunion firm to lower labor costs. This potential reaction to higher labor costs can severely limit the extent of union power. Some unions, especially in the crafts, have negotiated contracts that prohibit such subcontracting.
When considering whether to join a union, a worker must assess the exchange flanked by better employment conditions and a higher probability of layoffs. From this viewpoint, a union has the greatest likelihood of success in an economic environment where the firm is least likely to respond to increases in labor costs. Firms that sell goods and services for which there are few substitutes, for example, typically can easily pass on cost increases to consumers and earn higher profits. These firms, which have some degree of monopoly power, frequently can best afford to pay the increased costs of the union demands. Some workers join a trade union because they believe that a union can:
discuss better pay
settle better working conditions, such as more holidays or enhanced health and safety
offer training for new skills
give common advice and support
Union members have the right to be accompanied to a discipline or grievance hearing by a trade union representative (although trade unions are not compelled to provide this). All employees, regardless of whether they are union members or not, are entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague. As a final point, the success of union organization depends on the ability of union organizers (union legislative body who help workers form unions). Organizers inform workers of their rights and of the benefits of union membership, and organizers help workers take the necessary steps to hold a certification election. They also inform the public about issues affecting labor and inform the government of any violations of workers’ rights on the part of employers. Trade unions aim to correspond to the interests of people at work and negotiate with employers for better terms and conditions for their members.
5) How does the government directly and indirectly regulate employee relations? With examples.
Ever since the emergence of industrial relations as a field in the late 1920s, three different approaches to labor problems have been focal points for research and debate. The success of union organization depends on the ability of union organizers (union representatives who help workers form unions). Organizers inform workers of their rights and of the benefits of union membership, and organizers help workers take the necessary steps to hold a certification election. They also inform the public about issues affecting labor and inform the government of any violations of workers’ rights on the part of employers. At the local level, workers in a particular workplace can join a local union. Before a union can represent a group of employees at a workplace, it must apply to the provincial labor board, a government agency, to be certified as the bargaining representative. To determine whether the union should be certified, the labor board either counts union membership cards or holds a representation vote to determine if the union has the support of the majority of workers at the workplace. If a majority supports the union, the board determines the appropriate bargaining unit (the group of workers that is represented in a specific collective agreement) at the workplace and certifies the union. Once certified, a local union seeks to negotiate a collective agreement with the employer to determine the terms and conditions of employment. Around the turn of the century, the federal and provincial governments passed legislation that set labor standards to prevent employers from exploiting workers. This legislation limited work hours and established minimum wages for women and eventually limited child labor. It also instituted factory inspections and workers’ compensation for accidents on
As labor problems have changed, debate about the efficacy of government regulation has continued. The strong opposition of trade union leaders and activists to government plans for a greater private sector involvement in the reform of public services was not surprising. It followed their deep disappointment with the policies and achievements of the 1997-2001 Labor government. Until the fourth year of this government, the growth in public expenditure was fairly modest, exposing serious problems in the delivery and quality services. Public sector pay increases were lower on average than those in the private sector, increasing the severity of recruitment and retention problems for key groups, such as nurses and teachers, and leading to widespread evidence of increasing workloads, greater stress and declining morale. While it is desirable to provide workers protection from potential unfair practices by employers, laws and regulations that are unreasonable can impede the ability of business to operate efficiently, costing jobs and prosperity in the long term. Nothing is more important than striking an appropriate balance between labor and management with respect to these issues. We support the rights of both. However, we oppose efforts of organized labor to achieve through legislative or regulatory political manipulation what it cannot achieve through persuasion and the strength of its ideas.
6) Consider a recent high profile new event in UK that could be said to be an `employee relations` issue.
It is ridiculous that some government benefits mean that it is better to be on benefits than to work full time on minimum wage, particularly single parents. Whilst it is appreciated that it is costly to raise a child etc, a single mother will earn more on benefits than through working. Some people are unable to work but there are far too many who choose not to because being on benefits is much easier and more convenient; there needs to be an incentive for everyone to want to work and achieve, and this will come from raising the yearly income of minimum wage above the levels of benefits per annum.
The current minimum wage in the UK for adults aged 22 or older is £5.35 per hour (c.$10.00, compared with US$5.15 in the US). For workers between the ages of 18 and 21 the minimum wage is £4.45 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for all workers under the age of 18 (who are no longer of compulsory school age) is £3.30. There is no minimum wage for those still of compulsory school age. Some workers undertaking apprenticeships or accredited training may be exempted (that is, not considered eligible to receive the NMW) for a certain period of time, which varies according to their age and the length of time in employment. Other categories of worker who are exempt include au pairs, share fishermen, clergy, those in the Armed Forces, prisoners and some people working in family businesses. The rate payable under the NMW can, in all cases, also be reduced where accommodation is provided to the worker. Unlike most other employment rights legislation in the UK, which generally rely on affected individuals raising grievances and making claims, if necessary, before tribunals to enforce these rights, the NMW has compliance teams, attached to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices who will act on approaches from workers who think they are being paid less than the minimum wage by contacting and visiting their employers. Affected workers can either make a complaint directly to a national helpline or seek advice from other agencies such as their local Citizens Advice Bureau or the Scottish Low Pay Unit—this is particularly recommended if other employment rights issues are involved, as the HMRC can only deal with minimum wage enquiries.
7) How has the study of employee relations helped you to gain a deeper understanding of this event?
The purpose of raising the minimum wage is to raise the living standards of those on low incomes. If it were significantly above what is attainable on unemployment benefits then the incentive to work would be greater. The primary purpose of the minimum wage is to give higher income to low wage earners, but the minimum wage is not the only policy that attempts to accomplish this goal. Several policy alternatives such as a negative income tax or earned income tax credit give benefits to low wage workers in a method that many economists believe is more economically efficient. Under a classical analysis of a minimum wage, some low wage earners are helped by the higher minimum wage, some low wage earners lose their jobs because of the higher minimum wage, and businesses employing low wage earners face higher labor costs. A benefit is delivered to some low wageworkers at the expense of other low wageworkers and businesses employing low wageworkers. On the other hand, a negative income tax or earned income tax credit benefits a broader population of low wage earners, and society as a whole bears the cost. This is more economically efficient because, a low tax rate on the broader economy causes less deadweight loss than a high tax rate on a small section of the economy.
Economic theory in addition predicts that minimum wages reduce on-the-job training and may lead to lower educational attainment, yet little empirical research has validated these predictions. Skill formation is critical in order for low-wage workers to earn higher wages and move up the economic ladder. However, minimum wages may decrease low-skilled workers’ desire to obtain additional formal education and might foreclose opportunities for employer-provided training. Economic theory unambiguously states that minimum wages should reduce employment opportunities for low-wage workers. However, recent empirical evidence has forced economists and policy analysts to question the validity of this theory. In particular, economists have attempted to quantify the impact recent minimum wage increases have had on employment. Opponents of the minimum wage argue that its negative effect on employment is large and is difficult to detect because some low-wage workers become employed while others become nonemployed following minimum wage hikes. On the other hand, proponents of the minimum wage contend that its impact on employment is small and thus acceptable from a cost-benefit perspective as well as to the American public. In short, most economists agree that the minimum wage reduces employment opportunities for low-wage workers, but they cannot agree on how much reasonable minimum wage increases reduce employment opportunities. The best solution is to raise it at double the rate of wages until it matches approximately two thirds of the average hourly wage rate. After that, it should rise at the same rate as the average rate so that they stay in tandem. The government also needs to slowly remove tax credits as these are exceptionally costly and complex.
The problem with a minimum wage is that if it is set low then it does not do anyone much good. The really low paid get less than the minimum already but cannot complain because they are illegal immigrants or know that they would lose their job because it would not be viable at a higher wage. If the minimum is set at a higher level it would not matter too much if that was the end of the story, but in practice everyone paid above the minimum would insist on their differential being maintained and we would have severe wage inflation. Instead of a statutory minimum, we should have a campaign to recognize the worth of people doing many jobs, which are low, paid but which are essential to the welfare of all of us.
8) Comparison about new labor policies ; conservative’s party policies.
British political party whose historic links with trade unions have led it to promote an active role for the state in the creation of economic prosperity and the provision of social services. In opposition to the Conservative Party, it has been Britain’s major democratic socialist party since the early 20th century. The Conservative Party was better organized and its ruthless populism – on issues like immigration and hospital cleanliness – struck a chord both in sections of the media and the public. Meanwhile eight years of incumbency had begun to take its toll on Labor. The time for a change tune was beginning to sound, reflecting concerns around issues like asylum, crime and immigration, problems with delivery of improvements in public services and doubts about where Labor was taking the country. There was a particular problem of disconnection between key groups of voters – women especially – and where Labor stood. This was apparent in a large gap between those identifying themselves as Labor voters and not actually intending to vote Labor. Both Labor and the Conservatives have radical elements (mostly in the youth parties), but at the end of the day they are caretakers of the same system. They are highly skilled caretakers, if that is what you want, there is no doubt about that, but what the Norwegian right needs is a genuine conservative/libertarian frame of reference, and an injection of fresh ideas, new thinking.
Labor Party (United Kingdom), political party in the United Kingdom, organized in its present form in 1906. The party originated in 1900, when the Trades Union Congress at Plymouth adopted a resolution calling for a conference of trade unions, as well as socialistic, cooperative, and other labor bodies, to consider the problem of securing adequate parliamentary representation for labor. Conservative Party on the other hand is the oldest political party in the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party evolved as the successor to the Tory Party in the 1830s. It is known in full as the Conservative and Unionist Party. The party’s tenets of conservatism include the continuance of monarchical parliamentary government. Until after the end of World War II in 1945 imperialism was also a major force in British conservatism. For decades Northern Ireland’s major political party, the Ulster Unionist Organization, was an integral part of Britain’s Conservative Party, but that relationship has eroded considerably. The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Association also is related to the larger unit but has a separate existence.
The Conservatives’ fortunes did not improve substantially under Hague. In national elections in June 2001, the Conservative Party suffered a second consecutive defeat to the Labor Party, emerging with 166 seats in the House of Commons compared to Labor’s 413 seats. Hague’s election campaign, based on opposition to the EU’s single currency and promises of lower taxes, failed to capture the support of most British voters. Hague resigned as party leader after the elections. Today there are new policy questions to answer. There are new challenges to face. A less deferential, more democratic world has created a crisis of legitimacy for the active politics that is the hallmark of the centre-left. Individuals have become more empowered as consumers but they have not, as yet, become empowered as citizens. Political institutions and public services need to catch up with this new world. The old paternalistic relationship between State and citizen has to be reformed. A grown up relationship is what is required in which as much power as possible is moved outwards and downwards from centralized states to individual citizens and local communities. In a modern society, voting at elections is not sufficient. Democracy has to be broadened, and the state’s role reformed.
The purpose of new Labor is to give Britain a different political choice: the choice between failed Conservative governments, exhausted and divided in everything other than its desire to cling on to power, and a new and revitalized Labor Party that has been resolute in transforming itself into a party of the future. New Labor believes in a society where we do not simply pursue our own individual aims but where we hold many aims in common and work together to achieve them. How we build the industry and employment opportunities of the future; how we tackle the division and inequality in our society; how we care for and enhance our environment and quality of life; how we develop modern education and health services; how we create communities that are safe, where mutual respect and tolerance are the order of the day. These are things we must achieve together as a country. The vision is one of national renewal, a country with drive, purpose and energy. A Britain equipped to prosper in a global economy of technological change; with a modern welfare state; its politics more accountable; and confident of its place in the world.
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