A SEMINAR PAPER ON EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND ITS EFFECT ON ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE
One of the most pressing issues facing most organizations today is the need to raise employee productivity which will greatly influence the overall organization performance. There is a notion 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 purpose of this research study is to evaluate these arguments, identify ways employee relations affect performance, and how to improve productivity in organizations. Nigeria Breweries Uyo Region was used as a case study for this research, as various employees and management of the company 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 (exploratory) research design was chosen as the most appropriate research design for the study. Data was gathered from both primary and secondary sources of information. Responses from questionnaires and interviews with management of the regional office 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 as the company is bound for doom if the employees are not treated well.
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, 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.The Watson Wyatt WorldwideHuman Capital Index study suggests thateffective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes more often thanpositive financial outcomes lead to good practices.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
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 low 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, Cardiff 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 faire 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.
PROFILE OF THE ORGANIZATION
For the purpose of this study, Nigeria Breweries is being used as a case study to evaluate the effect of employee relations on organizational performance.Nigeria Breweries was incorporated in 1946 and then in 1949, it rolled out its first STAR 60cl bottle and is the pioneer and leading brewing company in Nigeria. From that humble beginning in 1946, the company has now grown into a Brewing Company with 11 breweries, 2 malting plants and 26 Sales depots from which high quality products are distributed to all parts of Nigeria.
Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB Plc) has a growing export business which covers global sales and marketing of her brands and dates back to 1986. NB Plc offers sales, logistics and marketing support to make her brands shelf-ready in international markets, including world-class outlets such as TESCO and ASDA Stores in the United Kingdom.The brands are available in over thirteen countries, across the United Kingdom, South Africa, Middle-East, West Africa and the United States of America. To be able to continually give the public the desired products, it needs well equipped and trained and highly motivated workforce to deliver the optimum performance.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent times, while most workers are on the job, they do not produce the desired output which can be as a result of an un-healthy relationship they have with their fellow colleagues and employers. A recent study conducted by Blyton (2008), revealed that employees do not put up their best performances at workplaces when they are un-happy with management, government, or even their fellow colleagues. Bad employee-employer relationship results in strike actions and lockouts. All these actions taken by employees to display their grievances only do the organization harm than good as productivity and performance will be reduced drastically and hence this research was conducted to find out the impact of employee relation on performance.
The objectives of this study are:
- To identify various employee relations practices, and its effect on the productivity of an organization.
- To identify the challenges faced by employees at work places.
- To identify ways of enhancing healthy relationship between employees and employers in an organization.
The following questions were used to achieve the above objectives:
- What are the various employee relations practices in your organization, and how do they affect productivity?
- What challenges do you face in your organization?
- In what ways can healthy relationship be enhanced between employees and employers in an organization?
The following hypothesis will be used;
- Lack of good employee relations impact negatively on organizational performance
- Good employee relations impact positively on organizational performance
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to bring out the various employee relations practices which Nigeria Breweries has undertaken to increase its productivity and contribute its quota in the economic development of thecountry. This study will therefore help enlighten management of various organizations of the various effects of relationship practices between employers and employees in an organization. It also seeks to bring out the level of encouragement and motivation the company has given to its employees to work effectively, among others. The importance of this study is therefore to highlight the various employee relations practices and how it affects the productivity of an organization. This study will go a long way to illustrate how organizations should treat employees’ in-order to increase productivity and improve organization performance.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the research will be limited to Nigeria Breweries Uyo region which spans across Akwa Ibom and Cross River. The research will rely on the management and employees of the company in this regionfor vital information as well as information from secondary source gotten from internet, books and journals.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
I encountered a limitation in regards to availability of information. This due to the company’s working ethics, I could not get access to some vital information since it was treated as confidential.