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This research sought to examine employees relation and organizational performance using Akwa Ibom State University as a case study. The main purpose of this research is to identify ways employee relations could affect performance positively, and how to improve productivity in higher institutions. 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 AKSU formed the basis for the primary data, while books, articles and journals on employee relations acted as the secondary data. Responses gotten from the employees and employers were analyzed to bring out findings for this study. It was discovered that that productivity improvements can only be achieved through a fundamental reform in the area of employee relations. Also, 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 management in the institution. The most valuable recommendation given is to treat employees with great care as the organization is bound for doom if the employees are not treated well.

                                                  CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background of the Study

Employees contributes immensely to the growth and development of every organization, so they are regarded as the most valuable element in any organization. According to (Hagos and Zewdie, 2018) the progress of any organization solely depends on the input made by the employees. Basically, employees are instrumental in the utilization of other resources such as finance, technology, information and other managerial tools in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. Although, employees cannot perform these functions independently, they need to interact and relate with others to get their jobs done, so there is a growing concern for human resource managers in organizations to create a conducive working environment. However, having a pleasant working relationship amongst employees makes it easier for employers to mobilize their energies with their employees to achieve results (Galer et al., 2005).

Employee relations as described by (Ahmad & Shahzad, 2011), is concerned with maintaining employee-employer relation, which contributes to satisfactory productivity, increased employee morale and motivation. According to (Gupta,

Bostrom, & Huber, 2010), employee relations is one of the most pervasive techniques for improving employees’ performance enhancing organisation performance in the work place. The importance of a strong employee relation within organizations is highly essential and also serve as a key to ultimate success within an organization. Employee relations is a broad term that involves handling the pay–work bargain, coordinating terms and conditions of employment, dealing with employment practices, issues arising from employment, providing employees with a voice and communicating with employees (Frank & Jeffrey, 2010). It comprises the practice or initiatives for ensuring that Employees are happy and are productive.

Organizational performance is simply a function of employee performance. Organization productivity depend on constantly improving the performance of organization members and maintaining the human potential that serves as the backbone of the organization (Oluoch, 2013). The impact of employee relations on organizational performance has been identified by various scholars and authors to be very crucial to an organisation and its effectiveness (Gupta, Bostrom, & Huber, 2010; Oluoch, 2013). Research has identified some links between employee relations and organisational performance such as improved occupational health and safety (OHS) outcomes (Markey & Patmore, 2011; Sorensen, Hasle & Navrberg, 2009), and better utilization of employees’ skills and knowledge for organisational performance (Dundon & Gollan, 2007).

An employer’s level of power over its workers is dependent upon numerous factors, the most influential being the nature of the contractual relationship between the two. This relationship is affected by three significant factors: interests, control and motivation. It is generally considered the employers’ responsibility to manage and balance these factors in a way that enables a harmonious and productive working relationship. Employer and managerial control within an organization rests at many levels and has important implications for staff and productivity alike, with control forming the fundamental link between desired outcomes and actual processes. Employers must balance interests such as decreasing wage constraints with a maximization of labour productivity in order to achieve a profitable and productive employment relationship (Gunningham, 2008).

Every organization with a healthy employee relations creates a bond that promotes trust, cooperation between the employers and the employees. Organizations cannot continuously  improve  interdependent  systems  and  processes  until they progressively  perfect  interdependent,  interpersonal  relationships”.  It is the quality of the employee’s workplace relationship that most impacts on the level of employee’s motivation and subsequent performance. How well employees engage with the  organization, especially with their immediate environment that  are in  most cases their colleagues, influences to  a great extent  their  error  rate,  level  of  innovation  and  collaboration  with  other  employees, absenteeism and, ultimately, how long they stay in the job (Aguinis, & Kraiger, 2009). Therefore, good relations are required for employees to enable them work towards taking the organisation to its expected destination.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Employees in every organization are the most valuable assets in the organization. Yet, the aspect of employer- employee relations and how it relates to organizational performance has not been given the necessary attention it deserves by management in most organizations. 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 (2018), 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 organizational productivity and performance will be reduced drastically. Happy employees are productive employees. Happy employees are as a result of good relationship among themselves “An employee with a positive attitude usually enjoys the work that they do and feels empowered and recognized for their contributions,” (Henning, 2013). An employee that is complacent and does not really enjoy their work, but is simply there for a paycheck usually does not produce at a high level, develops a bad attitude and generally drags a team down.” The declines facing performance at the work place are a huge challenge in the organization. Thus interpersonal relations at  work place  are absolutely  essential  as  they  help  employee  to  develop  a  mutual  understanding  among themselves and this ultimately  play a big role in ensuring organizational objectives are achieved. Hence this research was conducted to investigate employee relation and organizational performance.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study was to examine employee relation and organizational performance in Akwa Ibom State University. The specific objectives are;

  1. To identify various employee relations practices, and its effect on the productivity of an organization.
  2. To identify the challenges faced by employees in Akwa Ibom State University.
  3. To identify ways of enhancing healthy relationship between employees and management staffs in Akwa Ibom State University.
  4. To proffer possible solutions to the challenges facing employees in Akwa Ibom State University.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions will be used to achieve the above objectives:

  1. What are the various employee relations practices in Akwa Ibom State University, and how do they affect organizational performance?
  2. What challenges do employees face in Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU?
  3. In what ways can healthy working relationship be enhanced between employees and management in AKSU?
  4. What are the possible ways of eradicating the challenges faced by employees in Akwa Ibom State University?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis will be tested in the course of the study;

H0: Good employee relations does not impact positively on organizational performance.

H1: Good employee relations do impact positively on organizational performance.

H0: There is no significant relationship between employee relations and organizational performance.

H2: There is a significant relationship between employee relations and organizational performance.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study attempts to bring out the various employee relations practices which Akwa Ibom State University has undertaken to increase its productivity and contribute its quota in the economic development of the Akwa Ibom State. 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 outline the level of encouragement and motivations an organization should offer 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 organizational performance.

Lastly, the findings from this study will serve as a reference materials to future scholars with interest on employees’ relation and organizational performance.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study will cover employee relations and organizational performance. The scope of the research will be restricted to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) where the researcher will be able to get all the relevant employees. The research will rely on the management and employees of the institution in the study area for vital information.

In the course of investigation and interviews on the subject, some challenges were encountered, these includes; photocopy of relevant documents and purchase of textbooks for literature of the work. Time constraint; the time with which to carry out the research was short and hence combing it with studies in the class was an obstacle.

Some informants were uncooperative in answering question, this unwillingness stems from their self-centeredness, pride, fear of incitement and misconception about the motive behind the research. Consequently, these limitations could have affected the quality of the data assembled, but notwithstanding, data have been successfully collected and objectively interpreted to suit the aim of the study.

1.8 Research Procedure

The main instruments used in carrying out the study were the questionnaire and oral interview; the researcher conducted a survey of related literatures such as textbooks, commentaries, dictionaries, scholarly Journals. Data was gathered from the following sources and libraries:

  1. Akwa Ibom State University general library and department library.
  2. Akwa Ibom State E-Library and newspaper publications.
  3. The researcher’s personal library, note books and internet.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Employee: An employee may be defined as: “A person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, where the employer has the power or right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be performed.”

Employee Relation: Employee relations refers to an organization’s efforts to create and maintain a positive relationship with its employees. By maintaining positive, constructive employee relations, organizations hope to keep employees loyal and more engaged in their work.

Organization: An organization, or organisation, is an entity—such as a company, an institution, or an association—comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose. The word is derived from the Greek word organon, which means tool or instrument, musical instrument, and organ.

Performance: This is the act of performing; execution, accomplishment, fulfillment, etc

Organizational Performance: Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs. According to (Richard et al., 2010) organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial performance; product market performance; and shareholder return.