Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Employee Empowerment and Industrial Relation

Industrial  relations  is an  expression  used  not  only  for relationship  between employer and trade unions but also involving government with the aim of defining policies, facing labour problems.
Industrial relations include following concept.
  • Rules for employment management
  • Rules and regulation.
  • Role of State Government bodies.
  • Harmonious relations and technology.

Empowerment  mean   to   enable,   to   give   power,   to   allow   or   to   permit. Empowerment   as   an   act   of   building,   development   and   increasing   power. Empowerments  as  a  motivational  concept  associated  with  enabling   rather   than delegating.  
Employee empowerment is an important motivational tool in organization.
  • A flatter organization structure facilitating dispersion of authority.
  • Participative decision –making and allied activities in the organization.
  • Open communication systems and exchange of information.
  • Resource sharing.

Empowering  employees  no   longer   remains  an  optical  decision,  but  has  become necessity to make organization flexible and adoptable to the volatile environment. Why  are  more  and  more  companies empowering  employees?  One  reason   is  the need of quick decisions by those people, who are most knowledgeable about the issue. Often those at lower organizational levels. If organizations are  to  successfully complete   in a dynamic global economy. They have to be able to make decision and implement changes quickly. Another reasons is   the   reality   that  organizational  downsizing  during   the   last  part  of   the   twentieth century left many managers with larger spans of control. In order to cope with the increased work demands manager had to empower their people. If  an  organization   implements  employee  empowerment  properly:  -  the productivity   gains,   quality   improvement   more   satisfied   customers,   increased employee motivation and improved morale. But the primarily role of management is “to  support  and  simulate   their  people,  co-operate   to  overcome  cross   functional barriers, and work to eliminate fear within their own team.”

Success with empowerment Saturn a highly successful American Car manufacture, empowered its employees by the  work   team.  Even   the  design  process   involves  a  high  degree  of  employee participation.   In   the   Saturn   case,   empowerment   became   directly   linked   to responsibility, and employees make suggestion how to improve processes. The process of empowerment will differ from organization to organization depending on their.
  1. Concept of empowerment
  2. Organizational objectives and strategies.
  3. Resource and financial position.
  4. Attitudes towards customer & employee
  5. Employee’s knowledge skills.

It   is   a   philosophical   concept   that   organizations   have   to   buy   into:-   for  many organization  include some. Important facts – values, leadership,  job structure and reward system.
Process of empowerment divide into 3 steps.
  • Studying the working environment of the employees.
  • Redefining tasks and reallocating resources.
  • Focusing on the psychological & motivational needs of employee in empowered position.

Empowerment has come to play a major role in corporate excellence. Empowerment  means  giving   the  employees   the  authority   to  make  decisions  and providing them with financial resources to implement their decisions.


Industrial disputes settlement machinery for India

1.Work Committee: There is a Works Committee in factories employing 100 or more workers. [ section 3]. The committee will consist of equal number of representatives of employer and employees. Representatives of employees will be selected in consultation with Registered Trade Union. The Works Committee will first try to settle disputes.

2.Conciliation: Conciliation refers to the process by which representatives of employees and employers are brought together before a third party with a view to discuss, reconcile their differences and arrive at an agreement through mutual consent. The third party acts as a facilitator in this process. Conciliation is a type of state intervention in settling the Industrial Disputes. The Industrial Disputes Act empowers the Central & State governments to appoint conciliation officers and a Board of Conciliation as and when the situation demands.

Consolation Officer: If dispute is not solved, it will be referred to Conciliation Officer‘. He is appointed by Government. [Section 4]. The duties of a conciliation officer are:
  • To hold conciliation proceedings with a view to arrive at amicable settlement between the parties concerned.
  • To investigate the dispute in order to bring about the settlement between the parties concerned.
  • To send a report and memorandum of settlement to the appropriate government.
  • To send a report to the government stating forth the steps taken by him in case no settlement has been reached at.

Board of consolation. The matter may also be referred to Board of Conciliation‘. [section 4]. The Board of Conciliation consists of a chairman who must be an independent person and 3/4 members. Unsolved matters may be referred to labour tribunal / industrial tribunal / labour court (sec. 12 (5))

2.Adjudication: Adjudication is the ultimate legal remedy for settlement of Industrial Dispute. Adjudication means intervention of a legal authority appointed by the government to make a settlement which is binding on both the parties. In other words adjudication means a mandatory settlement of an Industrial dispute by a labour court or a tribunal. For the purpose of adjudication, the Industrial Disputes Act provides a 3-tier machinery:
  1. Labour court
  2. Industrial Tribunal
  3. National Tribunal

Labour Court: The appropriate government may, by notification in the official gazette constitute one or more labour courts for adjudication of Industrial disputes relating to any matters specified in the second schedule of Industrial Disputes Act. They are:
  • Dismissal or discharge or grant of relief to workmen wrongfully dismissed.
  • Illegality or otherwise of a strike or lockout.
  • Withdrawal of any customary concession or privileges.
  • Where an Industrial dispute has been referred to a labour court for adjudication, it shall hold its proceedings expeditiously and shall, within the period specified in the order referring such a dispute, submit its report to the appropriate government.

Industrial Tribunal: The appropriate government may, by notification in the official gazette, constitute one or more Industrial Tribunals for the adjudication of Industrial disputes relating to the following matters:
  • Wages
  • Compensatory and other allowances
  • Hours of work and rest intervals
  • Leave with wages and holidays
  • Bonus, profit-sharing, PF etc.
  • Rules of discipline
  • Retrenchment of workmen
  • Working shifts other than in accordance with standing orders

It is the duty of the Industrial Tribunal to hold its proceedings expeditiously and to submit its report to the appropriate government within the specified time.

National Tribunal: The central government may, by notification in the official gazette, constitute one or more National Tribunals for the adjudication of Industrial Disputes in
Matters of National importance
Matters which are of a nature such that industries in more than one state are likely to be interested in, or are affected by the outcome of the dispute.
It is the duty of the National Tribunal to hold its proceedings expeditiously and to submit its report to the central government within the stipulated time.

4.Arbitration: A process in which a neutral third party listens to the disputing parties, gathers information about the dispute, and then takes a decision which is binding on both the parties. The conciliator simply assists the parties to come to a settlement, whereas the arbitrator listens to both the parties and then gives his judgment. There are two types of arbitration:
  1. Voluntary Arbitration: In voluntary arbitration the arbitrator is appointed by both the parties through mutual consent and the arbitrator acts only when the dispute is referred to him.
  2. Compulsory Arbitration: Implies that the parties are required to refer the dispute to the arbitrator whether they like him or not. Usually, when the parties fail to arrive at a settlement voluntarily, or when there is some other strong reason, the appropriate government can force the parties to refer the dispute to an arbitrator.


Performance management in creating a performance oriented culture

A key to redirecting employee performance toward organizational goals is to establish a performance-oriented culture in which employees understand the importance of and the connection between their performance and the organization's success. Organizations with performance-based cultures acknowledge that their success is contingent upon the successful performance of their employees.

Effective performance management is crucial to achieving an organization's vision and process of becoming a performance-based culture. Performance management helps avoid performance chaos, the situation that exists in many organizations where employees are working hard, but their efforts don't combine to move the organization in its desired direction. Gaps can occur when work efforts don't connect properly. Redundancies can happen when multiple employees tackle the same tasks without proper coordination. In the worst case, employees can actually contradict each other.

A performance management system that aligns individual work efforts with the organization's strategic plan and that ensures employees are adhering to the plan is the best way to avoid wasted resources, including the inefficient and ineffective use of employee effort, time, and talent.

Additionally, performance management systems provide a fundamentally fair way to guide employees' performance. People need and want to know what's expected of them, how they are doing, what's working well, and what needs improvement.

Finally, the ability to distinguish and meaningfully recognize achievements and desired behavior speaks volumes about what is important and valued in an organization. People need to know how they are contributing to organizational success, and they need appropriate recognition and rewards for their efforts. Performance-management systems are essential for linking recognition and reward to accomplishment of the organization's goals. They move the organization away from a seniority-based or best-effort culture to a true performance-based culture.

The following performance management practices, as being associated with performance-based cultures:
  • A well-articulated mission and operating system that is understood and accepted by employees
  • A management climate that encourages taking on new tasks/problems and improving ways to accomplish goals
  • Organizational goals that are measurable and credible
  • Clear alignment of department, work unit, and team goals
  • Employees participate in the development of their individual goals and measures 
  • Investing in training and development 
  • Regular communication with employees about performance results
  • Regular feedback to employees for career development 
  • A recognition and reward system that supports the importance of good performance at all levels 
  • Adequate funding to acquire the tools and technology needed to succeed. 
  • Continuous quality improvement efforts are utilized to address areas of strategic importance.
  • Customer surveys or other means of soliciting customer needs and preferences are used.
  • Employee surveys and other tools are employed for assessing workplace issues


Monday, 14 May 2012

Succession Planning

What is succession planning:
Succession planning is a process whereby an organization ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company. Through your succession planning process, you recruit superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles.

Need for Success Planning:
  1. Improved job filling for key positions.
  2. Active development of “potential candidates”.
  3. Auditing the ‘talent pool’ of the organization.
  4. Fostering a corporate culture.

Typical activities covered by succession planning:

  1. Determine what roles and skills are critical for the growth of the company
  2. Identify and understand the developmental needs of employees to fill those positions
  3. Identifying people who could potentially fill and perform highly in such roles.
  4. Developing the required capabilities in those people through a program of learning experiences planned collaboratively by the organization

Models of Succession Planning:

There are three main models that companies use to implement succession planning:
  1. Short-term planning or emergency replacements
  2. Long-term planning or managing talent
  3. Combination of above plans

Organizations should take a close look at their goals and levels of commitment before choosing a model that best suits their needs.
1    Short-term or emergency replacements-
This is the most common model of succession planning and serves as a crucial point for all types of businesses. Short-term replacement planning is focused on an urgent need caused by a sudden development within the organization –skilled employee leaving the company, expansion or contraction of business. Sometimes, emergency replacement planning must work to retain knowledge that is about to be lost. Emergency knowledge retention is an option to consider if the organization is about to lose specialized knowledge and does not have a successor to take the knowledge.
Emergency succession planning can come into play any time the organization expands in a new direction or discovers the talent gaps to fill the required managerial position. Generally, human resources will try to fill the role from within the organization, but often go outside, if no one has been trained for the job in the organization.
 Long-term planning or managing talent-
Talent management focuses on the future needs of the organization. Working within the strategic framework for the company’s future goals, senior management identifies the positions necessary for growth and the best candidates to fill those roles. Some organizations invite all employees to take part in an assessment process, while others have managers identify leadership candidates.
If companies wish to grow leaders from within their existing talent pool and have the time and resources to develop a useful program, effective talent management will become a key component of its long-term human capital strategy.
The advantages of this model include:
  • Identifies a specialized talent pool
  • Defines and builds future skills required for the success of the organization
  • Motivates and retains employees by involvement in their career growth

Some of the disadvantages of this type of model include:
  • Expensive and time consuming
  • Existing employee-base may not have required skills and experience for key posts and outside hiring can lead to resentment
  • Managers may be frustrated by not being allowed to choose a successor
3.      Combination of both the plans-
This model allows senior management to plan for the long-term growth of both the organization and employees within the organization and prepare for emergency replacements to ensure that business is not affected by knowledge loss or lack of skilled employees.
HR professionals will find that the advantages of succession planning greatly outweigh the disadvantages, which can be overcome by proper planning and communication within the employees and senior management.

         Advantages of Succession Planning:

Prepares current employees to undertake key roles.
Reduces the Need to Recruit Externally.
Improves employee commitment and therefore retention.
Meets the career development requirements of existing employees.
Develops a strategic Leadership Human Resource Plan.
Builds relationships with and carefully study the performance and behavior of successors over a long period of time.

Disadvantages of succession planning:
1. Narrow Focus
Succession planning allows leaders to focus on potential new managers who are employed by the organization but does not allow for candidates outside the company. In many cases, managers will consider only their direct reports as potential successors. This is good in terms of  career development for those inside the organization, but it does not necessarily meet the company´s best interests. In some situations, it is better to replace a manager with an external candidate to bring new skills to the team. Other times, there simply may not be a suitable candidate within the organization.
2. Effects on Motivation
It is not always totally clear cut whom a manager should prime for future leadership. In some cases, there may be two or more strong candidates for the role. If leaders do not handle succession planning carefully and objectively, others may see the person being trained for leadership as favored. This can lead to motivated individuals losing interest and not trying as hard in the work place. It may have the effect of making those employees think it is not worth their effort if there are no progression possibilities. Managers need to carry out succession planning carefully to avoid motivational issues.
3. Family Rivalries
In small, family-run businesses, succession is an issue that is very important. It the head of the organization dies, a child will replace that person in many situations. If the parent favors one child over another and if this is not considered to be fair, it can have a catastrophic effect on the small company. Family rivalries can cause a business to fall apart if not addressed effectively.
4. Organizational Structure Changes
Succession planning sometimes takes place even though an organization's structure may not be completely stable. Leaders need to develop and change organizations so they can survive to meet new business challenges. Sometimes a person may be developed for a role in the organization that may not exist in the future. This can have a negative impact on motivation of the earmarked individual. In addition to this, training costs money. If the company's leadership later eliminates the position, it will have wasted resources developing a person for a role that no longer is needed.

Tips for successful succession planning:

 1. Build Open Relationships – hold regular informal conversations with your people to get to know them well. Often you will find hidden gems.
2. Have a Vision of the Future – work on understanding exactly who you need to get the outcomes that you need into the future. Be strong with your thinking.
3. Desktop Thinking – spend time reviewing your people right now and the potential candidates who can be developed for the future, even if they are not ready yet.
4. Identify Potential – from knowing your people better, you can ascertain who has within them the skills and capabilities you can grow for your succession plan.
5. Involve Your People – talking to your key people will ensure that you understand better the possibilities in others from a variety of perspectives too.
6. Communicate – hear what your people have to say and help them see the future possibilities too for them, whilst being careful to manage expectations appropriately.
7. Use Development Tools – help your people develop rapidly with a variety of experiences that will accelerate their growth to meet their and your short- and long-term needs.
8. Engage and Challenge – your people will need encouragement and help to recognize who they could be – and they will also need a nudge or two of encouragement, if they are a bit reluctant.
9. Give Them Fun – by switching employees on to their future possibilities, they will perform much better in the short-term too as they engage, enthuse and enjoy their work.
10. Review – your plans will need occasional review as situations change – and that’s vital.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Recognition and Reward System

 “People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition”. 
~Bob Nelson

The old adage “Look after the small things and the big things look after themselves” can easily be applied to the workforce of an organisation. “Look after your people and the business will look after itself”. It could not be more relevant today as when it was first said. The staff in an organisation is more than employees. They are valuable individuals with unique competencies and characteristics who require appreciation as much as a paycheck. People need to know  not only how well they have achieved their objectives or done their work but  also that their achievement are appreciated. Recognition and Rewards give employees the extra push they need to do their jobs just a little bit better. Organizations that fail to effectively recognize their employees are losing the very workers they wish they could keep.

Reward and recognition is concerned with the range of practices an organisation undertakes (financial and non-financial) to compensate employees, maximize employee engagement and encourage behaviours that lead to organisational success.
Recognition is about acknowledgement and appreciation for a contribution, improvement, innovation, or excellence—a message to employees that they are valued. The act of recognizing an employee affirms the values and spirit underlying the achievement. It’s also about reinforcing desired behaviors and increasing their occurrence. Attitude and performance are closely linked; the appropriate recognition at the appropriate moment will create a positive attitude that, in turn, will lead to improved performance.
 Reward is the direct delivery of money or something of financial value. In contrast to recognition ,reward should punctuate appropriate achievements and serve as manifestations of ongoing recognition. While recognition is an intangible expression of worth, rewards are concrete expressions of appreciation that are meaningful to the receiver. Recognition is always powerful, but reward without recognition is weak. Typical rewards are pay promotional increases, bonuses, benefits, company cars, profit sharing and trips.

Recognition and rewards can be formal and informal. Informal recognition, meaning, spontaneous or immediate—simple thank you’s or expressions for a job well done.  It indicates a culture or atmosphere that acknowledges good behavior when it happens. Informal recognition is a critical component in human nature and the social structure—it’s a major motivator and results in people feeling good about themselves and their achievements. This should be carried over into the workplace, as a sign of respect and acknowledgement.