It was viewed that as Rod Combs writes ‘a group of people is likely to be more effective than an individual (Combs, 1987:259). To be able to influence change and publicist an issue, the idea that a group had more power than one person inspired a collaboration of workers to join together to fight for their rights and this is where the idea of a Trade Union was established. A Trade Union is a group of workers in a trade who make joint decisions to protect their rights and interest within their working environment.
As stated on the Unison website ‘the main activities of a trade onion include providing assistance and services to their members, collectively bargaining for better pay and conditions for all workers, working to improve the quality of public services, political campaigning and industrial action’ (Unison, 2014). They fundamentally provide support and assistance to employees of an organization and bargain on behalf of the union members. Due to the early union bargaining in 1 867 employees are now able to benefit from better pay, 8 hour working, benefits, health and safety and a much more workforce focused environment.
Many trade unions are independent of their employer but aim o keep a close working relationship in order to identify common interests and objectives. Unions train and organize workplace representatives that aim to provide support and guidance to union members with any issues that they face at work. Union members are only able to benefit from the support of the union providing they are a member through a payable subscription. The funds received from members allows for salaries to be paid during a strike and contribute to other services, such as legal advice and discounts.
In order for a Trade Union to be able to have any impact and support employees within an organization they need to be recognized by an employer before it has any bargaining power. This can either be through voluntarily recognition where the employer accepts bargaining with the union and this is the most common form. Alternatively the employer may refuse to recognize a union which means that the union has to apply for statutory recognition providing it has already requested recognition in writing to the organization in the first instance.
Once recognition has been achieved the employer has certain legal obligations to adhere too with the trade union and an agreement on how both arties will conduct collective bargaining needs to be formalized. Collective bargaining is essential as this is how the union will negotiate with the organization. It is as the gob. UK website states ‘covers the terms and conditions of workers in a defined ‘bargaining unit’ (Gob, 2014). It is a process of negotiations between employer and union aimed at reaching an agreement to regulate working conditions.
Evaluate the Key objectives off Union The main purpose of a Trade Union is to fundamentally look after the wellbeing of the worker within the workplace. P. N Sings writes that the ‘role of Trade Unions is that of the protector (Sings, 201 1 :56) and this has been the key objective since it came into fruition in 1867. Its primary purpose is to focus on improvements of working conditions, protecting and enhancing wages, protecting employment and fighting against discrimination, unfairness and exploitation of workers.
Trade Unions offer support within the workplace, they are a representative and a voice for the worker(s) and more recently members are offered additional benefits such as legal advice, training, financial assistance and welfare discounts. A close working harmonious relationship between employer and employee is he ultimate desire of a Trade Union and this involves striking a balance of interest between both the employer and the employee with the Trade Union ultimately representing those of the employee.
An employer strives for success and profit whereas employees strive for security, good working conditions and benefits. The Trade Unions main objective is to negotiate with the employer in the interests of the employee regarding issues that affect their members. There may be a difference of opinion between management and trade union and the ultimate aim is to provide a solution that is fair and equal. Unions aim to work loosely with employers to enable constructive bargaining and to promote schemes and incentives which benefit both employer and Union interests.
Trade Unions can positively improve the working relationship between employer and employee which naturally aids productivity and individual satisfaction. Representation of an employee(s) is a key objective of a trade Union. It aims to resolve difficult situations on behalf of the individual or group. A Union representative can bring in legal advice if required and get financial compensation if a work related injury occurs or to assist individuals who have ad to take their employers to court. The main focus is to protect the employee interests.
Additionally, a union obtains a broad perspective on such issues affecting companies and industry specific knowledge which could be beneficial to the organization. Informing and consulting both organization and employee can help the organization make better decisions for the future, in particular with regards to shift patters, redundancies, legal policies and health and safety. By working closely with both parties the Union is able to work towards their key objective of creating a harmonious environment. Trade Unions have seen the improvements of working conditions as one of their top priorities since the beginning of their time.
A study for the Health and Safety Executive (HOSE, 1999) found that employers with trade union health and safety committees had half the injury rate of those employers who managed safety without unions. Ensuring workplaces are safe, trade unions have shown to reduce accident rates at work, ensured safe working practices and reduced stress-related ill health caused by long working hours, being bullied or poor working environments. Evidence shown in the HOSE report confirms that noised work places are safer which has subsequently benefited the employer in minimizing its costs of ill health and accidents.
Trade Unions play a primary role in the fight against discrimination, fair and equal working practices and aim to promote diversity within the work place. The main objective of the union is to promote equal opportunities, identify incidences of discrimination, fight for better pay, working conditions and support the interests of the employee. Working alongside the organization to ensure that anti-discrimination policies are properly implemented is key in ensuring equal opportunities are taken seriously.
The presence of such policies and awareness provides a more attractive environment to workers and results in a reduce level of staff retention absenteeism and improves productivity. HOMEWORK BRIEFING Analyses the importance of good Communication Communication is the key resource of how a company operates; it is the medium to which organization’s ensure they have the vital resources needed such as capital, labor, and materials. Specifically, good communication is an essential tool in achieving success, be this through the company’s team of people, ensuring good relationship with a supplier or marketing.
It is through the powers of effective communication that organization’s achieve, produce, improve and maintain strong relationships at every level. An organization that invests time and energy in delivering clear lines of communication will enhance trust and inevitably improve productivity, enthusiasm and the overall morale of the team. A poor level of communication could be detrimental to the business as it not only creates a disengaging atmosphere but allows for misunderstandings, inconsistencies and more importantly overlooked opportunities that could have enhanced growth and profit.
Management communication refers to as van Riel and Charles Bombproof writes ‘accomplishing work through other people’ (Riel, Bombproof, 2007:15). Managers have to fulfill certain functions within their role such as organizing, planning, delegating, controlling and achievement of all these factors rely heavily on effective communication. Ensuring that employees are properly communicated to either through one on one or regular staff updates ensures consistent output and productivity as individuals have a good understanding of what is expected, he deadline in which activities need to be achieved and the overall goal of the company.
Managers often have to respond carefully to those individuals that do not like being managed. A key skill in management is to continuously persuade employees that the goals of the company are worth fighting for. The ability to communicate effectively is therefore one of the most important skills of a manager to achieve acceptance from the team to represent the company values effectively. Effective internal communication is an equally vital medium as it encourages a two way communication system with managers.
Corner Minutes highlights the role of managers in communication, stressing that communication has to become everyone’s business if we want it to influence the bottom line (Menthes, 2006: 152). For Minutes, communication is the responsibility of everyone in an organization from the bottom up but managers must encourage it not only between manager and subordinates but encourage the whole team to be effective communicators. When all members of a team, department, or organization are able to communicate effectively with each other and with people outside their group, they are much more likely to perform well.
The successful manager, therefore, needs effective communication skills. Additionally, effective internal communication makes individuals feel that they are valued for their contribution and thus take pride and esteem in their work. Management decisions are then influenced by the feedback from the employees and more informed decisions can be made for the benefit of everyone. Furthermore, this method of communication allows for the sharing of knowledge, new ideas, information and encourages a healthy open relationship between manager and employee.
Patrick Ossifies states that ‘the factors that contribute to failure in implementation of organizational objectives include lack of clarity of purpose and failure in understanding of objective policies and tasks at any level by any group or individual (Ossifies, 1983:40). Effective communication lies at the heart of the organization and the performance of its employees. Success depends on how effectively the communication systems have been implemented and how efficiently and professionally a company communicates.
The importance of effective communication for managers cannot be overemphasized as everything a manager does, involves communicating. Communication is needed to increase efficiency, satisfy customers, improve quality, and create innovative products. Outline Strategies for dealing with Conflict Creating a culture that encourages unity and an open and honest two way communication system enables effective and quick resolutions to arising conflicts. Grievances within the workplace are inevitable and managers must make conflicts priority so productivity and focus can resume as normal and negativity amongst the team is quickly depleted.
A grievance procedure that is clear, concise and well-structured enables all parties to express their concerns in the initial stages of them rising and via the corrective methods. Effective communication systems accompanied by good working relations prevent matters escalating further than necessary warding of issues that could easily become a legal matter. A strategy for addressing conflict may be to have clearly prescribed guidelines on the correct course of action to take when conflicts arise.
The guidelines should articulate the process to be followed to ensure equitable, fair and balanced approaches are taken each time and thus corrective and decisive outcomes can be sanctioned. The likelihood of recurrence of issues are therefore eradicated should a concise approach be taken. The first method of approach to a conflict is to organize a meeting whereby both parties can discuss the matter face to face. Prior to the meeting a method of approach may be to request that the individuals involved agree to a few guidelines which could help in resolving this issue without irrational outbursts.
Requesting individuals remain calm and try to be objective in order to understand the other party point of view makes for a more constructive meeting. Talking through the root of the problem can reveal an easy solution that may not have been obvious before issues where verbalized. It is essential to allow both parties to air their issues on a level playing field as to not undermine or make the other party feel ridiculed as this will more than likely lead to a recurrence of the conflict. The ability to be heard can often be the solution to resolving minor issues.
Conflicts within the workplace however are not always of a minor nature and may be more complex. In this instance it may be necessary to involve qualified professionals such as a solicitor to represent both parties if a solution could not be reached following initial conversations. However, it is within the employer’s interest to avoid this method as much as possible and aim to resolve the issue internally. Employing an external professional could be harmful to the overall workforce as the issue has naturally intensified which could have a negative impact on the rest of the team.
It may be that one or both of the individuals involved have to return to their normal duties and exceptions may have to made to their role or where and whom they work with. Issue that escalate thus far are not forgotten quickly. The main causes of conflict range from philosophical differences, unclear or misunderstood goals and objectives to power imbalances. Poorly managed inflicts generate from a breakdown in trust and loss of productivity and so it is the responsibility of the manager to ensure arising issues are dealt with quickly.
Strategies for dealing with conflict therefore involve communicating and having clear practices in place. Understanding and acknowledging the situation is the first step to resolving it. Patience is key as viewpoints need to expressed and the information needs to be evaluated carefully as to not reach a solution that does not alienate an individual. Acting decisively ensures the right decision has been made once all factors have been considered and keeping the flow of two way immunization allows for both sides to be heard.
Discuss the Key Principles of the Health and Safety at Work Act The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, often referred to as HAS or HAS provides a legal framework in which employers must comply in providing a safe standard of health and safety within the workplace. The act protects workers from workplace activities and every employer has a legal duty as stated in the act to ‘ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees’ (Hugs, Ferret, 2011: 16).
Generally, all employers must ensure that he working environment is safe, preventing risk to health, ensuring equipment is safe to use, conditions are compliant and relevant information is provided in clear view reminding employees of any potential risk. The first key principle of health and safety is for every organization to ensure that a general duty of care is every person’s responsibility at every level. All employees have an equal responsibility to ensure that a reasonable level of care is applied at all times whereby ones acts and omissions do not affect those of others.
A common sense approach is key in minimizing risk to accident, injury ND the general welfare of others. An employer must provide the relevant information and training to its employees to enforce a duty of care approach. Demonstrating concerns for health and safety is not only a key factor in ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation. It can however be a key in building trust and reinforcing commitment to employees, and can help improve staff retention, boost productivity and pave the way for greater employee engagement.
Furthermore, the health and safety act covers a variety of specific points around areas such as work equipment, which must meet essential safety acquirement and safe systems of work must be established, and Personal Protective Equipment, which should be provided free of charge. All of which should follow employees being given comprehensible information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety and that of others.
The act also covers the exposure to hazardous agents such as fumes, noise, vibration, radiation or harmful micro-organisms which must be eliminated or adequately controlled. Employees working in environments which contain such hazardous agents may include warehouses, workshops, factories, laboratories. In particular, employees must be made aware of such hazardous agents which may specifically affect their health and wellbeing. Specifically, pregnant woman or individuals who suffer from asthma or have breathing difficulties may easily be affected by such hazardous agents.
Additionally the act requires that all workplace environments meet specific legal requirements. In particular work areas should have a reasonable temperature, be clean and clear of obstructions, are well lit, ventilated and enable employees to work comfortably with sufficient working space with easy access to and from the working environment. Adequate access to and from the area of work is essential, in particular in case of a fire employees must be able to easily escape from the building calmly without obstruction with could cause injury in what may be an already concerning situation.
Adequate precautions should be taken against fires and explosions with assigned and adequate means of escape and firefighting equipment should be provided. All work environments must ensure that emergency procedures including fire or injury are adequately in place and are assigned to competent persons trained to deal with such emergency situations. A clear plan of action ensures that situations will be dealt with quickly calmly and importantly in a controlled manor.
In the event of a fire or explosion adequate precautions should be taken with assigned and clear means of escape and firefighting equipment should be provided. In the event of accident or injury procedures are essential so managers have the means to report minor injuries, mishaps and adverse events that occurred during working hours. Incidences should be reported through RIDDED (Reporting of injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations of 1985). Thus enabling future risk assessments to take into consideration reported incidences and to avoid recurrence.