Employee Relations Lecture 9 Employee Involvement

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Transcript of Employee Relations Lecture 9 Employee Involvement

Employee Participation, InvolvementImplications for Employee Relations

Employee Participation

Long history in Personnel/HRM Distinguish Direct v Indirect Formal v Informal Scope limited/broad Level team/department/company Focus task/team/individual Changing emphasis Employee Involvement v Participation

DistinctionsSalamon (1998)Industrial Democracy Worker control Employee Participation Influencing decision-making Employee Involvement Engage support, understanding, commitment and contribution

Continuum of Employee Participation

No Involvement

Receive Information

Joint Consultation

Joint DecisionMaking

Employee Control

Source: Blyton and Turnbull 1998

Phases and Influence of Forms of Participation in UKMarxist Worker Control


Collective Bargaining Joint Consultation Employee Involvement


Downward Communications

Task-Based Participation







Control Level Co-determination Collective Bargaining Consultation Communication Information Scope of Involvement

Levels of ParticipationWorker Directors

Collective Bargaining Works Councils Joint Consultative Committees Task-Based Participation

Theoretical Contributions

Unitarist - Human Relations/HRM Mayo communications/consultation influence in Britain post 1930s HRM EI alternative to unions or provide dual channel (Willman 2007) Marxist Cycles of control (Ramsay 1977) participation as response to challenges to management authority and changes in power within capital-labour relations Pluralist Wave theory (Marchington1992)

Employee Involvement and ParticipationRecent interest from two main sources: Rise of HRM Focus on EI means to securing commitment and high performance - HPWS Mutual gains enterprise (Kochan and Osterman 2000) Co-operation, mutual interest v conflict in employment relationship High involvement mining the gold in peoples heads to secure improved performance European Initiatives European Works Councils (1990s) Information and Consultation Directive (2002) Tensions between HRM and EU Agendas

Employee Involvement

HRM influence seen through claimed links between EI and performance Performance a function of Ability Motivation Opportunity (AMO) More rigorous selection and better training systems to increase ability levels, more comprehensive incentives to enhance motivation , and participative structures that improve opportunity to contribute (Applebaum et al. 2000, in Boxall and Purcell p. 20).

Linkages within High Performance Work SystemsHR Practices and operating systems designed and bundled to enhance Ability Motivation Opportunity Improved systemic response to employee effort Expanded employee potential and increased discretionary effort

Improved company performance

Improved worker outcomes

Supportive company, industry and societal context

Guest (2000) Link HRM and Business Performance HR Strategy Business Strategy

HR Practices HR Effectiveness HR OutcomesQuality of Service Financial Performance Productivity

Employee Involvement

EI major area of growth in Britain since early 1980s Particular configuration of; - Level - Scope - Direct involvement - Focus Complex reasons for growth see Marchington work, often dual-channel (exists alongside indirect communications)

Employee Involvement

Employee Involvement includes: Teamworking (including self-managing teams) Team Briefing Downward communications Two-way communications Suggestion schemes Problem-solving groups Financial participation (includes profit sharing schemes and ESOPs)

And Engagement?

Engagement is an idea whose time has come.it represents an aspiration that employees should understand, identify and commit themselves to the objectives of the organisation they work for..(however).HR professionals need to recognise that engagement is a strategic issues that cannot simply be left to manage itself (CIPD 2005, 2006) An illustration of the assumed links between engagement and other factors is contained on the next slide

Employee Engagement (CIPD 2007)Opps for upward feedback

Feeling informed


Mgt commitment to organisation


Managers fairness re: issues

Intention to StayTreating employees With respect

Participation in EU

In EU model of legally constituted forms of indirect involvement via Works Councils (or equivalent) and (in some countries) employee representation at senior levels in organisations board level Works councils/works committees at establishment or organisational level: Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, similar structures in Denmark, Norway Representative system - Key role for trade unions and worker representatives

European Union Traditions

Model of participation in EU normally a dual system of industry-wide collective bargaining and companybased works councils Some countries (Germany) gone further in formal systems of co-determination at company level EU tried to extend this to other countries with Draft 5th Directive (1972) and recently with European Works Council Directive and Information and Consultation Directive (2002) Tensions EU v UK models of involvement

European Union Traditions

EWCs covers undertakings with 1000 + employees within EU countries and with 150 + employees in two or more of the countries Latter covers companies such as M&S, McDonalds There are currently over 600 EWCs in multinationals within the EU, 100+ of which are UK firms

Involvement and ParticipationEurope The Information and Consultation Directive UK law introduced 2005 2008 Brings UK more closely in-line with other EU countries Works Councils Legally constituted forum for information and consultation contrasts with voluntary tradition in UK cover all organisations with 50+ employees Represents a shift back to indirect participation at a level above the workgroup

Involvement and Participation

In UK considerable hostility to Directive from Government and employers Many see as alien to traditions of involvement and participation in UK encroachment into managerial prerogative Led to a Watering down of Directive to cover direct forms of involvement in UK legislation DTI/BERR work links EU developments with HPWS

Evidence on Involvement and Participation in UKLatest WERS 2004 indicates that: 72% of workplaces had some form of teamworking for core employees 83% used some form of downward communication 63% had regular meetings with feedback 71% used team-briefing for communication 30% had problem-solving groups 30% used suggestion schemes More common in Public than Private sector

Evidence from the UK

According to WERS (2004) 91% of workplaces have meetings with entire workforce or team briefings 38% use e-mail (48% in public sector), 34% the intranet (48% in public sector) 42% use employee surveys (66% public sector) 45% use regular newsletters 74% use noticeboards

Limited change in use of these since 1998 survey

What Does Evidence Tell Us?

Management control involvement on managements terms? Emphasis on top-down communications unitarist More communication and consultation far less negotiation Is management listening? Management cultures is knowledge still power?