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One of the most pressing issues facing most organizations today is the need to raise employee productivity. There is a widespread belief 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 activities of trade unions and the operations of arbitration tribunals are often viewed as impediments to management efforts to lift the competitive performance of their organizations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate these arguments, identify ways employee relations affect productivity, and how to improve productivity in organizations. 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.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
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, cent percent involvement and commitment of all employees, incentives for employee motivation, and effective e communication system in the organization. Healthy employee relations lead to more efficient, motivated and productive employees which further lead to increase in production level. Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500. While it is possible that employees enjoy working at these organizations because they are successful, the Watson Wyatt WorldwideHuman Capital Index study suggests that effective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes more often than positive financial outcomes lead to good practices.
In recent times, while most workers are on job, they do not produce more simply because of the 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 will be reduced drastically.
By many accounts, employee relations today are in crisis. In academia, its traditional positions are threatened on one side by the dominance of mainstream economics and organizational behaviour, and on the other by postmodernism. In policy-making circles, the industrial relations emphasis on institutional intervention is trumped by a neo-liberal emphasis on the laissez faire promotion of free markets.
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine employee relations and its effect on employee productivity. Specific objectives of the 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.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to bring out the various employee relations practices in an organization and the various practices needed to increase its productivity and contribute its quota in the economic development of the communities which it operates, and the country at large. This study will therefore help enlighten management of various organizations of the various effects of relationship practices between employers and employees in an organization. The study will also bring out specifically, the employee relations practices which various organizations use.
1.4 SCOPE AND ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the research will be limited to the employee relations practices and effects on employee productivity. The research will rely on both primary and secondary sources of data.
The project will be organized around following chapters;
Section one gives an introduction to the research work. This chapter therefore consists of the background of the study and, objectives, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, and limitations encountered by the researcher.
Section Twoconsists of the theoretical and conceptual issues, relevant extant literature on the subject and conceptual classifications.
Section three gives details of the qualitative analysis of the phenomenon under study, analysis of subject and assessment of the subject.
Section Four gives the findings and conclusion of the researcher. Here, conclusions will be drawn based on the findings and their implications will also be given.
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