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Workplace conflicts are widespread and unavoidable. Furthermore, they might happen amongst employees of the same level or between a junior and a senior employee (Brass, 2011). The sales employee in the case study was dissatisfied with his manager's conduct and communication style. His excellent performance has been diluted, and the supervisor's tone has come across as haughty to the sales person.
Chun and Evans (2012) argue that in the case of workplace conflict resolution, it is critical to resolve the disagreement quickly and not wait too long. Further, it is important that before addressing a conflict, the mediator must give an ear to each (Chun & Evans, 2012). As an HR Manager, the first step in resolving the conflict would be to immediately ask both parties to give their side of the story. The next move would be to bring the two together to address the dispute. In the process of conflict resolution, I would only be a mediator but not a judge. However, as an HR Manager, I would be forced to point out the organization's policy on the issue (Campanelli, 1993). For instance, when the manager is reducing the sales employees share so that he does not seem to have over performed to make the others appear to be underperformers, there should be a better way of doing that with the sales employee's consent. Chun and Evans (2012) clarify that issues of conflicts that arise between senior and junior personnel are at times delicate to solve since they require that the senior staff does not feel insubordinate. The choice of meeting the manager first is most preferred.
It is evident under the circumstances that a supervisor has not behaved appropriately and has used his position to act against the employee over an issue that heavily depends on the sales employee to decide. It is common for managers to be less concerned with employee emotional needs (Chun & Evans, 2012). However, Chun and Evans (2012) advice that managers should undergo constant training to exhibit exceptional leadership skills. It will, therefore, be important for the HR Manager to advise the manager on the prudence of acting respectfully to the employees. Again it would be important to help the manager to realize that what he did was wrong and that it would affect the performance of the sales employee. Also, he needed to find a way of apologizing to the sales employee.
Employee voice is all about employee participation and opinion on matters to do with organization's progress or decision making. It is important that in every organization as well as the department, employees should be given a voice (Adelman, 2010). Chun and Evans (2012) claim that employees' voice is a critical tool in registering company growth. Besides, it makes employees feel motivated. In the case at hand, employee's consent is what is missing in the employee voice area (Adelman, 2010). The sales manager might have had a better idea, but in this case, the high sales had been achieved by sales employee, and it was through his consent that the manager ought to have made his decision.
To avoid a recurrence of such a conflict, HR should create a procedure that should be followed in case a similar resolution over sales has to be made (Employment Law Information Network n.d). In this process, a concerned sales employee must be involved, and a nonpartisan senior official of a company should also be present during the decision making process (Labor relations, 2013). Secondly, there should be procedures followed in cases of conflict with a supervisor. The first step would be the two solving their conflicts on their own within a given number of days, but in case the conflict is exceedingly serious that needs the involvement of a third party, the HR manager should be involved. Other policies and procedure of solving conflicts such as mutual respect and proper conflict resolution among employees that are common in every company policies should be implemented.
Adelman, K. S. (2010). Employee voice and upward communication: A phenomenological collective case study of leadership behaviors in performance excellence award winning health organizations. Capella University).ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 172. Retrieved from ProQuest (815412227).
Brass, L. (2011). Monitoring modern-day employee communications. Daily Herald, 20. Retrieved from: ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2266032981).
Campanelli, M. (1993).How to reward all your sales forces. Sales and Marketing Management, 145(4), 63-63.Retrieved from ProQuest.
Chun, E., B., & Evans, A., (2012) Creating a tipping point: Strategic Human Resource in Higher Education. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley Periodicals, Inc. ; San Francisco, CA. : Jossey-Bass
Employees recording & publicizing management's union communications. Retrieved from http://www.laborrelationstoday.com/2013/10/articles/corporate-campaigns/not-a-trick-or-treat-employees-are-recording-and-publicizing-managements-union-campaign-communications/
Employment Law Information Network. (Browse for useful related articles.) Retrieved from http://www.elinfonet.com/fedarticles/7/12
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