The Importance of HR Policies and Strategies in International Organisations

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In today`s workplaces, effective policies, procedures, and strategies are necessary to improve the relationship between employees and management, and to ensure high-quality work output (Guest and Conway 2016, p. 381). Most employees in international organisations are individuals who portray different cultures, beliefs, values, and interests (Owen 2015, p. 475). The practices of discrimination, gender prejudice, unfair dismissals and violation of workers` rights are likely to occur in such organisations (Kalleberg 2013, p. 357). Therefore, a clearly outlined set of policies and strategies should be established to guarantee proper employment practices. The permanent guidelines provide a point of reference for the administration and workers, which can be utilised when dealing with specific issues in the workplace. The paper will discuss three critical issues; trade union recognition, participation and involvement, and partnership agreements that should be covered by Acorn Group (AG) in the implementation of their employment relations strategies and policies, for the next two to three years. Additionally, the essay will make a recommendation of the most appropriate approach of dealing with the wages and salary structure to be utilised in the forthcoming years.

Issues to Be Covered in AG Employment Relations Strategy

AG intends to apply employment relations policies to solve the problems of employee dissatisfaction due to excessive control by management, inequality and special treatment of employees. In addition to that, the organisation aims at ensuring better salaries and wages of its workers, high-quality work from the workforce and to maintain a positive relationship between the administration and its workers (Arrowsmith et al. 2013, p. 442). The formulation of such a scheme will require the engagement and participation of members from both sides to represent the interests of each party. The new strategies and policies should cover the following areas:

Trade Union Recognition

Acorn Group Company should promote the interests and employees` rights by recognising the trade union formed by a section of its workers. The operations of the union should be made legal and acceptable. The plan will provide an open platform where employees will be able to express their concerns about issues within the company (Dawson 2013, p. 47). Biases will be reduced since the management will treat each worker according to the agreed terms and conditions. The problem of special employee treatment will be eliminated. Moreover, the union will ensure better negotiation and bargaining concerning matters of payments and work conditions (Katz et al. 2017, p. 67). Preferably, recognition of the union should be done in the presence of a legal body which will lawfully confirm and document its existence. The strategy will bring a sense of belonging and acknowledgement of the workers who are more likely to get productive and motivated in fulfilling the Acorn Group`s objectives(Martin 2013, p. 2547).

The sections of the company`s constitution which provide guidelines about the treatment of workers and other protocols will be amended to create a new document which meets the demands of each stakeholder. The amendment process will involve the trade union representatives, human resource managers, AG management team and external experts of legal matters. The terms of collective bargaining will be laid down during the revision process to outline the issues of employment hours, work performance, pensions, job security, discrimination or unfair treatments, wages and pay rates (Katz et al. 2017, p. 67). The management will also benefit from this move since the motivation of employees will cut down the costs of labour turnover. Additionally, future conflicts within the company will be resolved formally and professionally without directly involving the individual worker (Roche and Turner 2014, p. 237).

Participation and Involvement

AG should cover the participation and involvement of its workers and trade unions in the employment relations plan. The organisation should harness workers’ prowess in decisions to introduce new technology and restructuring of the approaches used to deliver work (Spector 2012, p. 1010). Since the employees are educated and experienced individuals, they can improvise new techniques which will put the company on a competitive lead in comparison with other similar organisations (John et al. 2018, p. 76). Several employees have raised their concerns about minimal chances for showing creativity when working in AG. The workforce should be exposed to new ventures within the job through training, benchmarking, internship programmes and other educative forums (Kim 2012, p. 233). Individuals who show extraordinary potential should be motivated through job promotion or recognition of their work efforts. In addition to that, many workers have stated their dissatisfaction due to strictness from the line management. The participation strategy will eliminate such actions by providing occupation freedom to the workers.

According to Clarke and Ward (2016, p. 1183), such liberty boosts employees` confidence since they are free to be innovative, after understanding all the operations within their workplaces. The trade union should be allowed to propose future transformations that would be beneficial to the Acorn Group and its workforce. Successful companies perceive their staffs as long-term assets. By improving the staff contribution, AG will benefit by gaining experienced workers who understand the competition industry extensively (Lawler 2016, p.79). They will also reduce the amount of capital spent on advertisement and fresh recruitments to replace employees who quit due to low motivation and decreasing chances of career growth (Marchington and Wilkinson 2015, p. 414). Most importantly, workers who show interest in doing additional work should be encouraged instead of being limited by the management.

Partnership Agreements

Acorn Group needs to improve its partnership flexibility with employees, the trade union, and external temporary workforce teams. Currently, the organisation has significant restrictions in working with the human resource groups. Therefore, the management should cover this issue when implementing a new employment relation policy. The administration should be encouraged to form suitable agreements which can bring positive impacts (Lucio and Stuart 2014, p. 126). For example, the management can offer robust job security for its workers in exchange for better productivity through set targets and flexibility of employees.

During work instances where AG requires specialised workforce, the management should consider recruiting temporary staff from other bodies to perform a short-term job. Such an agreement would reduce the costs of hiring new technical employees who would be paid based on permanent remuneration terms (Narula and Hagedoorn 2012, p.290). Long-term goals will be easily achieved through partnerships since agreements are built based on mutual trust and respect, long-standing commitments, continuous and frequent communication and joint decision-making (Oxenbridge and Brown 2012, p. 269). Moreover, instances of disagreements are reduced since both parties are devoted to specific objectives.

According to Kelly (2015, p. 278), partnership agreements reduce absenteeism, turnover rates and recurrent work quitting. The strategy ensures higher productivity gains, better job quality and motivation of the workforce. Organisational contracts comply with the human relations theory which suggests that people can easily achieve self-fulfilment in the workplace (Uba et al. 2014, p. 5). The philosophy recommends the management to ensure job satisfaction of its workers by giving them a chance of expressing their potential in conducting a particular job. Partnership agreements follow the same concepts and perspectives since the employees are allowed to utilise new skills in the accomplishment of contracted tasks (Samuel and Bacon 2010, p. 440).

Specific Employment Relations Issue

Wages and Salary Structure of Acorn Group

There has been a lot of debate regarding wages, salary and compensation plans for employees in AG. Some workers have expressed their discontent especially in instances where individuals working on similar job levels are given different remunerations. In this section, recommendations for the best approaches when dealing with such issues will be made. Currently, AG pays using a combination of minimum wage rates and extreme rates for other employees. Minimum wages are given to new workers who hold simple positions (Dickens and Manning 2015, p. 625). Inexperienced and temporary workers are paid using this wage plan. The management perceives this strategy as the best in attracting the required number of individuals for specific tasks. On the other hand, top employees such as directors, managers, and other experienced individuals are paid using the ultimate wage plan where they are allowed to propose their desirable remunerations (Katz 2011, p. 1507). In addition to that, they are provided with better incentives and allowances. The top administration views these employees as members of a high calibre and vital assets to the organisation.

In AG, some employees of the minimum wage plan are paid higher than others even though they work under the same job level. The management gives advanced priorities to individuals who have more extended experience and those who are known to deliver high-quality work (Katz et al. 2014, p. 43). Their counterparts have aired their dissatisfaction about such manifestations since they believe that every worker should be treated and paid equally. The least payments are paid according to the hourly rates recommended by the national minimum wage (NMW) legislation body (Gilman et al. 2012, p. 60).

A sound wage policy should be introduced as part of the employment relations strategy. Krueger and Summers (2011, p.275) state that the formulation process should involve the management and representatives of the trade union. The plan should establish reasonable wage differentials which will be founded upon variances in job contents (Metcalf 2012, p. 507). The factors that should be considered include; job descriptions, work evaluation, the ability of the company to pay, workforce supply and demand, current costs of living, current employee market rates, workers` productivity, work requirements, psychological and social elements and other levels of skills in the market. Since the organisation plans to recognise the trade union, the management should also consider the bargaining power of its representatives. The current rates will be reviewed before coming up with a new wage structure.

The company should provide its financial records within the past five years and its budget for the next three years. The documents shall be necessary for assessing AG`s ability to pay. For example, wages should be increased for every employee if the organisation records show high sales and profits. The management should consider their employees in periods of prosperity since workers are part of the gain making process (Stewart 2014, p. 113). Contrary, if the organisation has been experiencing certain losses or market failure, the wages should be cut since the capital of paying employees is not available. However, payments for employees who are paid at national minimum wage rates should not be reduced since that would be a violation of the legislation terms.

AG should also consider the national, regional, and local supply and demand levels of the workforce. If demand for specific expertise is high with low supply, workers in that sector should be adequately rewarded, and vice versa (De Grip et al. 2012, p.227). Wages of employees who work in industries which have excessive workforce should be cut off to sustain other units which have a lower taskforce. Subsequently, employees who hold senior positions of additional expertise and specialisation should be highly paid.

The current market rate factor is the most commonly used criteria in the formulation of a wages and salary structure. AG conforms to NMW which outlines the least possible hourly rates that should be paid to employees. Significant transformations cannot be done considering these elements since it is a legal requirement. For example, competitors are required to conform to the average payment rates (Dickens and Manning 2015, p. 625). However, AG should allow its trade union to protect the interests of the employees by making sure that the management pays according to the set rates. Most importantly, employees with the same skills and experience should be paid equally. The dissatisfaction among a few employees will be eliminated if the organisation complies with such measures.

Acorn Group should consider the cost of living currently and the predictable trends over the next 2-3 years when making a new wage structure. Remunerations should be adjusted according to an increase or decrease in the cost of living. High living standards call for an increment in salaries, and vice versa (Low Pay Commission 2015, p. 12). If the standards are stable, the management should not hold any future negotiations with the trade union. In addition to that, the living wage should also be considered. Employees with higher family needs should have a higher salary (Low Pay Commission 2015, p. 12). However, the trade union should bargain about this issue since the management argues that employees should be paid according to their contributions instead of needs.

Additionally, AG should consider psychological and social elements in their salary strategy. The above factors imply that an employee`s dedication should not be overlooked. For example, workers who prove themselves in a particular task should have a unique salary cut (Gerhart and Bretz 2014, p. 89). Other plans can be put into place such as job promoting such employees to more privileged workgroups. The management should also pay employees based on ethical standards. For example, the amount of work done should always be compensated for the most appropriate amount of wages (Gerhart and Bretz 2014, p. 89). Hard work calls for higher pay. Finally, the organisation should reflect on the current market skills when making the next salary structure. Currently, technical and skilled labour has proven to have a unique demand, unlike other typical job descriptions. Individuals holding such positions should have a unique wage plan.

Conclusion

Acorn Group plans to gain a competitive edge over competitors in the industry by transforming its employment relations strategies. The organisation has realised that employees are the most valuable assets in an organisation, and they can bring a positive impact if properly managed. The company should cover trade union recognition, employee participation and involvement, and partnership agreements between the management and workers, in its strategy. AG has also identified a significant gap in the organisations` wages and salary structure. In regard to this special issue, the company is advised to review the factors of work evaluation, ability of the company to pay, workforce supply and demand, current costs of living, current employee market rates, workers` productivity, work requirements, psychological and social elements and other levels of skills in the market.

References

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January 19, 2024
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