The 1980s was a decade of profound political, economic and social change. ( Kessler and Bayliss, 1992:235, cited in McLoughlin, I. and Gourlay, S, 1994:9) In political environment, a fundamental shift towards free-market economics and a rejection of Keynsian economics and corporatism; in economic environment, recession and high unemployment and in which product markets became increasingly competitive; in social environment, extension of ‘privatized’ and ‘individualist’ attitudes and values(McLoughlin, I.and Gourlay, S, 1994:9).
Industrial relations face many new issues and challenges as well. This essay will assess the implication for management and employers from four aspects: workplace bullying, work life balance (WLB), union involvement in work pace learning and the growth of non-union workplaces. Workplace bullying is making much account by management in nowadays, because the serious consequences. To avoid it, the prevention approaches are undertaken by many employers. WLB is a significant mark for modern workplaces.
Female managers face more conflict between work and domestic life. The flexible working hours and family friendly policy are conducting by more and more companies. In order to revitalisation, union is trying to form the partnership with employers in workplace learning. UNISON is a good practice. However, since 1990s, Union members were dramatically declining and non-unionism firms emerged extensively, especially private, small firms. Without union, employers are more focus on human resource management (HRM), which will be analysed in detail below.
Workplace bullying Bullying is defined in terms of the persistence of insulting, malicious, intimidating, exclusionary or sometimes violent behaviour, which adopts a particular pattern and dynamic, with the escalation of the problem over a period of time (Einarsen, Raknes, Mathiesen and Hellesi?? y1994: 20, cited in Hoel and Cooper 2001: 4, Hoel, H. and Beal, D. 2006). The definition contains four key phrases: repetition, negative effect, imbalance of power and negative acts. (Hoel, zapf and cooper, 2002, cited in Smith, M 2007: 369)
That means without any factor the behaviour can’t be identified as bullying. For example, occasional quarrel, conflict between two colleagues in the same status, et al. By the emergence of workplace bullying, is concerned by media and society. In addition, some government departments and state-funded bodies are engaging in the issue. There is not a specific legal framework to address the problem of workplace bullying. The British government’s position is that current legal remedies suffice and, therefore, has resisted the introduction of specific regulations.
Basis on the case or otherwise legal possibilities may be imaginatively explored through the vicarious liability principle, health and safety legislation or even stalking or public order laws (Hoel, H. and Beal, D. 2006). Therefore, the legal framework for workplace bullying in Britain is generally weak and unclear, the focus is very much on case law and the general trajectory of this is relatively difficult to predict. For instance, Times reported a woman is paid 600,000 for her complaint- sexual discrimination and victimisation as well as wrongful and unfair dismissal after consisting bullying by her boss.
Although, employees can’t make a direct complaint on the ground ‘bullying’, they can lodge complaints under other laws, such as those on discrimination and harassment (IRS, 2006a) Bullying is usually seen conducted by managers to their subordinates. However, a survey conducted by Chartered Management Institute shows that 39 percent of all managers had been bullied during past three years. Worse more, middle managers were bullied more. The survey also indicates that more than half (59%) of bullying are perpetrated by peers. (IRS. 2006b) There are serious consequences of bullying to employers.
It can cause a serious consequence if bullying can’t be dealt properly, e. g. potentially large compensation, bad reputation. First, bullying can reduce the productivity of the victim. The lost productivity cost is estimated from the victim resigns, the inefficient work of the replacement worker until she or he reaches the same performance standard of who they replace. The 2005 Andrea Adams Trust survey of bullying victims found that 60 percent work less effectively. (IRS, 2006a) There are also similar productivity effects on co-workers who witness bullying.
Second, victims of bullying frequently seek respite by taking days off work. The Andrea Adams Trust survey identified that 53 percent bullying victims take time off work. Figures from the Department of Trade and Industry show that, the economy cost in UK is 1. 3 million per year for the resultant stress and sick absence. Third, increase labour turnover with all its associated cost of recruitment and training. Evidence supporting the claim is based on peoples ‘stated intention to leave’ rather than the number of victims who actually leave.
Wollf, C (IRS.2006a) pointed out that 34 percent victims make formal complaint; however, 52 percent victims choose to look for other job. Forth, the reputation of organisation is largely damaged by bullying. Bullying will impose a bad impact on stakeholders. (Smith, M. 2007) With the corporate social responsibility emphasised by more and more people, especially be the media, bullying is a real cost to good CSR practice. Over the last seven years or so, British employers have become increasingly interested in attempts to tackle bullying (as cited in Hoel, H. and Beal, D.2006: Andrea Adams Trust 2005; CIPD 2004, 2005; IRS 2006a: 9-11; IRS 2006b).
These initiatives have included anti-bullying and harassment policies, their public endorsement by management, complaints procedures for victims, arrangements for procedures to be periodically reviewed and training for managers. (Hoel, H. and Beal, D. 2006) As a result, prevention is the key factor in anti-bullying. Organisations can do a great deal to reduce bullying. Create a climate in which bullying is not tolerated is important. The organisation’s philosophy, values and norms have no place for the harassment.
Set a standard and discipline. The anti-bullying policy should be set following legal responsibilities and corresponding procedures. As Wollf, C (IRS, 2006a) shows that the survey related to workplace bullying suggests that the there is an increasing awareness among employers. The proportion of respondents has an anti-bullying policy in 1999 is two-thirds; however, in 2006 the proportion has been increased to 92 percent. Employees can aware which behaviour is acceptable and which is not through the policy. After that, the policy should be advertised extensively to guarantee it is received by each department.
Managers should also act as role models and ensure that they do not bully their own subordinates. Just Like, selfton park palm house preservation trust which communicate with staff about the bullying policy, e. g. consulted with staff, have group meeting and discussion. For the organisation, non-bullying is more than a policy, it is becoming a culture. After setting the anti-bullying policy, organisations should train staff, especially managers and supervisors. Training alerts people to the possibility that their behaviour might constitute bullying and gives them guidance on alternative ways of achieving objectives.
Finally, the mechanism to deal with any bullying should be set up. There are formal and informal approaches to deal with bullying. Usually, informal approach is more willingness to accept. It includes face-to face meeting, consult to mediator, etc. Different approaches can be taken depending on circumstances. The easy step is to nominate a member of staff to whom allegation of bullying should be reported to. Another is to guarantee that anyone reporting bullying would, initially, have complete confidentiality. Because, once bullying is alleged, there may be bad impact for both sides, especially the perpetrator.
The case should be processed sympathetically, promptly and in an impartial way. There should be mechanism support both to the person making the complaint and the alleged perpetrator. (Smith, M. 2007) Monitor obvious signs of bullying, monitor stop the deterioration of performance. Work-life balance Clark (2000, cited on webct) defined work-life balance as ‘satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home with a minimum of role conflict’ Besides work, employees have life of their own, e. g. , children, marriage, lonely parents, leisure, etc.
Across Western Europe, more women, particularly the mothers of young children, are entering the labour force. (Sullivan, 2000; Crompton, Brockmann, cited in Crompton, R. 2005:214) It implicates that, workers takes more than one responsibilities, e. g. children. Science 1990, modern society pays more attention on work life balance than quantity of work. With the ageing of the population, smaller form of family, employees find it is hard to competent work and life contemporarily. (Edeards, p. and Wajcman, J 2005) High score of work life balance leads to high quality work.
These changes will affect management and employer as while. Managers may face more problem with work life imbalance, besides, male and female manager have to be discussed separately. For employers, aiming at the long term profit, they should conduct with the legislation to obtain better work-life balance. Observed that being ‘a successful manager’ required an overriding commitment to work, where the job consumed waking hours and dominated life. (Wajcman, 1998, cited in webct) Male managers more likely to be married have children and have full-time housewife or partner.
However, women are more likely to involve in domestic life. While men work longer paid hours, women’s composite working time, including employment, commuting and unpaid work at home, tends to be longer than that of men. This is the case whether woman is in part-time or full-time employment. (http://www. eurofound. europa. eu) Unpaid working hours include childcare, adult care and housework.
That’s why women were found to have significantly higher scores in work-life problems than men in a survey conducted by Dex, S.and Bond, S. (2005). To solve this, women managers usually serviced by other women’s labour. The feminization of the labour force has greatly increased demand for the types of services that housewives traditionally perform, such as cleaning, cooking, and childcare. (Edeards, p. and Wajcman, J 2005: 58) Woman flow from the third world e. g. Philippines to the first world to work, leaving their children and family without care. Besides, another outsourcing fast food industry can be seen as another solution.
McDonald’s are preferred the public, no matter in the low price or the time saving. To protect employee’s right and obtain working time balance, the state take intervention through European Working Time Directive (EWTD), Work and Families Act 2006, Right to request flexible working. Such as, part-time work – employees are contracted to work less than standard, basic, full-time hours. Flexi-time – workers have the freedom to work in anyway they choose outside a set core of hours determined by the employer. Staggered hours, compressed working hours etc.
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