Team-building and Empowerment in a Unionised Environment
This group operates as a health provider service within a small but successful and rapidly changing service section. Currently a lot of core services are also provided by a number of creditable competitors in their main catchment area. It is important for this company to continue to strive to their highest standards at all times in order to maintain competitive advantage as any of their potential rivals could try and obtain a larger proportion of their existing and future market shares. The market which this company operates is has high unemployment statistics and low skill levels, it varies often and is a highly competitive market environment where efficiency, service quality and effectiveness are dominant to the companies continued viability. Failing standards of respect of service quality, declining employee performance, ineffective and inefficient working practices and procedures became evident to managers through closing in house monitoring. The case study informs of problems in employee management and work organisation identified during enquires. Required changes are needed at speed and a new strategy must be designed to “streamline management practices, improve employee relations and ensure the effective management of change. Within the Operation Support Department including professional, technical and operational support workers there is around 1000 support staff. Unionisation presently stands at 80% Unison, 15% General municipal and Boilermakers Union (GMD) and 5% non-union. Staff turnover is relatively unwavering; around 60% of present employees have been employed by this company for around 10years. At the minute support staff work in groups off/between four or six with one main leader in charge, this is a permanent condition in most departments. They also work rotating shift patterns of three eight-hour shifts. Delegation, communication, team-building and employee empowerment have all been challenging for managers, trade union representatives and employees of this health service provider as evidence of unclear roles and a degree of inconsistency regarding people management arrangements is evident within supervisory grades within this company. Frequently supervisory grades including group leaders within certain departments resign certain people management responsibilities ignoring the fact that they are not trained or paid enough to undertake these duties. Significant operational procedures are not being fully executed and there is evidence of insular, group centred culture which has appeared to have gained dominance over customer needs which in any company should be off upmost importance at all times. Slack reporting structures, weak lines of communication, along with ill-defined limits of authority and accountability have resulted in indistinct roles, job insecurity, low morale and poor motivation at operational level. At the minute existing groups work independently with little evidence of effective management control. Over rigid lines of differentiation have become established and a multi structured differentiated bonus system, introduced in the early 1970s were the Unions demanded higher pay and bonuses but didn’t think about the long term consequences because although their pay increased, productivity didn’t therefore causing a slump in turnover leading to the recession which resulted in hundreds of employees being laid off. Over rigid lines to differentiation tends to reinforce inflexibility in working practices. There is also evidence of a somewhat malicious atmosphere within intergroup cooperation was controlled. An Organisation is a “System of activities and behaviours to enable humans and their machines to accomplish goals and objective a joint function of human characteristics and the nature of the task environment.” Management involves organising a structure, a company’s resources and activities inside and outside of the particular...
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