Human Resources Planning and Employee Relations
HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 1 Abstract
The golden rule of “treat others as you would like to be treated” has an important role in managing how organizations deal with employee relations. Most employees just want to be treated fair, honestly and in straightforward manner. When employees are unhappy, feel mistreated, lied to, manipulated or used by their employers is when they sue and this is when having the correct documentation comes into play. Motivated and happy employees will make the organization grow and succeed. Morale can be more important than any wonderful product, cutting-edge technology, or any industry experience. What is the lesson for employers? Invest in the most important asset which is the employees because satisfied employees improve all other areas of a healthcare organization especially patient care. Foremost, an organization needs and wants a happy, loyal, and motivated workforce. Maintaining Employee Records
In any organization the human resources department has an important job of maintaining accurate and objective employee records. This job duty is of the upmost importance because personnel planning depends on effective and accurate record keeping in order for the organization to be able to recruit, train, and develop the staff to their full potential (ACAS, 2005. para. 1). Good record keeping is crucial and can help human resources and management make decisions based on facts rather than guessing, to know what resources are available to meet the needs of employees, be able to accurately assess levels of performance, and be able to keep track of absenteeism, turnover, sickness, accidents and discipline actions in order to take the appropriate action in a timely manner (ACAS, 2005, para.1). HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 2 The necessity for effective record keeping can also be for the organization to implement policies and procedures for training, promotions, and dismissals. Some of the required documents that have to be kept are required by law and to provide statistics in order to develop unbiased policies on sex, race, age, or disability so that an objective employee handbook can be produced. Accurate employee records can help ensure that employees receive the correct pay and benefits. The records can be used to maintain fair and consistent treatment to help decide promotions and discipline actions (ACAS, 2005, pg. 2). If ineffective employee record keeping is practiced then without any documentation of any kind, Fallon and Mcconnell (2007) state “than an important matter, issue, or event is considered never to have occurred” (p. 297). Every piece of paper ever written about an employee is important in resolving a potential legal complaint against the organization. Most legal complaints deal with discrimination charges and violations of the Civil Rights Act and if requested if the documents cannot be produced it is assumed the organization is at fault (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, p. 300). The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) requires that certain types of documents be kept so that they can be reviewed during periodical reviews. If these records are not maintained the organization can face fines or lose its accreditation (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, p. 301). Documents to Keep in an Employee File
Maintaining an employee file is important, but there are certain types of documents that are formal and informal that needs to be kept in each file. HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 3 An example of a formal document is a signed employee handbook receipt. This is evidence that the employee received and read the handbook. This is proof that the employee received and read the handbook. This is kept to protect the employer in a situation where the employee denies knowledge of a certain rule or policy as an excuse for a violation (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, p.301). An example of an informal document that would be kept in an employee file is one that the employee’s department manager would keep in their own files. These can be performance appraisals or behavior problems write-ups. Keeping these documents protects the employer by allowing them to be proactive in preventing problems from becoming worse over time and the employer can refer the employee to an EAP program if needed (UVA Health System, 2013, para.12). Factors that Ensure Effective Termination
There are many significant factors that will ensure an effective legal termination but the most important is to document everything that is related to the employee’s dismissal and make sure all documentation is done and in place. If it is not in writing, it will make it easier for the employee to state that a particular incident never happened if being dismissed on poor performance, a discipline issue, or anything else of a serious nature. When a company is going through a downsizing there is not any one thing that an employee can protect themselves from being terminated but there are some ways to let management know that you are serious about staying. Some ways that Stephen Viscussi, author of “Bulletproof HUMAN RESOUCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 4 Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out on Top at Work”, states “the invisible guy is first to go” (as cited in Rosato, 2009, para.5). Viscussi points out that small stuff counts such as arriving early and leaving later after everyone else and big stuff matters such as volunteering for assignments that no one wants (Rosato, 2009, para.5). Also, an employee can increase the value of their job by expanding on expertise on what their job description is. Become familiar with technology or attend workshops. Go beyond the job description and pitch in when needed and look for issues that can be fixed and become more of a team player. Do not gripe about having to do more work, but embrace it. If need be, make a sacrifice and volunteer to take a pay cut or forego a bonus if the organization needs to cut costs (Rosato, 2009, para. 26-31). Challenges in Healthcare Ethics
Major challenges that today’s healthcare leaders are facing in trying to uphold the ethics of critique, justice, and caring are dealing with power and self-interests and on the other side integrity and honesty. Fallon and Mcconnell (2007) state that “power is the desired end and is sought at virtually any cost and holding power tempts an unethical leader to use an organization’s resources for self-benefit” (p.337). According to Fallon and Mcconnell, healthcare organizations face challenges when self-interests infringe on the rights and importance of others (p.339). Management can balance the need for ethics with employee and organizational needs by caring and helping employees grow and become accomplished at their job. Management can
HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 5 establish policies and procedures, contribute guidance for required conduct, and if necessary termination. Leaders in healthcare should not be willing to sacrifice the team or the organization for practices that are not in the best interest of the organization (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, pgs. 337-339). Succession Planning
Every organization should have a succession plan in place for changes in leadership that can happen at any time. Some steps that will ensure an effective succession plan are: Assess internal candidates- Set some criteria and a baseline of what the candidate should be. Top management should go through the executive assessment first and then the next layer of management and so on. This helps the board realize how the talent is from within and helps them decide whether or not to look outside the organization (Miles, 2009, para. 5). Train the successor- The organization needs to prepare for what happens after the successor is named because there is no “ready now” candidate. A named successor has training and learning to be done. Support must be provided such as a good team, a wise and accessible mentor and executive coaching (Miles, 2009, para.9). Set a timeline- Bring in the new successor at the right time. Current leaders should not stall the transition and a clear exit strategy should be in place (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, p.348). Perspective on Unions
Unions play a major role in today’s organizations as they set policies on wages, benefits, HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 6 and safety at the workplace. From an employee perspective, unions raise wages, reduce wage inequality, and help employees receive more generous benefits than non-unionized workers. Unionized workers are more likely than non-unionized workers to have paid leave, have better employer provided health insurance, and better pension plans. Unionized workers also play lower health care deductibles and once retired are more likely to have health insurance. Unions play a large role in securing labor protections legislation and rights such as safety and health, overtime, and family/medical leave and having these actually enforced (Wagner, 2008, pgs. 49-50). From a management perspective they want organizations to stay union-free. The main reason being is to have greater control over operations and managing employees. Management does not like unions because when a union is in place, the terms of the union contract must be followed at all times and puts limitations on many of management’s goals and operational processes. Also, unions increase costs which increases the costs for consumers, and they prevent communication between management and employee from flowing smoothly. (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, pg. 358). Conclusion
In conclusion, the human resources department can continue to be an effective strategic partner in helping the organization achieve its future goals by working with management as internal consultants on such issues as compensation, recruitment, disciplinary actions, performance appraisals, and training needs. Management should think of them as part of the executive team and form a partnership (Fallon & Mcconnell, 2007, pgs.410-417). HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 7 References
ACAS. (2005, February). Personnel data and record keeping. Retrieved from: http:// www.acas.org.uk/medical/pdf/7/r/B03_1.pdf
Fallon Jr., L.F., & Mcconnell, C.R. (2007). Human resource management in health care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Miles, S.A. (2009, July 31). Succession planning: How to do it right. Retrieved from: http://www. forbes.com/2009/07/31/succession-planning-right-leadership-governance. Ceos.html
Rosato, D., (2009, January 26). Tips to avoid getting laid off. Retrieved from: http:// jobs.aol.com/articles/2009/01/26/fireproof-your-job/
UVA Health System. (2013). Managing the troubled employee. Retrieved from: http:// www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/pub/feap/supervisor/managingemployee.html/ Wagner, V. (2008). Labor unions: opposing viewpoints. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.