(Solution) Oakwood International CIPD 5HR01 Employment Relationship Management


Section 1

A review of emerging development to inform approaches to employee voice and engagement. (AC 1.1) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the Reference box provided at the end of this section.
The ability of workers to articulate their concerns and views in the organization determines an organisation’s productivity and innovation (CIPD, 2022). Employee voice simply reflects the degree to which employees are given opportunities to share perspectives, ideas and concerns authentically and without fearing that this could bring negative consequences (Wong, 2020). Organisations have significantly changed their approach to employee voice and engagement. Unlike in past years when suggestion boxes and annual pulse-check surveys used to be the standard ways of obtaining employee feedback, contemporary firms have evolved in terms of the multiplicity of approaches used (Schmidt & the Forbes Human Resources Council, 2021). For example, employees have access to multiple feedback channels. Specifically, there is greater use of social media platforms like Zoom as well as Microsoft Teams through which employees can share issues (CIPD, 2022). A second trend is direct participation, where employees influence decisions and task execution themselves. Pursuant to the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations, employees in UK firms can now demand to be informed and consulted concerning organisational issues (CIPD, 2022). Both trends increase employee engagement by boosting emotional attachment among employees.
An explanation and evaluation covering the differences between employee involvement and employee participation and how it builds relationships. (AC 1.2) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the Reference box provided at the end of this section.
Employee involvement and employee participation are complementary concepts where one cannot exist outside of the other. Both are highly useful in effective people management. They foster environment where employees exert continual influence on actions as well as decisions affecting their work. However, the two differ in that employee participation entails teamwork as employees co-work towards a common goal while employee involvement is less about team work and more about direct communication between management and workers (Indeed Editorial Team, 2022). Employee involvement plays a huge role in building and maintaining healthy workplace relationships. Suggestion boxes, which are an example of employee involvement, foster healthy relationships in a number of ways. Such boxes offer employees a voice, hence making them feel valued by their employer. The sense of ownership created by suggestion boxes promotes good workplace relationships because employees feel that managers care about them. It builds trust together with transparency, which are essential ingredients for healthy relationships (HR Tech News, 2021). Nevertheless, suggestion boxes may not be 100% effective in maintaining healthy relationships in the workplace if managers do not respond promptly to employee suggestions or if approval of suggestions is done in a biased manner. An example of employee participation is membership to a works committee in a given organisation (Chand, n.d.). Supported by the 1947 Industrial Disputes Act, works committees/councils exist to articulate employees’ issues at a local level. Specifically, they are meant to discuss work conditions and amenities such as sanitation, water supply, and medical services among others (Chand, n.d). Works committees help in building healthy workplace relationships by facilitating better communication between employees and employers, thereby reducing misunderstandings together with conflict (Wicek, 2020). The effectiveness of works committees is only realised when there is genuineness among both parties and where all people understand the value of good relationships in the workplace. Again, unless managers provide requisite resources for the fulfilment of roles entrusted to the works committee, the committees may not be very helpful.
An assessment of a range of employee voice tools and approaches to drive employee engagement. (1.3) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the Reference box provided at the end of this section.
Online surveys To collect feedback and views from employees, organisations may make use of online surveys. Here, employees will be asked questions about their thoughts and perceptions regarding their employer as well as how their working lives are. In most cases, online surveys involve open-ended questions (Miller, 2020). Pros Employee surveys, in general, offer a number of advantages that include low cost, straightforwardness, ability to customise as per the issue at hand, and ease of obtaining input. Compared to most other tools, engagement surveys allow employers to identify problems that may have been missed and address them soonest possible (Miller, 2020). Surveys are useful in improving engagement because they reveal needs and frustrations early, thus reducing turnover if managers address the issues properly. Cons With surveys, managers cannot ask questions or probe deeper into issues (Hunter, 2019). This creates a need for post-surveys or other tools to obtain more details. Secondly, managers are not guaranteed that they will get honest responses even when respondents are assured of anonymity (Miller, 2020). Consequently, surveys may not generate useful data. Surveys may also damage employee morale especially if feedback is not taken seriously. Unless properly worded, survey results may be interpreted incorrectly thus losing the meaning of the whole exercise. They are also associated with administrative burdens especially in terms of survey creation, delivery and results analysis (Miller, 2020). Idea streets These are a modern, advanced version of suggestion boxes. Employees post their ideas online where they can be viewed and voted by all members of the organisation. The ideas that receive most views and votes are considered for implementation (Engage for Success, 2021). Pros Ideas streets are convenient in that employees can drop their views whenever they feel like. They offer anonymity and give a sense of belonging and engagement as employees can make suggestions anytime. They also offer all-time access and allow fast delivery, besides facilitating honest feedback and insights since there is no external influence on employees. Lastly, ideas streets are a great method for collecting ideas automatically and processing them relatively faster (Formplus, 2022). Cons Due to anonymity, employees may give uncoordinated comments that they would not make if they were giving feedback in person. Ideas streets might also flood managers with irrelevant ideas or feedback, resulting into unnecessary waste of time. This tool may also encourage malicious comments, which may damage the organisation’s reputation. Lastly, unless managers interact with suggestions or feedback posted online, the tool may be of no use and generate no results (Formplus, 2022). Focus groups From an employee engagement viewpoint, focus groups may be defined as groups comprising a maximum of ten individuals who come together to share idea/feedback on a given issue. The discussion is usually guided by a moderator who helps members to examine critical issues in a bid to come up with solutions (Ryba, 2019). Pros Focus build generate deeper insights into employee wants and perceptions and ways of boosting engagement. They are less time-intensive compared to one-on-one interviews. Unlike some other tools, focus groups have the potential of informing meaningful action that is relevant to and in line with employee ideas (Ryba, 2019). Cons The facilitator may be biased in the questions he/she asks, and may control the discussion. Focus group results cannot easily be translated into dependable, usable data. There is also the possibility of incorrect findings as a result of groupthink or individuals giving dishonest answers. Lastly, domination by a few workers, mostly extroverts and the outgoing, may hinder the voice of everyone in the organisation (Qlearsite Ltd., 2021).  


A critical evaluation of the interrelationships between employee voice and organisational performance (AC 1.4) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the Reference box provided at the end of this section.
The general view is that employee voice improves organisational performance through enhanced employee commitment, involvement, and satisfaction. Drawing on the concepts of organisational citizenship, positive relationships between supervisors and subordinates, and decision control, employee voice is widely perceived as a predictor of organisational performance (Wilkinson et al., 2020). Direct participation, which is an example of employee voice, influences organisational performance by allowing employees to influence decisions and control the way jobs are done (CIPD, 2022). Employee representatives, another example of employee voice, also influence performance in that they negotiate and lobby for an amiable working environment within which employees can give their best. This is to say that where employee representatives execute their mandate effectively, organisational performance improves (Koinig & Weder, 2021). For both direct participation and employee representatives, the true impact on organisational performance is largely determined by a range of external factors. Although direct participation theoretically allows employees to influence decisions and work processes, the reality is that managers have the ultimate discretion over whether these decisions are to be adopted or not. In the same way, employee representation is flawed in that in most cases, there is too much managerial influence on employee representatives that the voice of the latter is greatly stifled (Koinig & Weder, 2021). In view of these challenges, it may rightly be concluded that employee voice has a very minimal influence on organisational performance due to external pressures and influences. Unless managers take genuine interest in employee voice and address the concerns raised, employee voice cannot be said to impact on organisational performance.


An explanation of the concept of better working lives and how this can be designed (AC1.5) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the Reference box provided at the end of this section.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development-CIPD- states its principal purpose as championing better working lives for all by enhancing people practices so that individuals, societies and the economy as a whole benefits. According to the CIPD (2019), the concept of better working lives has even dimensions. In other words, there are seven perspectives from which job quality may be assessed. These are pay and benefits; contracts; job design; work-life balance; work relationships; health together with wellbeing; and voice as well as representation. All the seven dimensions indicate that a good work environment, which is essentially the emphasis of the better working lives concept, is strongly linked to employee engagement. This is because seeking to maintain a good work environment shows an organisation’s commitment to the ‘people first’ culture- employees take first priority for the employer (Acas, 2020).  CIPD’S concept of better working lives may be applied to solve most of the problems being witnessed at Evergreen International. Based on the case study, claims of unfairness in pay and benefits, as well as lack of objectivity in recruitment are some of the complaints that employees have. Reviewing the remuneration and benefits package that the company currently uses would be a great measure of restoring calm. Any inequalities in pay structure should be addressed. At the same time, the company should provide non-pension benefits like paid leave to its employees. Secondly, managers should increase the magnitude of employee voice to reduce the discontent employees currently feel. As it is, employees are not satisfied with the company’s leadership. Managers should therefore engage employees more when making decisions; they also need to be kept informed about any developments in the company (CIPD, 2019).

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