5HR01 TASK 1 Answers
You are required to produce a policy document containing key legal aspects and their implications.
This should be designed to sit on the company’s intranet and should be formal in style.
The policy document can be broken down into two sections:
a) A review of emerging developments to inform approaches to employee voice and engagement
5HR01 AC 1.1 Answer
CIPD (2022) defines employee voice as “the capacity of employees to communicate their thoughts, suggestions, and concerns and consequently affect key decision-making at work.” Employees can express their voices directly or indirectly through their representatives. This facilitates realistic two-way contact between employers and their employees. According to Ryba (2022), employees are committed physically, mentally, and emotionally while they perform their daily work activities. Ryba (2022) defines employee engagement as a psychological condition in which workers exhibit vigour, dedication, and absorption.
There is increased concern for employee voice and engagement due to an increased shift towards high-performance workplace culture and declining union membership which has opened a new path towards different employee voice mechanisms. This factor precipitates different ways of employee expression such as as whistleblowing and the use of social media platforms. Despite the type and nature of the voicing channels, employee voice applications at the workplace are justified based on pragmatism, economics, morality, and ethics.
Research reveals a positive association between employee voice and engagement (Gallup.com 2022). When properly utilised, employee voice and engagement can result in improved workplace relationships and increased productivity. Therefore, organisational leaders should work to facilitate clear voicing channels and an engagement environment, as it can facilitate desired goals. Nonetheless, a recent publication by Gallup.com (2022) noted undesired development opposing the above factors. For instance, the publication documents increased disruption of employees’ work-life balance, decreased support of health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as decreased career progression. Workplace transparency has also been significantly jeopardised in recent years.
b) Differentiate between employee involvement and employee participation and how it builds
relationships (AC 1.2)
Bellows (2022) defines “employee involvement” as the obligation of employers to provide their employees with opportunities to participate in key organisational activities. The author adds that the framework encourages employees to take charge of company initiatives through open communication and decision-making processes with upper management (Bellows 2022). Specifically, employee involvement entails enabling an organisational culture that promotes and encourages independent thoughts, facilitating training and development opportunities as well as involving all employees in key activities
On the other hand, the phrase “employee participation” describes the practice of allowing workers to participate in the companies’ key decision-making processes. It can also be used to describe the actions taken by an organisation’s members in pursuit of a common objective (Khalid and Nawab 2018). All employees, regardless of rank, must pitch in on a certain project for it to be considered fully participatory (Khalid and Nawab 2018).
Critical Differences between employee participation and employee involvement
- During participation, employees usually participate in key business activities, whereas, in involvement, they just add their voice to key decision-making processes.
- Employee participation mainly bolsters increased teamwork as multiple employees combine their diverse actions to attain common goals. On the other hand, employee involvement mainly bolsters engagement between employees and their employers.
Quinn (2018) insists that it is important for employers to embrace both employee participation and involvement, as they are both associated with positive outcomes.
c) Assess a range of employee voice tools and approaches to drive employee engagement. (AC 1.3)
There are several employee voice tools and approaches that organizations can use to drive employee engagement:
- Employee Suggestion Boxes
An employee suggestion box is a physical or virtual place where employees can submit ideas or suggestions anonymously. This can be a low-cost option for gathering employee feedback and allows employees to share their ideas without fear of retaliation (Krambia-Kapardis and Krambia-Kapardis, 2017). However, it can be difficult for management to track and follow up on suggestions, and there may be limited visibility into who submitted the suggestion and what their motivations were (Krambia-Kapardis and Krambia-Kapardis, 2017).
- Employee Surveys
Employee surveys are structured questionnaires that employees can complete to provide feedback on various aspects of their work experience. Surveys can gather a large amount of data from a large number of employees quickly and allow for anonymous feedback (Robbins and Judge, 2017). However, they may not provide in-depth or qualitative data and can be time-consuming for employees to complete (Robbins and Judge, 2017). Additionally, employee surveys may have a low response rate, impacting the validity of the results.
- Employee Focus Groups
Employee focus groups are small groups of employees who come together to discuss specific topics or issues. Focus groups allow for in-depth, qualitative data to be gathered and can facilitate open, honest dialogue among employees (Robbins and Judge, 2017). However, setting up and facilitating focus groups can be time-consuming and may only provide a limited perspective, as only a small number of employees are included (Robbins and Judge, 2017). Additionally, some employees may feel intimidated speaking up in a group setting.
d) Critically evaluate the interrelationships between employee voice and organisational performance.
5HR01 AC 1.4 Answer
There is a valid debate around the interrelationships (positive or negative) between employee voice and organizational performance. On one hand, research shows that employee voice can have a positive impact on organizational performance. For example, a study by Ali (2018) found that organizations with high levels of employee voice tend to have higher levels of employee satisfaction and commitment. These factors can, in turn, lead to improved performance, as satisfied and committed employees are more likely to be productive and innovative. Additionally, Delmotte (2019) argues that employee voice can provide valuable insights and ideas that can help organizations improve processes and solve problems. For example, if employees are involved in decision-making processes, they may better understand the work they are doing and be able to identify areas for improvement (Delmotte, 2019). This can lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness within the organization.
Some researchers, however, have argued that the relationship between employee voice and organizational performance is more complex and may not always be positive (Garcia-Morales et al., 2013). For example, if employees feel that their voices are not being heard or that their suggestions are not being taken seriously, they may become disengaged and less motivated (Garcia-Morales et al., 2013). This can lead to lower levels of performance, as disengaged employees are less likely to be productive and committed to their work (Boselie et al., 2005). Additionally, if employee voice is not managed effectively, it can lead to conflict and tension within the organization, which can negatively impact performance (Garcia-Morales et al., 2013). For example, if employees are not given the support or resources, they need to implement their suggestions, they may become frustrated and demotivated.
e) Explain the concept of better working lives and how this can be designed. (AC 1.5)
5HR01 AC 1.5 Answer
According to CIPD (2019), access to good work is one of the critical ingredients for a healthy society and economy. In fact, the “Good Work” principle has been defined among the UN Sustainability Development Goals for 2030. The concept of good work aligns with CIPD’s core objective, which is to champion better work and working lives. The CIPD recognises good work as vital for employees’ wellbeing and for the success of organisations. Specifically, CIPD (2019) defines good work as one that is:
- Fairly rewarded
- Provides people with a means to make a sustainable living.
- Provides employees with a fair opportunity to advance skills, providing a sense of fulfilment.
- Facilitates work-life balance.
- Provide employees with clear voicing channels
- It is accessible to all.
Relatedly, the 2019 UK Working Lives report by CIPD provides seven dimensions for good work. These dimensions are:
|1. Salary and monetary benefits||comparison minimum wage, pay benefits, comparison of salaries to other similar organisations|
|2. Contracts||Type and terms of the contract type, job security|
|3. Job design||Workloads, empowerment, nature of the job, learning and development opportunities|
|4. Work-life balance||Overtime, flexible working arrangements, how work impacts personal commitments|
|5. Workplace relationships||Collaboration, psychological safety, mutual respect|
|6. Employees’ voice and representation||Voicing channels, employee relationships and engagement with senior managers|
|7. Health and wellbeing||Mental health, healthy eating, physical fitness|
The above dimensions provide crucial reference points for researchers willing to measure the quality of work in any given organisation. The dimensions can also form vital grounds for leaders willing to design better working lives.