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Managers’ Encouragement Essay

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Several studies have been conducted on how managers’ encouragement of employee voice can lift well being and productivity. Do managers really help open the door for employee voice? ‘Managers’ encouragement’ is seen to be the support or direction given to employees from co workers who regulate worker behaviour. Through this professional relationship, managers may behave in a way that deters employees from engaging with their managers and their work, decreasing productivity and well being. Other issues within the contemporary workplace, such as job scarcity or the diminishing union presence, may also affect the well being of employees and may have a negative effect on businesses.

Today’s work environment is very evolved. We live and work in a recognisably equal and fair society with very few big issues troubling workers. Or so it seems. Although that with the presence of unions and established organisations such as the FWC, a workplace without any idiosyncrasies is still, unrealistic. Competition for jobs is a pressing issue that may lead to a lack of confidence within the workplace. This lack of confidence can cause workers to feel invaluable and may, in-turn, suppress employee voice.

“Many individuals do not work in an environment where they where they see it safe to speak up”(Millican, Morison and Hewlin, 2003: Ryan and ostrich, 1998) Although it may be beneficial for an organisation to receive feedback and knowledge from an employee, employees simply see ‘ the risks outweighing the benefits’.(Academy of management Journal 2007, Vol. 50, No 4, p869-884).

In recent years, the number of unionised workplaces has slowly faded , along with the presence of unions themselves. In the UK alone, over the past 30 years, the percentage of union members has fallen from 58% down to 28% of the total workforce(Barrat 2009). Does this lead us to believe that the role of trade unions and unions alike also fade? (J Benson, 2002). Trade unions and similar organisations (such as the FWC) were put in place over 150 years ago to aid the working class citizens to stop employers from creating inhumane working conditions.

In today’s work environment the role of unions is to negotiate with employers over terms and conditions of employment as well as employee salary. Unions also continue to help provide fair working conditions for employees and maintain economic interests for employees’ (Tannenbaum 1964). Will employee voice be further suppressed due to lack of union presence? ‘Employee voice can be describes in many ways, however in this case, Employee voice is: “A whole variety of processes and structures which enable, and at times empower, employees, directly and indirectly, to contribute to decision-making in the firm” (Boxall and Purcell, 2003: 162)

A Managers professional obligation towards their company is their personal responsibility to assist in allowing their co-workers perform to the best of their abilities. Businesses and corporations are represented and established by their people, thus managers are upheld by their corporate social responsibility to perform (Ali M. Quazi, 2003 (D. J. Wood, 1991)). Managers’ utilize employees’ skills knowledge and efforts in an attempt to create the most efficient form of productivity. (R.Loudoun, RMcPhail, Awilkinson p27) The fact that this obligation to the business takes priority may alter Managers’ behaviour towards employees. Without the correct understanding of the employee, this can easily negatively affect the well being and productivity of the employee.

“Engagement is about establishing mutual respect in the workplace for what people can do and be, given the right context, which serves us all, as individual employees, as companies and organisations and as consumers of public services.” Employee engagement is one of the fundamental pieces of a functional business and is a by product of successful employee voice. . “A ‘Good manager’ should be empathetic and open minded towards their co workers.” (Says R.McMaster – Employee @City beach DC) It is known that if a person takes time to invest an interest into another person, that person feels valued. (article by Cath Everett) The same goes for the workplace. As managers become closer to their co workers, a relationship of trust is formed, making the communication of information more efficient, therefore increasing productivity.

Can employee voice within the workplace lift well being and productivity? It has been discussed whether or not employee voice is heard and/ or promoted along with other aspects of working conditions within the work place; However, does managers’ encouragement of employee voice lift well being and productivity? It is obvious that managers’ encouragement for employee voice positively effects well being and productivity. With the encouragement of employee voice, employee engagement is also lifted. With the correct management approach, ‘Performance and profitability can be transformed by employee engagement’(D McLeod, N Clarke).

As an engaged member of a work force, an employee would be able to conduct themselves in a more efficient manner. With engagement comes interest and motivation, with that behind them, employees can work at their best to produce results. “Employees who are more engaged with their work are said to be more likely to behave in positive and cooperative ways” (Rees, C., Alfes, K. and Gatenby, M. (2013) ) The heightened engagement of employees positively effects all parties involved; better quality of work and a statistically greater productivity throughout the workplace can be achieved.

References:

http://www.hrzone.com/topic/managing-people/encouragement-managers-increases-staff-engagement/110457

. 2014. . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.sagepub.com/wilton/Chapter%2010%20-%20Employment%20Relations.pdf. [Accessed 28 September 2014].

Rees, C., Alfes, K. and Gatenby, M. (2013) Employee voice and engagement: connections and consequences, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24:14, 2780-2798.

Wood, D.J. (1991), “Corporate social performance revisited”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 16, pp. 691-718.

David MacLeod, Nita Clarke Engaging for success: enhancing performance through employee engagement. A report to Government Page 7, paragraph 2: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/1810/1/file52215.pdf

JAMES R. DETERT Cornell University ETHAN R. BURRIS University of Texas at Austin Academy of Management Journal 2007, Vol. 50, No. 4, 869–884 John Benson December 2002 Employee Voice in Union and Non-union Australian Workplaces 16 DEC 2002

Tannenbaum, F1951, Philosophy of labour, Alfred Knopf, New York. -1964, the true society: a philosophy of labour, Cape, London.


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