Integration and Maintenance

Chapter Eight

Integration and Maintenance

8.1. Employee Discipline

Definition: According to Dr. Spriegel, “Discipline is the force that prompts an individual or a group to observe the rules, regulations and procedures which are deemed to be necessary to the attainment of an objective; it is force or fear of force which restrain an individual or a group from doing things which are deemed to be destructive of group objectives. It is also the exercise of restraint or the enforcement of penalties for the violation of group regulations.”

Thus discipline can be regarded as a force that requires employees to follow the rules and regulations of an organization considered vital for its efficient working.

In brief, discipline is an employee’s self control which motivates him to comply with the organization’s goals and objectives.

Characteristics of Discipline

The main characteristics of Discipline can be summed up as follows:-

  1. To guarantee successful fulfillment of organizational goals it motivates workers to abide by the instructions issued by the management or superiors.
  2. It is a negative approach in the sense that it discourages employees in under taking some activities while encouraging undertaking the few others.
  3. On Violation or disobedience of organization rules it imposes fine or reprimand, therefore, it is also called as punitive or big stick approach.


Aims & Objectives of Discipline

The aims and objectives of discipline are as follows:-

  1. For the achievement of organizational goals it tries to earn the willing approval of employees.
  2. To introduce the component of uniformity and assurance despite the numerous difference despite the numerous differences in informal behavior patterns in the organization.
  3. For improving the quality of production by enhancing the morale and working efficiency of the employees.
  4. To generate respect for human relations in the organization.
  5. To confer and seek direction and responsibility


Steps of Progressive Discipline

Here’s a five-step model for progressive discipline.
1. Oral reprimand- As soon as a supervisor perceives a worker’s performance problem, he or she should issue an oral reprimand. The supervisor should ask the worker whether there are any long-term problems or skill deficiencies that need to be corrected. Have the manager keep detailed notes or prepare a memo to file about the conversation, in case further action is necessary.
2. Written warning- If the problem persists (or more problems emerge), the supervisor should provide the employee with a written warning detailing the objectionable behavior, along with the consequences. Explain the standards that will be used to judge the employee. Specify time frames for performance improvement, and state that continued failure will result in termination. Place a copy of the memo in the employee’s personnel file. Have the worker sign a copy to acknowledge receipt. Otherwise, the employee could claim that he or she never received it.

3. Final written warning- If performance does not improve, deliver a final written warning, perhaps accompanied by probationary status for the employee. Include copies of the previous warnings, indicate specific areas in which the employee must improve and specify the time period within which the worker’s behavior or performance must be corrected.
4. Termination review- If the problem persists, the supervisor must notify HR. In general, supervisors shouldn’t have final firing authority. Someone else should evaluate the full range of discharge-related considerations.
Before taking any final action, consider these questions: 

 Does the employee claim a contractual relationship exists, and if so, does that assertion have merit?

  • Has the employee recently filed a workers’ compensation claim, complained to a government agency about alleged workplace violations or taken any other actions that might make a discharge look like unlawful retaliation on your part?
  • Is there an issue relating to good faith and fair dealing, especially if the termination involves a long-term employee?

Even if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you still can survive a challenge to a firing. But you must be able to prove that the circumstances of the particular case justify your actions.

5. Termination- Only after you’ve completed all these steps should you go ahead with firing your employee. You’ll do so knowing you gave him or her every opportunity to succeed.

             8.2. Labor Relation

Labor relations are the study and practice of managing unionized employment situations. In academia, labor relations is frequently a subarea within industrial relations, though scholars from many disciplines--including economics, sociology, history, law, and political science--also study labor unions and labor movements. In practice, labor relations are frequently a subarea within human resource management. Courses in labor relations typically cover labor history, labor law, union organizing, bargaining, contract administration, and important contemporary topics.

Employee & Labor Relations serves as a professional resource to managers, supervisors and employees for work related issues, serves as a liaison to campus labor unions, and represents the campus in employment matters.

Labor Relations Services

  • Grievances
  • Arbitrations and Hearings
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Terminations
  • Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Charges
  • Union Bargaining & Relationship Management
  • Union Noticing
  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Mediation & Conflict Resolution
  • Unemployment Insurance Hearings
  • Demonstration Operations Response
  • Contract Interpretation & Administration
  • Functional Area Training Development & Delivery
  •  Complaints

             8.3. Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is a process whereby organized labor and management negotiate the terms and the conditions of employment. Let us explore some definitions from different sources: “Collective bargaining is a method by which trade unions protect and improve the condition of their member’s working lives.”

According to Flanders “Collective Bargaining as a means of joint regulation”

According to ILO, (convention no: 87) “Collective Bargaining is a fundamental right. The right to Collective Bargaining forms an integral part of the ILO declaration on fundamental Principles (1998).”

OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), WTO (World Trade Organization) and the United Nations advocates Collective Bargaining in similar tones. Collective Bargaining is a part of “Core Labor Standards, Social clause and Global Compact respectively” This means future that Collective Bargaining should be considered as a Fundamental Right.

Today collective bargaining has assumed a complex nature, conducted in the most formal environment, associating the services of a large number of experts, legal practitioners, consultants and specialized personnel. Today it is regarded as a social process, because it occurs in a social setting.

In majority of the cases collective bargaining process deals with issues like:

  • Rate of wages, pay.
  • Hours of employment, working conditions
  • Employment policies
  • Productivity settlement


Advantages of Collective Bargaining

To understand the collective bargaining it is necessary to know about the various advantages of collective bargaining, these are:

  • Collective bargaining has the advantage of settlement through dialogue and consensus rather than through conflict and confrontation. Agreement resulting from collective bargaining usually represents the choice or compromise of the parties themselves.
  • Collective bargaining agreements often institutionalize settlement through dialogue. For instance, a collective agreement may provide for methods by which disputes between the parties will be settled. In that event parties know beforehand that if they are in disagreement there is an agreed method by which such disagreement may be resolved.
  • Collective bargaining is a form of participation because it involves a sharing of rule making power between rule making power between employers and unions in the areas which in earlier times were regarded as management prerogative e.g. transfer, promotion, redundancy.
  • Collective bargaining agreements sometimes renounce or limit the settlement of disputes through trade union action.
  • Collective bargaining is an essential feature in the concept of social partnership towards which labor relations should strive. Social partnership in this context may be described as a partnership between organized employer institutions and organized labor institutions designed to maintain non- confrontational process in the settlement of disputes which may arise between employers and employees.
  • Collective bargaining has a valuable by- products relevant to the relationship between the two parties.
  • In societies where there is a multiplicity of unions and shifting union loyalties, collective bargaining a consequent agreements tend to stabilize union membership.
  • Collective bargaining is the most important and effective in improving industrial relations.

             8.4. Grievance Handling

Grievance is formal complaint which demonstrates any kind of dissatisfaction in an employee, arising out of the factors which are related to his job. The communication of grievances should be done formally. It can be communicated via:

  • A written document
  • E-mail.

The organizations which allow the employees to see the top level executives directly with their grievances are called to have “Open Door Policy”. Many of the lower level employees do not find it very comfortable to approach the top executives directly.

The organizations in which the employee is required to talk to his immediate senior about his grievances, who either offers a solution or escalates the grievance are called to have “Step Ladder Policy” for grievance handling.

Importance of Grievance Handling

Grievance handling process gives the aggrieved employees an opportunity to communicate their feelings and problems to the concerned people. These people can then address the grievances as per the policies. A good grievance handling system brings following benefits to the organization:

a.) It develops the trust of employees in the organization, its motives and policies
b.) It helps in addressing the employee’s problems before they become too big
c.) It helps in improving the overall work conditions and atmosphere
d.) It helps in developing a committed work force and improving the productivity
e.) It helps in identifying the areas of improvement and taking the required actions

Causes of Grievances

The factors causing the grievance can be divided into three:

i.          Grievances due to management policies can be sub-divided into:

  1. Salaries
  2. Overtime
  3.  Leave policies
  4. Lack of growth in career
  5. Conflicts in the roles
  6. Unmatched skills and responsibilities
  7. Disciplinary action

ii.         Grievances due to working conditions can be sub-divided into:

  1. Unhygienic work environment
  2. Safety issues
  3.  Insufficient equipments
  4. Indiscipline and wrong approaches to discipline
  5. Unrealistic expectations
  6. Transfer

iii,        Grievances due to interpersonal factors can be sub - divided into:

  1. Inability to get along with superiors
  2. Poor relations with team members
  3. Ego
  4. Impractical approach to life

Steps of Grievance Handling

The important steps in grievance handling procedure are:

  1. Accepting the grievance and acknowledging it
  2. Carefully listening the problem
  3. Understanding the redefining the problem to ensure that both the parties are at the same level of understanding
  4. Gathering the information – all facts and figures.
  5. Offering the best solution
  6. Follow up

The Effects of Grievances

Grievance affects employees, management and work and its effects are:

  1. Effect of grievance on Employees
    i.) Frustration
    ii.) De-motivation
    iii.) Aloofness
    iv.) Low productivity
  2. On the Management
    i.) Labor unrest
    ii.) Absenteeism
    iii.) Indiscipline
    iv.) High labor turnover
  3. On Work
    i.) Low productivity
    ii.) High wastages
    iii.) Increased costs


Click to Download: 

Related Content