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Industrial Relations Assignment

By:   •  July 31, 2013  •  Essay  •  2,626 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,718 Views

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Executive Summary

STAR industries was first established in the 1960s in Western Australia by John Jackson, a builder with the passion for design, who felt that there was a gap in the market for higher quality, well designed window and door products in the Australian market.

The business is a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of quality windows and doors, not only for residential use but for commercial use as well.

STAR industries have set out a 5 year strategic plan to help with the expansion and improvement of their business. Whilst improving the business, they still focus on their employees and follow IR policies and procedures.

General overview of the organisation's strategic and business plans.

STAR industries not only have developed a strategic plan for a span of 5 years which defines their goals but they also have a business plan which defines their strategy and plans of how they wish to expand and how in more detail.

STAR's vision is: "to be the first choice for customers, designers and architects building high quality homes and commercial premises". Their mission is: "to be a leading quality supplier of door and window products in our region by providing customers with innovative goods and services which anticipate and fully satisfy customer needs". Their goals are both customer and employee orientated. Their goal towards customers is "to understand and exceed the customer's needs by delivering outstanding service", and in regards to employees their goal is "to not only attract but to keep innovative as well as customer focused employees and ensuring that employees are given the correct training and support in order to reach their full potential".

STAR's business plan looks at expanding the business in three new areas. The three new business directions are as follows:

"1. Market expansion into South East (SE) Asia,

2. Product expansion by manufacturing and selling awnings, and

3. Product expansion by offering a full installation service".

STAR is looking at expanding their business into SE Asia, however products will still be manufactured in Australia, and there may be possibility on a manufacturing facility being established overseas, depending on the success of the expansion strategy.

Along with expanding the business overseas into SE Asia, STAR Industries is also looking at extending business by introducing a new product to their range of products. The new product being awnings, which production will involve 5 different styles, with each being able to be customised in length, depth colour and fabric. The expansion of the new product is said to happen in 3 phases: phase 1 (year 1) being the manufacture of the new product at the existing manufacturing facilities in Sydney and Perth, phase 2(year 2): the production to be expanded to other parts of Australia as well as New Zealand, and phase 3 (year3): sales to be expanded into SE Asia.

Finally, STAR is looking at expanding their business by offering a full installation service to their clients, however no decision has been made for this to go ahead yet. If the idea has been accepted to go ahead with, then the process will include of: a STAR employee to meet with the client at their convenience, employee to measure door, window, showerscreen or awning, the product to be home delivered to the site, and a qualified STAR tradesman to do the installation for the client.

Effectiveness of the organisation's current IR practices in relation to its strategic and business plans.

Jones, 2nd edition states that "IR policy and practices are usually designed to promote positive and harmonious relationships between employers and their representatives and employees and unions". It is also stated that "strategic and operational plans need to be analysed to determine the industrial relations objectives and organisation is going to pursue". (page 497).

He also states that: "the managers of organisations typically seek the following from their IR policy and practices:

• Stable IR with no dysfunctional conflict,

• Employees committed to high performance and producing profitable outcomes,

• The ability to use employee skills flexibly and productively, and,

• Compliance with relevant laws, industrial awards and agreements." (page 498)

A brief overview of the Industrial Relations Policy of STAR Industries is that they ensure that they comply with the correct awards of IR Agreements, and that as employees they have legal rights. All employees are to benefit from the current legislation as it may continue to change.

As stated by STAR's resolution of conflict, grievances and disputes policy, STAR is committed to "fostering good relations amongst employees and between employees and management." However they do take into account that "problems can arise at work which in some cases can cause employees to feel aggrieved. The problems that arise can be because of the behaviour or decisions of management or other employees." This goes to say that they try to promote open and effective communication between industrial relations at all levels and also try to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently. All staff are provided with an environment which is conductive to keeping employees content and achieving the company's operational goals. STAR Industries encourages employees to attempt to resolve a grievance by firstly confronting the person who happens to be causing the grievance first, however if this does not work it is suggested that the employee confronts their manager in regards to the matter. Furthermore, if the issue still cannot be resolved, then the employee is then entitled to make a formal complaint which will then be investigated.

The business' strategic plans relate to the grievance policy. The strategic plans as stated before are employee based and the company looks at retaining valuable employees whilst being able to support them with any matter, whether it'd be a grievance of any sort, or whether it'd be to train them to further improve their skills on the job.

"Existing IR performance needs to be periodically analysed in relation to operational and strategic IR objectives to determine how successful an organisation is in achieving its objectives". As stated by Jones.

In saying that, STAR industries analyses their IR policies and practices every 3 years but it would be recommended that they look into analysing them annually instead, as it would help to overcome any issues that may arise in regards to their IR policies and practices. For example the Resolution of Conflict, Grievances and Disputes Policy for STAR industries states that even though it wouldn't be in the best interest of an employee who may be experiencing a grievance, they should talk to the opposite party who is part of the grievance to try come up with a resolution. One employee stated they happened to be bullied by a fellow employee, and having being aware with the policy they confronted their bully only to find that the fellow employee continued to bully them. Again it would be recommended that STAR take a look at the policy and amend it.

By analysing and making any changes to their policy and practices, it would help STAR in identifying any performance gaps too. As we can see, Jones states that: "a comprehensive analysis of organisation performance in general and IR performance in particular, by the management team, will identify gaps in performance. The analysis of performance gaps needs to identify their causes". (page 501) This would help the organisation in finding out how or why IR policies and practices are contributing to the failure in reaching the performance targets.

As STAR are looking to expand the business into SE Asia, they would need to look at sending employees overseas to where they are opening their new facilities in order to work as well as train new staff members that may be recruited overseas. This can cause a lot of grievances, mainly regarding pay issues. They would need to look at how they would notify employees of what is happening, and what information to provide them with in regards to the new strategy.

Suggested framework for managing improvements to IR policies and practices.

Jones states that: "the effective management of IR should be part of an overall framework that includes:

• Processes for communication - (the objective of communication is to encourage the sharing of information with staff in a form that is capable of being understood and used by all, the communication of the organisation's aims, values and strategies should make a link between individual performance and corporate achievement.),

• Extensive consultation and negotiation – (this process provides an opportunity to deal with matters affecting management and staff on a cooperative basis and to minimise the potential for industrial action. The objective is to appropriately

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