Ever heard of industrial relations? This is just a fancy term that describes the way senior-level managers interact with rank-and-file employees. And no matter your organizational structure or how successful your business is, it will face challenges regarding industrial and employee relations. These relations can be also regarded as intergroup relations and as in any other group differences of opinion can create situations that are full of disagreements. Such state of affairs can result in various types of intergroup conflict that can be caused by miscommunication, competitiveness, bias, etc.
Of course, you will need to handle such problems as soon as possible before they become major problems negatively impacting your business goals. But what kind of employment conflict do your workers and employers go through? Read on to find out the most common industrial issues.
Common Industrial Issues between Workers and Employers
It’s important to know about the common problems your employers and workers have, which can help create harmonious relationships between them. This will help with your business flow and ensure that both parties work together to reach goals.
With that in mind, here are the seven common issues to watch out for:
1. No Privacy
Huge challenge employee relations face is that there isn’t a presumption of privacy after hiring staff. Companies have policies that allow security to monitor the use of the internet, calls, and even emails! While technology has been great, it increases problems in employees due to the intrusion of audio and video surveillance.
When employees feel and know that whatever they do is monitored, they are less likely to trust company leaders and employers.
2. Us Against Them Mentality
Another pressing problem employees face in the business is that they think there is a huge gap between the company workers and employers. This is a natural reaction, as employees do need to follow management, though such a divide can cause issues, like strikes, contract negotiation issues, and the like.
That’s why it’s important to empower your employees while still maintaining a healthy chain-of-command. Instead of employees thinking they are inferior, they should be able to learn to respect and trust their employers while feeling equal.
3. Employer Inflexibility
Business owners running companies like autocracies would trigger industrial relations issues as it creates an inflexible environment. When employers are inflexible, this stifles employee creativity, especially when employees feel like their bosses don’t solicit or support any of their ideas or suggestions.
When employers restrict employee creativity and imagination, this can also stifle company innovation, compromising its competitiveness in the industry!
4. Hour and Attendance Issues
Are there issues that arise when payday arrives, with employees disputing the number of hours worked for, or insist on getting paid overtime that you don’t feel is accurate? Will you and HR have to go through timesheets and attendance records to check if the details are accurate?
This is another common issue that you need to avoid, as this may cause violations in federal wage and hours. Not only is this not allowed, but it creates a hostile environment and may have you lose more money in the long run.
5. Safety in the Workplace
You wouldn’t want your employees to suffer from injuries or accidents while on the job! You need to promote safety in the workplace so your employees will trust you and the business more, knowing that you prioritize their health and wellness over anything.
You should provide proper safety equipment, ensure that the office area has no hazards, and that employees are not exhausted from their workloads and schedules.
6. Narrow Employee Focus
Some employees may have a narrow focus on their job position, regarding the task just as a job to complete rather than seeing it as a learning experience or way to help the business. They see employers as the big boss who only gives orders instead of facilitators and leaders who can help them grow. You will need to brush up your leadership skills and have a teamwork concept, instead of looking intimidating and unapproachable.
7. Wage Issues
It’s common to have wage issues come payday, as mentioned above. But did you know that some companies may have gender wage disparities, where men earn more than women simply because of their gender? This is a serious issue that creates conflict, especially when company management is predominantly men. Be proactive and ensure that men and women are paid equally when they have similar experience, skills, and positions.
Wrapping It Up
Industrial relations have challenges and issues, which is normal. However, if problems have become too much to handle on your own, that’s where hiring employment law experts come along. They will be able to settle any issues to ensure that both parties have come to an agreement on what should be done.
Hopefully, you learned more about the common issues to watch out for, so you have an idea on how to solve it if the problem arises. Learn more about handling worker and employer industrial issues now to run your business smoothly. Good luck!