of the most pressing issues facing most organizations today is the need to
raise employee productivity. There is a widespread belief that productivity
improvements can only be achieved through a fundamental reform in the area of
employee relations. Changes are thought to be necessary both in the
organization and structure of work and in the way in which employees are
trained, remunerated and motivated. Moreover, it is argued that these changes
cannot be separated from the need to overhaul our system of interest
representation and dispute resolution. The activities of trade unions and the
operations of arbitration tribunals are often viewed as impediments to
management efforts to lift the competitive performance of their organizations.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate these arguments, identify ways
employee relations affect productivity, and how to improve productivity in
organizations. South Akim Rural Bank was used as a case study for this
research, as various employees and management of the bank were used as
respondents for the study. Responses gotten from the employees and employers
were analyzed to bring out findings as well as recommendations for this study.
With regards to the research methodology of this study, the casual research
design was chosen as the most appropriate research design for the study. Data
was gathered form both primary and secondary sources of information. Responses
from questionnaires and interviews with management of the bank formed the basis
for the primary data, while books, articles and journals on employee relations
acted as the secondary data. Findings from this study revealed that employee
relations practices affect productivity through employee morale, quality and
quantity of output/product. Other findings include various challenges that
employees face at workplace and various ways to enhance healthy relationship
between employees and their employers in an organization. The most valuable
recommendation given is to treat employees with great care.
healthy employee relations in an organization is a pre-requisite for
organizational success. Strong employee relations are required for high
productivity and human satisfaction. Employee relations generally deal with
avoiding and resolving issues concerning individuals which might arise out of
or influence the work scenario. Strong employee relation depends upon healthy
and safe work environment, cent percent involvement and commitment of all
employees, incentives for employee motivation, and effective communication
system in the organization. Healthy employee relations lead to more efficient,
motivated and productive employees which further lead to increase in production
level. Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best
Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500. While it is possible that employees enjoy working
at these organizations because they are successful, the Watson Wyatt Worldwide Human Capital Index study suggests
that effective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes
more often than positive financial outcomes lead to good practices.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE
STUDY AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE
relations had its roots in the industrial revolution which created the modern
employment relationship by spawning free labour markets and large-scale
industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers. As society wrestled
with these massive economic and social changes, labour problems arose. Low wages,
long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory
practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes, and the threat of
social instability. Intellectually, industrial relations was formed at the end
of the 19th century as a middle ground between classical economics and Marxism,
with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb’s Industrial Democracy being the key
intellectual work. Industrial relations thus rejected the classical econ. Institutionally,
employee relation was founded by John R. Commons when he created the first
academic industrial relations program at the University of Wisconsin in 1920.
Early financial support for the field came from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who
supported progressive labour-management relations in the aftermath of the
bloody strike at a Rockefeller-owned coal mine in Colorado. In Britain, another
progressive industrialist, Montague Burton, endowed chairs in industrial
relations at Leeds, Cardiff and Cambridge in 1930, and the discipline was
formalized in the 1950s with the formation of the Oxford School by Allan
Flanders and Hugh Clegg. Industrial relations were formed with a strong
problem-solving orientation that rejected both the classical economists’
laissez faire solutions to labour problems and the Marxist solution of class
revolution. It is this approach that underlies the New Deal legislation in the
United States, such as the National Labour Relations Act and the Fair Labour
1.1.2 PROFILE OF THE
the purpose of this study, the South Akim Rural Bank has been selected as a
case study to illustrate the effects of employee relations on the productivity
of a firm. South Akim Rural Bank has its Head Office situated on the main Suhum
– Koforidua road opposite the post office, Nankese. The South Akim Rural Bank
Limited was commissioned and started banking business in 1984 at Nankese in the
The bank is still rated first in
the Eastern Region in terms of deposits and among the first ten rural and
community banks in the country as a whole in terms of deposits and assets.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent times, while most
workers are on job, they do not produce more simply because of the un-healthy
relationship they have with their fellow colleagues and employers. A recent
study conducted by Blyton (2008) revealed that employees do not put up their
best performances at workplaces when they are un-happy with management,
government, or even their fellow colleagues. Bad employee-employer relationship
results in strike actions and lockouts. All these actions taken by employees to
display their grievances only do the organization harm than good as productivity
will be reduced drastically.
By many accounts, employee relations
today are in crisis. In academia, its traditional positions are threatened on
one side by the dominance of mainstream economics and organizational behaviour,
and on the other by postmodernism. In policy-making circles, the industrial
relations emphasis on institutional intervention is trumped by a neo-liberal
emphasis on the laissez faire promotion of free markets.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
objectives for this study are:
identify various employee relations practices, and its effect on the
productivity of an organization.
identify the challenges faced by employees at work places.
identify ways of enhancing healthy relationship between employees and employers
in an organization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
following questions were used to achieve the above objectives:
are the various employee relations practices in your organization, and how do
they affect productivity?
challenges do you face in your organization?
what ways can healthy relationship be enhanced between employees and employers
in an organization?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
study seeks to bring out the various employee relations practices which South
Akim Rural Bank has undertaken to increase its productivity and contribute its
quota in the economic development of the communities which it operates, and the
country at large. This study will therefore help enlighten management of
various organizations of the various effects of relationship practices between
employers and employees in an organization. The study will also bring out
specifically, the employee relations practices which the bank has been able to
make available to its employees. It also seeks to bring out the level of
encouragement and motivation the bank has given to its employees to work
effectively, among others. The importance of this study is therefore to
highlight the various employee relations practices and how it affects the
productivity of an organization. This study will go a long way to illustrate
how organizations should treat employees’ in-order to increase productivity.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
scope of the research will be limited to South Akim Rural Bank at the New
Juaben Municipal Assembly in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The research will
rely on the bank for vital information as well as information from secondary
source. The research will take duration of four months to complete.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE
researcher encountered a limitation in regards to availability of information.
Thus due to the institutions working ethics, the researcher could not get
access to vital information since it was treated as confidential and the targeted respondent’s number was not
attained since some employees were on leave. Inadequate funds and availability
of time also became a limitation.
1.8 CHAPTER SCHEME
project will be organized around following chapters;
one gives an introduction to the research work. It gives the basic information
about the company and the research being undertaken. This chapter therefore
consists of the background of the study and organizational profile, statement
of the problem, objectives, research questions, significance of the study,
scope of the study, and limitations encountered by the researcher.
Two consists of the literature
review and the theoretical framework
three gives details of the research methodology. The research methodology
represents the various ways and methods which the researcher used in order to
gain his information.
Four gives the analysis and
interpretation of the information gathered by the researcher.
five gives the findings and conclusion of the researcher. Here, conclusions
will be drawn based on the findings and their implications will also be given.