Who Manages Risk In Your Organization?

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Preserving the Employment Relationship: The Need For Proactive Approaches To Conflict Management


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Oben Legal News   •   October 10, 2018


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[fusion_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”50%” class=”” id=””]I[/fusion_dropcap]n exchange for our time, effort, and taxes, one’s affiliation with organizations allows them to obtain important economic and socioemotional benefits that meet our needs for material well-being, comfort, standard of living, and one’s status and value within a group. 


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  • Goals and Means Perceptions.In addition to interpersonal conflict, companies usually tend to be differentiated by groups or departments which further leads to different perceptions of goals, as well as the means for achieving these goals. These differences exacerbate employee-management conflict.
  • Values Differences. Conflict from differences in values and operating procedures is inevitable due to differentiation in organization subsystem. Greater marketing efforts means that people with a different orientation from that of production people enter the organization. Obviously, this is going to affect the prevailing norms and values and may even introduce serious conflict between its personnel.  
  • Diverse and multi-generational workforce.Employers today are dealing with newer challenges in managing the complexities of employer-employee relationships. Hyper-competition, diverse teams, and generational changes in the employee base are evolving employee needs, expectations and aspirations, and are shaping the way companies attract, develop and retain talent. The differences in values inherent in such a complex environment also creates more frequent misunderstandings and conflict as people engage with diverse ideas, ways of working, etc. 
  • Increased litigation on employee-related matters. A heightened social conscience and knowledge economy driven by modern democratic values, and facilitated by communications technology is increasing the public’s awareness of unfair and unethical employment practices like sexual harassment, bullying, unfair dismissals, etc.. As a result, regulatory scrutiny and enforcements to protect the rights of employees is on the rise. It also seriously erodes the reputation of companies and managers involved in these events which has direct and indirect negative consequences on employees the organization’s performance.  
  • Authoritarian management cultures. The prevailing management styles and associated cultures rely on arbitrary use of hierarchical power for decision-making and securing compliance with those decisionsThis style is incompatible with modern democratic values and ways of working. So, while many leaders publicly talk of sharing decision-making, openness, trust, and employee involvement, the reality is, in private, authoritarian decision-making remains. Particularly regarding how fairly the organization deals with operations-related issues and contentious personnel issues like performance evaluations, dismissal, transfers, and conflicts.


    • Suppression of voice. The result is corporate cultures where employees live in constant fear of being fired, punished, or severely disciplined for airing concerns and complaints, or deviating from uncomfortable directions of supervisors and managers. In these conditions, employees tend not to speak-up due to fear of reprisal despite so called ‘open-door policies’ or ‘speak-up’ mechanisms. This is because authoritarian cultures tend to lack proper checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power. 


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Preserving the Employment Relationship  

In a world that is becoming more volatile, uncertain, conflicted and diverse, companies need to shift from reactive to proactive, cost-effective solutions that will deliver better outcomes for both employers and employees.

Just asinnovations in science and technology are disrupting traditional business models, there is also a critical need for evolution in managerial practices and competencies to keep pace with rapidly evolving employee requirements and prevent abuse of authority and power by managers. Employers must establish proper grievance practices to address material issues pertaining to compliance, safety and a harassment-free workplace. 


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