Peo­ple man­age­ment: pil­lar for or­gan­i­sa­tion suc­cess

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

busi­ness plan.

The CEO had never sat in the Works Coun­cil and as such he had not taken the labour re­la­tions tem­per­a­ture him­self.

He boasted that he read all the Works Coun­cil min­utes and trusted them as the Work­ers Com­mit­tee are us­ing the Works Coun­cil as a beg­ging fo­rum.

When we spoke to the work­ers’ lead­ers they al­leged that man­age­ment vic­timises them and do not take them se­ri­ously thus they now rely on the union to take their em­ployer head on if they have is­sues.

The work­ers said when­ever they need lawyers they pri­vately con­trib­ute for le­gal fees for the lawyers to drag their em­ployer to court where in most cases the em­ployer sobers up when he loses a case or set­tles be­fore the mat­ter is heard.

Such ap­proach cre­ates an un­sta­ble labour re­la­tions en­vi­ron­ment where par­ties rely on lit­i­ga­tion when such is or­di­nar­ily an op­tion of last re­sort in labour dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and in most cases even after a judg­ment in favour of one of the par­ties, the prob­lem does not go away.

On look­ing at the his­tory of dis­ci­plinary cases we dis­cov­ered that the em­ployer used un­trained man­agers to pre­side over dis­ci­plinary cases and most of the times fac­tual er­rors and le­gal er­rors oc­curred.

This re­sulted in work­ers los­ing con­fi­dence in the in­ter­nal dis­ci­pline process and saw in­ter­nal hear­ings as a “bus stop” on the way to the Labour Court where work­ers were win­ning most cases leav­ing the em­ployer with a huge labour lit­i­ga­tion re­lated bill.

This has led some man­agers to fear dis­ci­pline han­dling, which work­ers had noted and had taken ad­van­tage of to en­gage in mis­con­duct.

Work­ers have taken ad­van­tage of the in­ef­fec­tive Works Coun­cil to es­ca­late even mi­nor is­sues to the National Em­ploy­ment Coun­cil ( NEC) for the in­dus­try thus leav­ing a lot of oper­a­tional de­ci­sions in the hands of the NEC des­ig­nated agents thus com­pro­mis­ing the em­ployer’s con­trol of de­ci­sion mak­ing and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Such an en­vi­ron­ment does not arise if the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s selec­tion process fo­cuses on both work and peo­ple man­age­ment skills.

Se­nior man­age­ment and the tech­ni­cal skills are less im­por­tant to peo­ple man­age­ment skills. Fur­ther, or­gan­i­sa­tions have to in­vest in skills devel­op­ment across the board so that all in su­per­vi­sory po­si­tions are ad­e­quately equipped.

Mem­bers of the Work­ers Com­mit­tee and Works Coun­cil should be ad­e­quately trained so as to be able to ex­e­cute their du­ties prop­erly.

Gone are the days when peo­ple would sit in the Works Coun­cil with­out proper train­ing.

All coun­cil­lors must un­der­stand the law gov­ern­ing the run­ning of a Works Coun­cil as the nerve cen­tre for peo­ple man­age­ment and as a labour law mak­ing body at the work­place and as such for it to add value to the or­gan­i­sa­tion it must be prop­erly man­aged.

Many CEOs who are suc­cess­ful, one of their main pil­lars of suc­cess is the use of the Works Coun­cil to cre­ate en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for do­ing busi­ness.

In con­clu­sion, where prob­lems men­tioned ear­lier oc­cur in the ma­jor­ity of cases it points to the qual­ity of lead­er­ship in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and how ef­fec­tively they utilise avail­able peo­ple man­age­ment tools.

Work­ers gen­er­ally come to work and not cause prob­lems, how­ever where there are ob­sta­cles whether real or per­ceived, work­ers are likely to cre­ate an un­sta­ble work en­vi­ron­ment where per­for­mance tar­gets can­not be met, the image of the or­gan­i­sa­tion gets tar­nished and the or­gan­i­sa­tion loses fo­cus on its main busi­ness.

Davies Ndu­miso Sibanda can be con­tacted on: email: strat­waysmail@ya­hoo. com or cell No: 0772 375 235

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