Effective Employer/Employee Relations

Definitions from Chapter 19 of the AQA A2 Textbook

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Barriers to Effective Communication

Noise: Any thing that can interfere with the receipt of a message, including physical problems or aspects of attitude or culture that get in the way of the communication.

Intermediaries: Individuals or groups within official communication channels through whom messages must be passed in order to reach the intended receivers.

Jargon: A word or phrase that has a technical or specialised meaning.

Communication Overload: When an individual becomes swamped by the sheer volume of communication and information

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Employee Representation

Employee Participation: A general term referring to the extent to which employees are involved in the decision making process.

Industrial Democracy: When employees have the opportunity to be involved in and to influence decision making. It can take the following forms:

- Worker Directors, who are elected to the board of directors by employees from the factory floor

- Works Councils

- Workers Cooperatives, where a firm's workers own a majority of its shares such as in the John Lewis Partnership

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Trade Unions

Worker Directors: Employees of a company who sit on its board of directors, are involved in decision making at this level and represent the views and interests of the workforce.

Trade Union: A pressure group that represents the interests of people at work.

Negotiation (also known as Collective Bargaining): where union representatives in a particular organisation discuss with management the issues that affect employees working in that organisation.

Collective Bargaining: The process whereby workers' representatives meet with employers to discuss and negotiate employment-related issues.

Union Density: The proportion of all employees who are union members:

Union Density= Actual union membership / potential union membership x100

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Industrial Action

Industrial Dispute: A disagreement between management and the trade union representing the employees, which is serious enough for industrial action to result.

Industrial Action: Measures taken by employees to halt or slow production or disrupt services in order to put pressure on management during an industrial dispute (e.g., a strike, overtime ban, work-to-rule or go-slow)

Strike: A form of indistrial action involving the complete withdrawal of labour by employees.

Work-to-rule: A form of industrial action in which employees refuse to undertake any work that is outside of their precise terms of their employment contract.

Go-slow: A form of industrial action in which employees keep on work, but at the absolute minimum pace required to avoid being subject to legitimate disciplinary action.

Overtime Ban: A form of industrial action that attempts to disrupt the employer while keeping employee's basic wages unaffected.

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Avoiding and Resolving Industrial Disputes

Single-Union Agreement: The recognition by a firm of only one trade union for collective bargaining purposes.

No-strike agreement: A contract, signed as part of a firm's negotiation and disputes procedure, which prevents the trade unions in a particular firm from calling a strike.

Industrial Relations: The atmosphere prevailing between an organisation's management and its workforce representatives (i.e. the trade unions).

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