There is no doubt that fast evolving business climate in terms of performance, productivity and profits is going to dictate the norms of new age labour relations. There are demonstrative changes in the behaviour, thought process and approach of present day employees with stark evidence of impatience and frustration due to rising disparity between the classes. The physical and behavioural characteristics of internal stakeholders are affecting strategies of organisations in terms of employee relations.
How important is the harmonious employees relationship environment for the organisations, need not to be spelled. The challenge is to create a progressive work environment with enhanced integration of workforce. More crucial is how to further nurture this relationship with this tech savvy new age workforce which is entirely in a new avtar from last generation? To unfold this, we need to understand the wide difference between the business realities and employees' perception and their expectations. There are self contradictions in this dynamics. While business complexities have given rise to huge number of temp/outsourced employees forming a bigger chunk of work force because of keeping the card of flexibility available all the time in their hands, such large workforce is highly impacted negatively with the sense of job insecurity. With the deep penetration of sense of job insecurity, comparative low wages and differential treatment responsible for creating a work climate of suspicion and mistrust, organisations expect high level of engagement, bonding, motivation and loyalty from such workforce. Is it humanly possible? The question remains unanswered.
It is also seen that younger workforce is less interested in relying on third party, may it be the union or the Govt. They prefer to deal and resolve their issues individually within the organisation unless highly influenced by outside political factors or because of growing feeling of a push towards wall by management policies and arbitrary actions. The recent IT/ITES workforce union formation after about two decade of emergence of this growing sector is the living example of psychology of new age workforce. As frustration level grows, self control decreases and result is the possible violent actions.
To manage new age labour relations HR has to move from conventional approach to a pragmatic and balanced approach totally different from the earlier style of handling ER through discipline and punishment. They need to work in three areas- compliance, ethical governance and power balance. Excellent ER is the final product of sound people policies and processes that enhances individual dignity and respect by recognising their contribution to business growth. It is the responsibility of the HR professionals to make the younger workforce more mature so that they understand and appreciate the business realities with creating fine balance in rights and responsibilities.
May 2018 issue carries cover story on this theme where readers will be enriched with the thoughts and experience of industry stalwarts who have gained expertise in maintaining ER .BM has been successful in catching up with this distinct breed of professionals to disseminate, what they have earned, for the next gen HR.
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