Challenges Facing Human Resource Managers at UPS|Employee Relations

Another core challenge for human resource managers in organizations is fostering good employee relations within the company. Good employee relations in a company are essential for success in the organization since these reduce the tensions at the work place thus creating the required motivation to improve employee performance (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy 2001). Corporations with working employee interactions have been advanced as those that places the perception of employees as valuable stakeholders high on their human resource strategy (Stavrou-Costea 2005). This is in the view that employees expect fair treatment and recognition to compensate for their input into the success of the organization (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy 2001). Organizations that intend to generate favorable work-place interactions should therefore ensure that their employees are appropriately compensated.

Establishing the rightful compensation for workers leads to employee satisfaction hence improving employee relations at the work place. This can be ensured through establishing programs for salary reviews and harmonization. Such prevents a scenario whereby persons performing similar roles have widely varied remuneration. This also prevents employees viewing remuneration policies at the corporation to be discriminatory. In its 2008 annual report UPS for instance identifies a number of legal proceedings that relate to employee remuneration such as denial of overtime (UPS 2009a). To ensure the company establishes higher degree of employee satisfaction, UPS however offers a wide range of benefits. These include reimbursement of tuition fees, life insurance for employees and their dependants, and a retirement plan that caters for the social welfare of its employees after retiring (UPS 2010b). Other benefits that the company offers are paid holidays and vacations, income protection plans, and different forms of insurance [Long-term, care, cancer and personal lines] (UPS 2010b).

Measures to ensure good working relations among the workforce and between staff and different management levels are however not limited to remuneration. Human resource managers must also ensure effective communication exists between different levels in the organization. For instance employees at lower levels of the organization ladder need to know the policies and strategies that the company has adopted that would affect their work arrangements (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy 2001). This is especially challenging for multinational corporations whose level of organization is made complex by their expansive networks. Getting the views of the lower cadre employees in remote areas to the top management may prove a challenge to organizations with a large workforce. However, when such is availed the organization is able to create a favorable culture that in turn becomes the means through which it can influence individual performance to meet the firm’s expectations (Stavrou-Costea 2005).

Fostering good employee relations in multinational corporations is also influenced by how well cultural diversity is managed in the organization. Since most nations demographic structure is increasingly becoming multicultural (Loo 1999), and the observation that there has been an increasing diversity in the workforce of many organizations (Lavaty & Kleiner 2001); corporations must find ways to effectively manage the diverse cultures. Though there exists no single way of effectively managing a cross-cultural workforce, organizations need to develop a model through which interactions among employees from different cultures can be managed (Seymen 2006). In such an approach establishing work-place teams that draw their membership from different cultures would be one way that organizations can develop good relations between different cultures in their workforce (Seymen 2006). Team tasks could for instance help in developing a perception of equality among the workforce but the effectiveness of team tasks depends on the level of empowerment that such teams are provided with.

Empowerment of teams is one way through which organizations can build employee satisfaction. One important role that empowerment plays is that it encourages employees to take risks, become creative and thus discover innovative approaches to doing business that the firm requires to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive world (Cohen 2004; Stavrou-Costea 2005). Employees must thus not only be organized in teams but also that such teams should be empowered to perform various tasks (Cohen 2004). An advantage of such an arrangement is that it serves as one of the ways through which hierarchical levels in the organization can be minimized. And there exists numerous advantages of minimizing such levels including bettering the communication process in an entity (Cohen 2004). Further empowerment is an important mediator of learning in teams (Burke, Stagl, Klein, Goodwin, Salas, & Halpin 2006). Thus, for human resource managers it is of significant importance to realize the significance of empowerment in creating employee satisfaction and thus ensure employee empowerment is a main focus of their strategy (Stavrou-Costea 2005).

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