When workers present themselves for work, there is the expectation by employers and management that these individuals are there to give of their best. By the same token, workers come with the understanding that the job offers them job security, a measure of satisfaction and a comfortable and conducive environment in which to work.
It can sometimes be taken for granted that the physical environment of the workplace, conditions of service inclusive of remuneration and benefits, make a difference to the outlook and attitudes of workers. These factors are likely to be a stimulus for those workers who are of the belief their own expectations of the workplace are being realized.
Where in either the public or private sector a category or pocket of workers is of the view they are not being fairly treated and hence disadvantaged, there is the tendency for a divide to be reflected within the internal walls of the workplace. This is where management is expected to be proactive in addressing the concerns of its employees.
In many an instance, it is usually an individual case which is not satisfactorily addressed, or is ignored; and that lays the basis for discontent and disconnect.
What this does to the workplace cannot be considered as being healthy. It certainly can undermine the confidence, respect and spirit of goodwill that may have previously existed within the organization.
The longer a matter is allowed to remain either unattended to or unresolved, the greater the chance exists that demotivation of workers will set in. There is the expectation that a good employer-employee relationship would be a distinct feature of the workplace culture. This could be compromised or severely threatened where there is a breakdown in the level of communication between management and staff.
Generally, problems of dissatisfaction tend to emerge from a difference of opinion on policy matters and implementation, human resource management issues, workplace relations, occupational safety and health, and collective bargaining issues. It is expected that management has a responsibility to fix any problem that surfaces. It would be foolhardy to think employees will not undertake to pressure management to resolve issues and to have justice served.
The point of departure between the two parties often comes when it appears management is acting in bad faith, by failing to follow established processes and procedures.
A failing system suggests that there are governance and management issues at the workplace which need to be corrected. Rectification of these can account for a fundamental difference in workers’ outlook and attitudes. These results can be seen in a greater level of interest amongst employees. The fact they have been inspired comes as a consequence of building trust.
Workers want nothing more than to be treated fairly and equally. They have an expectation the employer and management will properly discharge their obligations. This includes paying agreed wages and salaries, incentivizing workers, honouring the collective bargaining agreement and following both process and procedures.
Since there is recognition that both parties in the relationship have expectations, it would be unreasonable for workers to abscond in their responsibility to be productive, where all the conditions of the collective bargaining agreement are being observed by management, and the workplace environment is conducive to inspire workers to give of their best.
(Dennis De Peiza is labour management consultant to Regional Management Services Inc.
Visit the website www.regionalmanagement services.com
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