Executive Summary This case is about an employee who wanted leave on the weekend to attend the training, but he was not given the leave. In response he informed himself as ‘sick’ on those days and remained absent from the work. This case is about how the grievance hearing should be carried out and what disciplinary actions should be taken. It is recommended that he should be given final written warning, if, as a result of investigations, it is revealed that he attended the training while remained absent from the work.
Moreover, the H resource implications are also analyzed in the responses to this case. Lastly, some steps have been suggestive such as using participative approach in policy making and encouraging co-operation among employees to improve the employee relations.
Introduction to the Case
Every organization wants to have an atmosphere in its workplace that enhances the productivity of the employees. To do so, there is a need of organizational culture that promotes positive working relationship between the employees and the management.
In doing so, the role of human resource is of critical importance. Among other functions of human resource, especial significance is given to grievance hearing and disciplinary actions, in consultation and coordination with the line management.
This case is therefore related to the issues of grievance hearing and disciplinary measures. In this case an employee wanted to attend the army training and he could not get leave for those days, despite grievance hearing that went very aggressive. However, on the weekends, when the training was scheduled, he informed that he is ill and did not come to work.
Questions and Answers about the Case What advice did you give the general services manager, Gill Smith, in preparing for the first grievance hearing?
When an employee demands a grievance hearing, he expects to have the conclusion in his benefit. However, this is not possible sometimes. In such situation, frustration of the employee is the natural reaction. In such situation, if the manager also gets aggressive, the situation would lead to nowhere. Therefore, it is essential that both the parties, at least the managers, should be logical and their approach should be conciliatory, rather than the conflicting one.
Moreover, it is also essential to build positive employee relationship to work together to look for alternatives that can be sought, where no other option was available. For example, in this case, Tony may be given the option that he talk to those employees who are already on holidays or have off on weekends if they can exchange their duties with Tony, without violating the rule about double duties.
What facts do you think ought to provide the focus of these meetings?
Eventually, the focus of the hearing shifted to the aggressive arguments between the two parties. Rather, the focus should have been the policy that what is written in the policy and what actions might lead to what consequences. Moreover, it must also be brought into light that the training is not planned overnight, Tony should have informed earlier.
What are the human resource implications arising from these grievance issues?
There are a number of human resource implications that may arise as the result of this grievance. The first is that there are the chances that the employees might start to perceive that management does not care for them and their benefits. This may lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction. Ultimately, it would affect their productivity. Moreover, if no serious action is taken against Tony, it would also be perceived by the employees as if policies are on paper only, not to be taken seriously, as deviation from it is tolerated by the management.
Taking into account the organization's disciplinary procedure, outlined below, what action would you advise the general services manager, Gill Smith, to take when Tony Millar returns to work? And why are you advising this course of action?
When Tony returns, he must be informed that his absences are suspected due to some other reason than the illness. Therefore, the matter is under investigation. Moreover, he must also be communication that appropriate action would also be taken in case of false communication.
What investigations would you undertake?
Tony had been absent from work for the reason of being sick. It is quite easy to comprehend that the ill person cannot attend the training that he intended to attend. So, the investigation would be focused on if he attended that training while being absent from the hotel or not. So, if he could attend the training, he could also come to work. In such case, he can be accused of false communication to remain absent from work.
On discovering that Tony Millar attended the Reserve Army weekend training camp what action would you propose to take, and why?
In such case, he should be given final written warning. Oral warning would be too lenient a step to take. Moreover, written warning might not be able to hinder him to repeat such act in future. Therefore, final written warning is an appropriate step.
What actions would you propose to improve relationships between the parties to this dispute and the General Services Department as a whole?
My recommendation would be to ask the employees to co-operate to each other in such cases where the management has no option available with them. One example of this co-operation may be the exchange of duties. Moreover, employees may be asked to develop a time frame for prior information of such leave requirements and integrate it into the policy.
In the light of above case, it is recommended that first of all the management should do all that it can to ensure that employees can be co-operated and this approach should reflect from their attitude. Secondly, in case of any grievance issue raised by the employee, the approach of management as well as employees in hearing should be conciliatory, rather than conflicting. Last but not the least, despite all these efforts, if the employee violates the policy, he must then be taken to task. However, the action must be according to his mistake and effort must be made to make him understand how his that action harmed the organization and to motivate him not to repeat the mistake again.
References Gentry, J. (2005). HR How-To: Discipline, Second Edition. Chicago: Cch Incorporated.
Hackerott, C. (2003). HR how to: Internal investigations, everything you need to know to conduct an internal investigation in the workplace. Chicago: Cch Incorporated.