The Practices of a Place to Be: Cadbury’s Employee Relationships Management
Every organization needs workforce that is not only hardworking but also devoted to the cause and goals of the organization. A well motivated labor force is essential to achieving the short-run objectives that lead to the fulfillment of long-run goals. Consequently, a satisfied, committed and sincere workforce carries great strategic importance. Hence, in today’s business context firms take employees relationship for being as important as the customer relationships for their successful working, reduced risk as well as profitability. When we talk of employee relationship in the global context, the very first name that emerges in our minds is Cadbury Schweppes PLC or simply ‘Cadbury’.
“Cadbury, Britain's best-known chocolate-maker, has a history of almost sickening niceness.” Cadbury Schweppes PLC is a dreamland for workers. Cadbury is the pioneer in industrial relations and employee welfare (Cadbury, The Story of Cadbury, 2009). Founded in 1824 by a Quaker, John Cadbury, the company was the archetypal paternal employer (Cadbury, The Story of Cadbury, 2009) which is supposed to have laid the foundation on which the modern-day concepts of industrial relations rest. (Managementtoday, 2009). Owing to this, there is increasing amount of interests in the history of Cadbury among researchers. People have even written Ph.D. dissertation on the industrial relations of Cadbury.
Thus, Cadbury Schweppes PLC has been chosen as the case study for this report because at first it is famous for its industrial relations and secondly because it is a large organization operating in 200 countries including the UAE. As a matter of fact Cadbury operates in even more countries than there are in the United Nations Organization UNO which has 192 member countries. The report at first develops a foundation around the technical definitions and then discusses how the practices at Cadbury are not only practical applications but also the sources of the managerial knowledge and theory. The technical terms used in this report are: employee relations, industrial relations and employee involvement.
Employee relationship management is concerned with resolving conflicts and problems arising in employer-employee relationships to improve productivity, motivation, and morale (NASA, 2009). Most of the modern day theorists consider the development of employee relationships as a managerial skill rather than a function of organization. Employee relationships can take up several forms within an organization as these relationships may exit between the management and the employees among individuals or within entire institutions. These relationships require a great deal of managerial attention for the proper working of the organization as the skills relating to improvement in employees relations are a strategic necessity for the modern-day management to achieve their goals (CIPD, 2009).
Similarly, Industrial relations- also called labor relations and workplace relations- refer to the interaction between the management and the employees at different levels; workers predominately who have formed a trade union. A trade union is a body of workers in an organization united to achieve their objectives in areas like working conditions, promotions, hiring and layoff etc. through Collective Bargaining. The trade union may comprise workers, professionals, past workers, or even the unemployed (Trade Unions, 2009).
Alternatively, Employee involvement refers to managerial practices in creating an environment or a culture within an organization in which people have an impact on the decision making process. This practice helps organizations to retain their best employees. The management of an organization has several methods and techniques to improve employee relationships with their organization including training in team effectiveness, communications and problem solving, corrective action processes and periodic discussions with the superiors (About.com, 2009).
In the UAE Cadbury operates by the nameCadbury Middle East FZEand is situated inJebel Ali, Jafza.
Trade unions elect a leader(s) who on behalf of all the union members negotiates with the management terms like wage, work rules, procedures of hiring and firing, workplace safety and other policies- thus a term used collective bargaining. A trade union which is allowed to collectively bargain is normally the one recognized by the management.