Human Resources – Industrial Relations Policies

Technical Instruments Pty Ltd
Jim Palmer sat at his desk contemplating the events that had led to his meeting with the Human Resource management consultant, scheduled for later that afternoon. He had founded his electronic testing instrument company shortly after graduating with First Class Honours from his electrical engineering course at the University of Western Australia some five years before.

The ideas for his unique range of testing instruments had been developed with the help of his research project supervisor, Professor George Umberger. After a somewhat frustrating year finding backers and appropriate facilities for design and manufacture, the range of products had taken off remarkably well in both the mining and medical technology industries.

This growth, which had seen the company double in size in each of the past two years, had resulted in little time for formal planning. Meeting market demand and designing a second-generation range of instruments had been an all-consuming task. A chance meeting with a friend from his course at UWA, who had completed an MBA, convinced him that attention to the management and people side of his business was overdue.

In preparation for his meeting with the consultant, he sketched a rough organisation chart that reflected the current structure (refer to organisation chart Figure 1.4)

In thinking about his meeting, Jim reflects that things had been very good. Profits had trebled in the second two years but had slackened in the past two, possibly due to the need to finance expansion. But there were a number of issues that were beginning to concern him:

– Growth had been rapid and initially they had recruited successfully on a word-of-mouth basis offering higher than average salaries. Recently they had encountered problems in getting the high-quality people required. A number of recent recruits had been unsuccessful and turnover among proven workers reached 20 per cent over the past year. Costs in these areas rose substantially.
– Although the measures were crude, productivity as measured by machine utilisation, assembly rates and output of finished goods had dropped.
– There was a pending case before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for unfair dismissal that Jim’s lawyer was not confident of winning.
– Recently, two very promising design engineers quit to take up positions in competitive firms. Their reasons for leaving were vague, but generally centred on career prospects.
– To date, Jim had avoided being unionised because his company offered higher wages and goods working conditions. However, shopfloor employees were talking to relevant unions for the first time. Jim had heard indirectly that the employees were uncertain about future pay and conditions and were seeking the security a union would offer.
– Recent discussions with some key employees indicated an uneasiness about their personal future with the company. Jim had tried to reassure them, as he could not afford to lose this group of people now.
– Finally, the board of directors, including his major backers, had expressed some concern that the human resources side of the business was considerably less well managed than the technical aspects that were still highly regarded.

In short, there was no need to panic, but Jim felt strongly that some timely steps needed to be taken.
read the case study on Technical Instruments Pty Ltd. This assignment is a report based on this case study. As such, it needs to relate back to it consistently in the report.
Using the Technical instruments case study, you are required to draft an industrial relations policy for the organisation.
You should consider the strategic direction that the organisation wants to take and its performance in relation to industrial relations and human resource management when developing your industrial relations policy.

The policy needs to be broken down into 9 paragraphs:

1. Identify an industrial relations strategy for the organisation (Technical Instruments Pty Ltd).

2. Identify how the policy can meet the strategic and operational needs of the organisation (Technical Instruments Pty Ltd).

3. Identify the procedures related to the policy (that is how the policy will operate).

4. Demonstrate a clear understanding of contemporary industrial issues.

5. Identify the legislation which governs the Australian workplaces.

6. Identify the instrument that the organisation will adopt as part of their industrial relations policy and procedure (i.e. modern award, enterprise agreement).

7. Document strategies and procedures for dealing with grievances and disputes in the workplace.

8. Identify an industrial relations strategy for the organisation.

9. Identify how the policy can meet the strategic and operational needs of the organisation.