Employees are the heartbeat of every organization. Employees are responsible for the operations of the business. Without them, no operation can move on smoothly. Having good employees is of great importance since the viability of job performance increases. Organizational performance depends on the relationship between the employer and the employee (Blyton & Turnbull, 2004). The employer-employee relationship is a legal link. It is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to discharge their duties while preserving the bond to ensure that it is ethically sound and successful. The employees should not feel intimidated by the management since this will influence the bond. The primary factor that can hinder the bond between the employer and workers is self-interest. Some managers consider self-interest to be vital as opposed to motivating employees to pursue common organizational goals. In this paper, I will discuss the extent to which self-interest should govern the employer-employee relationship as opposed to the interest in the employee as stipulated in the employment relationship.
Employees and employers have conflicting self-interest (Wang, Tsui, Zhang & Ma, 2003). Employees have varying self-interest and expectations. Their interest will always determine how they would perform. Employers are interested in choosing the right person for the job. Employees whose self-interests match their job profiles are likely to perform better. Majority of the employees are interested in fair pay, good working environment, recognition, rewards, and autonomy. If the organization can provide these factors to the employee, then he or she is likely to perform better. On the other hand, the employers have a self interest that they are obligated to satisfy to achieve their primary goals. The employer is interested in the success of the firm. He or provides capital to run the organization. The employer deserves profits if the right talents are hired to work. As such, the interest of the employer and employee should not conflict for the organization to achieve its desired objectives. The employees should act within the originations rules and principles to ensure that they discharge their duties to allow them to receive fair pay (Coyle-Shapiro & Shore, 2007). However, on the other hand, the employers should set strict rules and policies that can negatively influence the productivity of the employees.
Employer-employee relationship should not be overlooked. It plays a significant role in the people involved in the organization. Majority of employees consider their jobs as personal business. It is a highly valued possession that can influence the lives of the employees and their dependents. The relationship comes with a myriad of responsibilities which should not be overtaken by self-interest. However, the pressures of self-interest are considered as powerful and pressing (Wang, Tsui, Zhang & Ma, 2003). Both the employer and the employee should be able to guide their choices by adopting basic ethical principles such as respect, honesty, openness and caring. Both the employer and the employee must ensure that the organization performs according to the set goals and objectives.
It is the moral obligation of the employers to take care of the welfare of the employees (Blyton & Turnbull, 2004). The welfare of the employees should not only be based on fair rewards and good working conditions. The employers should show an enduring concern for the welfare and well-being of the staff. However, it is also the responsibility of the employees to ensure that the working environment promotes their well-being. They have the right to question the management if the working environment is not conducive. This should be done by the laid down procedures and ethical principles that govern the organization. The organizational principles should not be preceded by the self-interest of either the employer or the employee. The welfare of the employees should remain the dominant consideration for the employers while making organizational decisions. They should demonstrate a genuine concern even if the well being of the co-workers is associated with certain costs which may affect the profitability of the organization (Blyton & Turnbull, 2004). The employers have to be loyal to their workers. It is always a difficult concept that disturbs the morality of most employers. However, it should be considered to promote well-being among the co-workers and organizational ethics.
Employees deserve to be treated fairly (Wang, Tsui, Zhang & Ma, 2003). Any concern to address plant closure and layoffs require extraordinary precautions. The activities of this nature have profound financial and psychological impact on the reputation of the organization as well as the employees. Such decisions should be handled with great care, and the management should utilize the provisions available while making the pronouncement especially to the employees who are losing their jobs. When it comes to downsizing and company closure, the self-interest of the employer can supersede the interest of the employees. The employers can apply some degree of self-interest for the benefit of the organization. The employer can justify rightsizing or downswing. However, it cannot be used to change the moral perspective concerning the relationship between the employer and workers.
Employees deserve respect in the workplace. The management must ensure that the rights of the employees are guarded. Employers have the power to allow their self-interest supersede the rights of the employee. They should not abuse or mistreat their employees. The employers should provide a room where the employees feel free to raise any ethical issue without fear of victimization (Blyton & Turnbull, 2004). The employee’s self-interest should allow them to ask for a promotion and pay rise when they truly feel that they deserve it. In pursuit of such interest, the employers should not treat employees as mere instrumentalities of the organization. In this case, they will fail to meet their moral responsibilities.
Employees also have a moral obligation to be loyal to their employers. They have the moral duty to discharge their duties effectively to earn a full day’s pay (Wang, Tsui, Zhang & Ma, 2003). The employees are also obligated to the customers, organization, and co-workers. In this way, they should perform their duties as per the interest of the employer to achieve the desired goals and objectives. The employee should practice honesty, and respect to the employer. The mismatch in the economic strength between the employee and employer should not interfere with their moral obligation.
There are circumstances where self-interest governs the relationship between the employer and the employee. In this way, the employers and employee would consider their interests as opposed to organizational interest. Many states recognize or consider the concept of employment at will. In this case, both the employer and the employee are free to terminate the employment contract or relationship anytime. The employer or the employee can terminate the relationship as long the reason for termination is not illegal. Employers may decide to terminate the relationship due to rightsizing or downsizing. Furthermore, the employer may decide to close the company after achieving the intended purpose. On the other hand, the employee can terminate the contract to pursue greener pasture or family issues. The employer must inform the employee in writing for the reason of termination of the employment relationship (Wang, Tsui, Zhang & Ma, 2003). In this way, the employer would have a strong defense for any allegations of discrimination or illegal motive.
Most employers are interested in hiring reliable and capable who can work diligently to receive reasonable compensation (Coyle-Shapiro & Shore, 2007). There are business organizations such as hotel industries which experience low season and peak season. During low season the employer can layoff some staff to retain benefits and enhance profitability. In this case, the self-interest of the employer will govern the employment relationship. However, it is ethical that the employer provides valid reasons for termination to avoid litigation. Most employers are interested in employees who can perform their duties efficiently. Such employees are rewarded with reasonable compensation for the work done. However, some employees are not efficient in job performance even after considerable training. In this regard, the employer should inform the employee in writing about the termination of the contract for failing to meet the organizational standards. The employer will not consider the interests of the employee in this case. As such, their relationship will be governed by self-interest. In cases where the employee creates a hostile working environment and violates work ethics and principles, the interest of the employer would govern such as employment relationship. The employer will be obligated to terminate the employment relationship in self-defense.
The employment relationship can be governed by self-interest (Blyton & Turnbull, 2004). There are instances where the employer would consider personal interests as opposed to the interest of the employee. In cases, where the employee exercises personal interest he or she is obligated to inform the employee the reasons for taking such measures or decisions. This will allow the employer to avoid future litigations. However, the relationship between the employer and the employee should be governed by ethical principles. Both the employer and the employer are obligated to practice honesty, loyalty, and care to maintain the relationship. However, the conflicting interest between the employer and employee may force the employer to employ self-interest in governing the relationship. The consequences of such ties can result in termination of the employment relationship.
- Blyton, P., & Turnbull, P. (2004). The dynamics of employee relations. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Coyle-Shapiro, J. A., & Shore, L. M. (2007). The employee–organization relationship: Where do we go from here?. Human resource management review, 17(2), 166-179.
- Rubery, J., Earnshaw, J., Marchington, M., Cooke, F. L., & Vincent, S. (2002). Changing organizational forms and the employment relationship. Journal of management studies, 39(5), 645-672.
- Wang, D., Tsui, A. S., Zhang, Y., & Ma, L. (2003). Employment relationships and firm performance: Evidence from an emerging economy. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(5), 511-535.
- Wright, P. M., Gardner, T. M., Moynihan, L. M., & Allen, M. R. (2005). The relationship between HR practices and firm performance: Examining causal order. Personnel psychology, 58(2), 409-446.