Employee Involvement and Participation
The paper will discuss employee involvement and participation in the service industry with reference to Canary Wharf GBK. The paper starts with the objective of the research and ends with the conclusion and recommendation of the research.
Employee involvement is a very important programme to utilize the tacit knowledge of the employees to increase commitment and performance with a limited cost. This paper will discuss different types and models of employees' involvement and their benefit and limitations. The research start with the secondary research through collected theories to write the literature reviews to build the base of the research.
In the literature reviews, it has explained views of different writer on employees' involvement. The literature reviews includes types of involvement, models of employees involvement and management support for employees involvement
Further, this research includes a methodology where the research strategy, approach, data collection and sample of the research are outline. Research methodology is crucial, as it is giving the researcher ways to conduct the primary research. The research is base on a case study and the data collection methods are interviews and a survey.
In the third section the researcher, outline the finding of interviews and survey. In this research, there are three interviews and one survey conducted by the researcher. The participants in the interviews are the managers and the respondent in the survey are the employees of the organisation.
Finally, in the last section the researcher presented analysis and conclusion of the research. In the analysis, the data collected from the research has been tested with the theories of literature. The research concludes with a brief conclusion where the result of the research has discussed.
In the end, the researcher gives recommendation and discusses the scope, limitation, and interesting issue of the research.
Research objectives are
Critically analyse the importance of employee involvement as outlined in the literature review that includes its importance in recession.
Evaluate Gourmet Burger Kitchen employee involvement strategy in the light of the research finding and theoretical literature.
Discuss the benefits and limitations of Employee involvement.
Benchmark the GBK canary wharf case study with other restaurant.
Reason for choosing this topic
The purpose of this study is to investigate the methods of effective involvement of the employees in a company where the researcher is working. Employees are the most valuable assets of a company. Employee involvement is important as it can result in empowerment and democracy in the organisation. This may result in increased motivation to take more responsibility (Judge and Gennard (2005). In this current economic situationwhen the confidence of the employees is low, EIP can motivate the employees to deliver good customer services, which can eventually result in improved profitability. The researcher aims to explore the role of employee involvement in the hospitality industry where the employees' turn over is highest. The researcher is presently working at GBK and has accessto conduct interviews and surveys. Furthermore, the researcher is interested in opening a business in India that is why the researcher has chosen this topic.
PART ONE LITRETURE REVIEW
Definition of employee involvement
Employees, the strongest pillar of the organization are the most valuable asset that contributes significantly to its success and prosperity. According to Price (2004), the involvement of employees in the organizational operation not only motivates them but also enables them to contribute more effectively and efficiently. Further, he explains employee involvement as a process involving participation, communication, decision making which leads to industrial democracy and employee motivation. Further CIPD (2009) explain employee involvement as a commitment of the employees towards the values of the organisation and willingness to help each other to achieve the organisational goal. The results are not only to increase job satisfaction, or motivation but the increasing performance of that organisation. In short, employee involvement is creating an environment where people have a continuous impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs.
Employee involvement Vs participation Understanding and defining the concept
Employee involvement and employee participation are like two sides of a coin. Both are supplementary to each other and existence of one depends on the other. There is not any significant difference between the two terms. Participation is an act of sharing information and the meaning of involvement is the day-to-day activity of the organization. Many writers have contributed towards the development of this thought of employee involvement or participation. For example Delaney (1996) had used the term participation as a voice of the employee in the decision making process and to describe different types of involvement of employee in the organization's affair. But very few writers tried to find the difference between the two concepts. Kale (1999) argues that participation is any organizational arrangement under which employees have some sort of share in some aspect of the business which is not specific types of employee involvement.
Furthermore Ang (2002) has contributed towards the development of the difference between the two terms and concluded that, Employee involvement calls for participation which is all about sharing information, training, mutual decision making process whereas traditional participative managementviews participation as a part of other organizational process. Marching ton et al. (1993) have used employee participation in a different context and as an umbrella term covering all forms of employee influence in the organization. Employee involvement is used to describe managerially inspired initiatives aimed at winning employee commitment, as part of the practices of industrial democracy, whose aim is to increase the rights of employees to participate in management decisions. This not only results in enhanced employee morale but also retaining the potential manpower resulting in lower attrition rate.
Many writers have contributed differently and each one of them has different approach to the concept and the context. Employee involvement was and is still known and referred to by different writers under such headings as participative management, employee participation, and worker involvement.
Employee involvement and empowerment
The concept of employee involvement is incomplete without it being associated with employee empowerment. According to Cunningham and Hyman (1999) there cannot be a single or simple definition of empowerment as some writers see empowerment as a recent development after increase employee involvement. Further Apostolouain (2000) explains that empowerment is the next step of employee involvement means where the employees have the power to take decisions. Blanchard et al. (1999) has defined its scope referring it as a means for involving team members as business partners in determining company success or failure. The real essence of which comes from releasing the knowledge, experience, and motivational power that is already in people but is being severely underutilized. In short it can be said that employee involvement leads to empowerment of the employees in different management decision process.
Importance of Employee involvement
The increasing competition and technological changes in the last 20 years have demanded higher skills and flexibility from the employees for the organisation. Walton (1985) stated that the highly competitive environment needs a different strategic approach to manage the employees. He further stated that in order to achieve that the jobs needs to be broader. The jobs structure should be made with proper planning and implementation to improve the performance unless just to maintain it. This situation leads to formation of teams, which are accountable for the performance. Employee involvement not only maintained the standard of the operation process but gives emphasis on continuous improvement and it is reflecting the requirement of the market place. Further Marchington (2001) argues that the employee involvement come into focus in the early 90s when the employer looking for a participative way to manage the work force.
Judge and Gennard (2005) further outline the other important aspect of employee involvement is the increases job security of the employees by offering them priority in training and retraining. The training equipped them with the skill and knowledge that the job demands. Greater employee commitment leads a growing expectancy to better job satisfaction and performance. It is difficult for the organisation in current business scenario to improve the performance without employee commitment towards the organization's mission and objective. Employee involvement allows the employee to input their views and ideas on performance and the quality of the service. This will lead the development where the employees want to be part of successful organisation, which provides them a good income and opportunity to enhance their skills for a secure employment. Grates (2009) stated that the engaged employees significantly contributes to the success of the organisation to achieve the goal and objective. He further said that employee involvement could give competitive advantage in the market. It can help to reduce turnover and increase the productivity.
An industrial services survey conducted in 1999 on 49 organisations experiences on employee involvement over the period of 1991-1999 has reported that more then 33% people believe that it enhanced employee commitment and motivation. The same number of people believes that it is really help to improve the relationship between the employee and the employer. Approximately 60% people said that the quality of the product and the services has improved. More then 50% believe that their job satisfaction had increased and the organisational profit has increased.
Importance of employee involvement in recession
The world has seen its worst recession since 1930s and most of the world economies are fighting against it. The economic crisis forces the employers to introduce cost-cutting measure and one of them is redundancies. According to an article HR focus (2009) most of companies in the world complete the lay offs of employees. Now the big question is how this organisation can use the most of the remaining employees. The other important question is how the company survive and can increase their performance in this difficult time. One of the measures that the organisation uses to give confidence to their employees is greater emphasis on employee involvement and participation scheme. According to Frauenheim (2009) the importance of employee involvement is more crucial in this difficult environment of economic trouble. As it is revels by many experts that worker commitment is more important then before as the confidence of the employees are badly hit by the lay offs. Haters stated that it's the employee's help that improving the situation during this economic turmoil as employee involvement can give the sense of value to the employees and can increase the job security. Juile Gebauer managing director of Towers Perrin believe that the company must give more attention to employee involvement to survive and performing good in recession as his organization found there is direct link between performance and involvement.
Low employee satisfaction or confidence may results poor customer services and in recession where customers are very reluctant to spend, companies can not afford bad customer service. In this difficult time companies have to be more efficient to attract more customers to surviveand customer service isof the tool to do that. It is found that EIP can increase employee satisfaction which can lead better performance
Types of employee involvement
Employee involvement practices/ approaches
According to Ang (2002) the idea of employee involvement is still developing although there is large amount of research done in the last decade still there is not any developed ways to use employee involvement as a management approach. The management approach depends how the employer wants to involve their employee in different operation. According to Lawler et al (1998) the most important factor of employee involvement approaches is how it can represent comprehensively in the process of problem solving, sharing information, rewards for performance and developing knowledge and ideas. He further says that in order to implement these practices the organization needs a particular employee involvement program.
Traditional versus current perspective
There is a significant difference between the current and the traditional way of employee involvement and participation. According to Gary and Sisson (1994) the traditional way is mostly indirect participation and limited direct participation. Further indirect participation includes trade union and work council and direct participation was limited to improve the quality of the work to counter turnover and absenteeism. He further explains that current employee participation is more direct as it concern with improve the performance of the organization that can be linked with the objective of the organization like customer satisfaction. The types of jobs in the current environment is changing as more and more company recruiting part time employees and they need to adopt different strategy to involve them in the process.
According to Apostolou (2000) one of the main ways to achieve representative participation is joint consultation where employees' elected representative to discuss with the management on various issues which concern them. These processes give the employees an opportunity to influence the proposal before it is finally made. Further Judge and Generd (2004) explain that, joint consolation involves seeking acceptable solutions to problem through a genuine exchange of views and information .Employee communication is concerned with the interchange of information and ideas within an organization.
Direct, indirect and financial participation
In 1999 Oosthuizen and du Toit classify the employee involvement and participation practice as direct, indirect and financial. Direct participation is the communication between the management and the employees regarding different function of the organization like decision making process to problem solving. Whereas in indirect participation the employees are involve through their representatives who are elected leaders. Financial participation is the economic participation of the employees in the success or failure of the organization through share ownership, profit sharing scheme.
Marchington et al (1992) talk of direct and indirect employee participation practices the direct participation consist of downward communication from management to employees which includes team briefing, workplace wide meeting ,staff newsletters and cascading of information down via the management chain.
Downward Communication from Managers to Employees
According to Marchington et al (1992) the downward involvement technique is used to inform employees of management plans. The management can use different ways to do that. Regular and continuous distribution of the company reports, journal, company publication and videos are the effective way to inform employees about the development of the company. Team briefing and regular team meeting is another ways for the top management to aware the employees about the organization news and development.
Marchington et al (1992) explain the other way of direct communication which are upward problem solving communication practices and that includes suggestion schemes, employee attitude surveys, and employee groups established to solve specific problems or discuss aspect of performance or quality and suggestion scheme. Further Taily et al (2003) outline the importance of employee's attitude survey and it can be done through questionnaire to a sample of employees to find out their views about different factors of the work. He further explain that formal processes like suggestion scheme can be put forward to find out employees thinking on different issues like quality improvement to enhance performance.
Financial participation is one of the best direct and tangible forms of employee involvement. The financial participation allows the employee to be a part of the financial success and failure of the organization. This will encourage the employees to show greater commitment and encourage them to take extra responsibility.Further, it is argued that a financial stake gives employees increased enthusiasm for the success of the organization. In its most developed form employee share ownership means that employees become significant shareholders in the business or even their own employer (Judge and Gennard, 2005).
Financial employee involvement scheme can be carried out in three ways and that is profit sharing, profit related pay and share ownership.
According to Judge al (2004) profit sharing methods can help to build a motivated and committed workforce. Further Taily et al (2004) explains that these schemes encourage employees to work as a team rather then individual as the rewards for working together is more then working individually. Profit sharing scheme ensure that employees benefit from an organization that makes profits.
Profit related pay
Taily et al (2003) explains that profit related pay scheme where employer rewards the employees for their contribution to the business. Further he outlines that it works where a group of people get pay to the profit of the business for their work. This kind of scheme generally found in the sales business where there is bonus for achieving the target. This scheme can increase the motivation and commitment of the employees.
Judge et al (2004) stated that latest way of financial participation of the employees is share ownership where the employees are owner of some part of the company through share. It means that they have shareholder's right. Further Apostolou (2000) stated that it produces interest among the employees about the company matters. In UK one of 5 employees have share ownership in their company .This kind of schemes seeks long term commitment from the employees and its take the employee involvement in a new stage where employees are promoting to some part of the ownership of the company. Owing share makes the employees more motivated and committed as the loss or the profit directly have an impact on them.
Task based participation
Task based participation is mainly to the job and an integral part of day-to-day life. It is all about perform the task in the same level or higher level, which can be managers or supervisor.
Team working and self management
Teamwork one of the important ways of employee involvement described by Pfeiffer's (1998) as it is one of the seven key HRM practise. It allows employees to take extra responsibility for the task, without direct supervision, to have discretion over work method and time, to multi skill and to recruit team members. Managerial control is at it most subversive and effective when employees take on responsibility for peer surveillance (Marchington and Wilkinson (1998
Benefit of Team working
Team meeting benefit both the employer and the employees. Through introducing team working the employer can improve productivity, customer service, cost cutting. In addition the employers can spread the ideas and be competitive in the market by improving the performance. Further its increase the employees' motivation to extra responsibility and care for the organization. Team working is benefited for the employees as well as the outcome of team working are greater job satisfaction and motivation.
Service industry characteristics and customer driven attitude or orientation is suits team working (Wilkinson et al 1998).Cully et al (1999) claim that team working participation is used in two third of the British industries.
In order to introduce team working the organization needs skillful management and resources.
Employee Involvement Model
First used in 1960s the psychological contract became very popular following the development in the world economy like globalization and economic crisis in 1990s.It is described as mutual obligations without any written contract between the employee and the employer. As it is not a written contract these obligations are informal and imprecise and are made in the requirement process or in the performance appraisal. Some obligation is seen as a promise whereas others are term as an expectation. The important part of that is the belief by the employees to be part of good relationship with the employer (CIPD, 2009).
The difference between the legal contract and psychological contract can be easily distinguished. Legal contract is a paper sign contract between the employee and the employer which represent the limited reality of the employment. The nature and importance of that can be found in an employment tribunal. On the other hand Psychological contract is more influential than the formal contract as it is affecting the employee behavior. This contract helps the employee to understand the requirement to represent their side and bargain and what they can expect from the job. The contract is based on mutual trust and understanding and cant be enforceable as it is not a legal one (CIPD2009).
Professor David Guest (2002) of Kings College London outlines the importance of psychological contracts and what it can offer to the employee and the employer. The model suggests that the importance of employer to adopt people management as it is directly influence the psychological contract .The contract is based on mutual trust and fairness of the employee and the belief that the employer is respecting the deal between them. Further he explains that positive psychological contract increase employee commitment and satisfaction which results increase performance.
Limitation of psychological contract
The main problem with Psychological contract arises when it is broken by management by not delivering the promises. This can leads to low job satisfaction, low morale and dispute between the employee and management. The employees are feeling cheated if the promise like rewards, training is not fulfilled or negative feedback from the managers about the work. Another limitation could be emerging when the company merges or restructure and the employees concerns are not listened to, this can raise dissatisfaction among the employees.
What Psychological contract is important?
The nature of the jobs changed dramatically in the last 20 years and there are more temporary and part time jobs available and the people do not have a permanent future in that company, they need to build a relationship with the management to secure their future. The cost of labor is increasing and most of the organization wants to work more with less employees makes the jobs more hectic stressful. Human resources are becoming more critical to get competitive advantage by their tacit and explicit knowledge. Team work culture is increasing. Finally positive psychological can result in high efficiency.
Black box model
People, Performance link
In order to understand the importance or significance of employee involvement and participation it is really important to understand the people and performance link. A research team lead by Professor John Purcell (2003) at Bath University carried out an investigation on people and performance link called as black box model. In that they have carried out interviews in 18 organizations which lasted over three years. In the interview with the managers the aim is to collect the information regarding their attitudes, level commitment, views about the job, team and reporting relationship. There information had been investigating in depth the relationships between practice and performance to develop understanding of the nature and mechanics of the relationship. After analyzing the data the team develops the people and performance model famously called as black box model. These models found that the people management creates the building blocks of performance and that are ability, motivation and opportunity.
As in the figure shows Purcell make four pillars to describe the people performance link. The first pillar is the human resources; the second is the AMO factors which is with the help of the line management in pillar three can result in employee commitment, job satisfaction and motivation which can finally lead to discretionary behavior. Further he explains that ability is the willing to learn new skill and apply and recognized, motivation assume that the use of ability in an effective way and finally opportunity assume the involvement of the employees in different operation like problem solving and the decision making process.
These factors like ability, motivation and opportunity are very important as they are directly related to job satisfaction and commitment of the employees. It will encourage the employee to exhibit discretionary behavior which means the way doing the job like in speed, care and innovation. These activities are the heart of the employment relationship as it is very difficult for the employer to monitor all the activities in an organization. This behavior makes the performance of the organization to a next level with greater job satisfaction and better performance. (CIPD, 2009).
Role of line managers
According to Judge and Gennard (2005) the main reason of the failure of employee's involvement is the attitude of the middle and lower management. The middle and lower management fail to support the scheme as they think they will lose power to control employees Further a research done by CIPD the role of line managers are the most important to implement the employee involvement and practice. Line managers are constantly in the communication with the employees. The line managers are the best person in explaining the variation in both job satisfaction and discretionary behavior as it one of the most important factors in order to developing commitment in the organization .The managers can encages employees towards their jobs and make them responsible for their jobs. The line managers can evaluate the performance through performance appraisal and motivates them by introducing more bonuses for better performance (CIPD, 2009).
According to CIPD (2009) it is found that the practice and performance is highly influenced by the organization environment. The practice performance link depends on the origination goal mission statement which must influence by the values the organizations stands for. And want to achieve in the future. The goal or the mission is very important for employee commitment. The goals or the mission should be spread throughout the organization to embed that in the policies of the organization. These values encourage employees to achieve new height in their jobs. This will motivate them as they are feeling valued and that eventually result in better performance.
Comparison between Psychological contract and black box model
Black box model is a medium for creating the atmosphere that reinforces psychological contract through the power of line managers. While psychological contract is a state of mind that already exists between the management and the employees.
Implementation of employee involvement schemes
Different organization operates differently so it is very important to understand that the schemes good for one organization may be not appropriate for the other one. There are few factors that are really important in order to successfully implement the schemes. The factors are good employee relations, the organization culture and the top management support, monitoring and reviewing and resources.
Good employee relation
Judge and Gennard (2005) explains that good employee relation is the basic need in order to implement employee involvement scheme as it is very important to motivate the employees and the management to take part in the process. The management and the employees must be open in their attitude and behavior. The scheme can't be successful in a case of dispute between them. Employee involvement can gain and develop in the background of trust and motivation among the management and the employees.
Commitment by the top management
The most importance factor regarding the success of employee involvement is the support of the top management. It is the top management who can encourage employee involvement and participation. According to Lawler et al (1995) it is essential, as employee involvement needs the management support to develop and smooth implementation without any obstacle. It is the management responsibility to introduce EI through suggestion programs and problem solving teams. The management can give more training to the employees to increase their skills and when they believe that the employees are knowledgeable and more skilled they can involve them in different organization function through EIP. This can leads to introduce reward and recognition for better performance to encourage employee involvement.
Further Judge et al (2005) explain that the management must be keeping the momentum after the introduction of the scheme. This will develop trust and motivation among the employees and the employees feel the seriousness of the management about the scheme. Any inconstant management behavior in the workforce involvement can put the scheme in trouble as the employees will de motivates and questioning the management commitment about the scheme.
According to Apostolou(2000) there are four important actions the management needs to take to run the scheme successfully and those are trust the employees and give them more responsibility, always updating the training programme to train the employees about the recent change in the business and technology the third action is effective communication and regular feedback of the work. This is the most crucial one as its shows the management seriousness about the scheme and that can motivate the workforce. Finally introducing of rewards and recognition for good work really helps to increase the commitment of the employees.
Free flow of information is another important aspect of employee involvement. The management must provide information about the company through different sources to their employee's .But the management should be careful to provide too much or too little information as it may create confusion among the employees.
The role of leader is even more crucial in the time of recession and economic turmoil where the environment is not conducive for employee involvement because of lay offs. According to Day(2009) the roles of leader is more important then before as it is not possible for them to maintain the same employee involvement scheme if the company is not getting profit. The leadership should be aware the workforce the reason behind the lay off and must use the most remaining talent. The leadership must regain the confidence of the employee by regular informing about the company progress and make them understand about the difficult time. By giving more seriousness on employee involvement the management can help the organization to not only survive in the recession but increase in performance. The leadership should give empathy to the employee; try to be open and honest. The management should give more emphasis on communication through different channels to encourage dialogue and listening to their problem.
According to Judge and Gennard (2005) every organization needs resources in order to implement the EIP scheme. Employee involvement can incur direct and indirect costs like the time cost, meeting cost, and training cost. The cost occurs from the introduction of the scheme and continues with the operating and monitoring cost. The organization needs to introduce new training program to enhance the skilled and knowledge of the employees and the managers. The managers need training to develop their skill to manage the employee involvement scheme. They also need skill to interviewing employees and training about giving information. All this occur cost and the organization need resources and funds to provide these service in order to effectively implement employee involvement.
Monitoring and reviewing the process
Regular monitoring and reviewing the process is very essential to run the process effectively. Monitoring the process help the organization to find out whether the process is running properly and producing the desired results. The performance of the scheme can be measured by comparing with the output of the process. Regular reviewing of the scheme helps the organization to find the problem of the operation and can be sorted out before it can cause the failure of the scheme. The result of the scheme can be discussed with the employees and can seek their ideas to run it more effectively. This wills asses the cost effectiveness of employee involvement and participation (Judge and Gennard, 2005).
The benefits employee involvement
Employee involvement is benefited for both the employee and the employers. According to CIPD (2009) employee involvement has lot to offer to the employer as they can use the skill and knowledge of the employees in different process which can lead to better performance. Further it can improve the reputation of the organization as a result of better employee satisfaction can attract new talent. EIP can improve the communication and understanding which can leads to less conflict in the organization. For the employees it gives them opportunity to develop their skill and knowledge and rewards and bonus for better performance. Further it can give higher job satisfaction and greater job security.
Limitation of Employee involvement
Employee involvement can be very expensive as its incurring direct and indirect cost.
It can be very risky, can collapse anytime, and can cause huge losses to the organisation.
EIP can create negative motivation if the management on a regular basis (Apostolou2000) does not implement the recommendation of the employees.
How do employers build involved workforce
As an article on employee engagement in CIPD( 2009 ) stated that in order to build a involve workforce the most important step is to measure the attitude of the employees and it can be obtain by regular survey on employees attitude towards the job on various grounds like pay ,benefit, communication ,training , management and work life balance. This data can help to find out the problem in various areas and the need for improvement to improve the performance of the company.
The main driver to build employee involvement is the full support of the line management along with development policies and good people management. The employees must realize the importance of his work towards the outcome of the organization. The performance benefit of the employee involvement is huge and it required time and resources and effort to build an involvement workforce (www.cipd.co.uk).
According to CIPD research on employee attitude the main drivers of employee engagement is the belief that their managers are committed towards their jobs. Good information sharing regarding the happing in the organization and good upward commutation from the employee to the management are the other key issue (www.cipd.co.uk).
Employee involvement and participation is growing its importance in every part of the world. The world is changing and most of the markets are open due to globalization. There is large scale of technology used in business in the current time. The employers are more demanding from their employees and because of that, the working life is becoming more stressful. Organizations are facing tough competition and they need to be innovative and use the talent of their employees to stay in the competition and perform better. Employee involvement and participation scheme can be perfect solution for both the employees and the employers. As it is mention above, communication is the heart of EIP as its build good relation between the two parties. As it explains the main ways of involvement in the restaurant industry is through team meeting .The latest and famous way of EIP is financial participation, as it not only increases the performance of the company but also paying rewards to the employees. Further psychological contract is an important aspect of EIP as it builds better understanding between the employee and the employer. This will increase the trust and reduce conflict in the unit. Further Black box model discuss the practice and performance link it shows that better practice and the support of management can improve the performance. In addition management support is very crucial in order to achieve success in EIP as it's the management's responsibility to not only to introduce the scheme but also continue that efficiently with proper resources and monitoring. The EIP can offer a lot to both the employees and the employer if it has properly implemented. It can take the employees' motivation to a new level where the employees feel valued and do there best for the organization. There are few obstacles to this scheme but that can be solved with effective leadership. In the time of recession, EIP can help the organization to perform better by taking the advice of the employees in different operation.
After examine all the literature it has found that models like Psychological contract and Black box models is useful for the research. Psychological contract is very important to build trust between the management and the employees and without a good environment employee involvement can't be successful. Further black box model is useful to link the practice and performance link. In addition communication is very important to pass the information and in these researcher theories like downward and upward communication will be examined. Further, for communication team meeting is one of the main ways of involvement in the restaurant industry so it is useful as well. Management support is crucial for the success of the involvement scheme , so it is importance to find out the management attitude towards involvement. In this research these above theories will be tested.
According to Menon (2005) research methodology can define as a systematic approach to solve research problem. In other words, it can define as a scientific method of solving a research problem. The aim of this chapter is to identify and explain the research approach, strategy and it related techniques. This section further explain the research design and present the research strategy that is based on the case study in Gourmet Burger kitchen concerning employee involvement in the organization and present the benefit and limitation of the case study. Further, it outlines the relevant research approach suitable for this case study, which is mainly qualitative. The main data collection method used in this research based on semi structure interview and questionnaire. In a research ethical issue are important as it plays a key role in the success of the wok. The researcher considers these issues during the process like data collection, design and reporting. The data collected remain focus on the scope of the research (Saunders et al 2007).
The research approach used in this work is mainly qualitative and deductive and partly inductive. The reason why qualitative methods chosen as the methods of collecting primary data are interviews and questionnaire. This helped the researcher to find explanation and description on employee involvement and participation in Gourmet Burger Kitchen. One of the objectives of the search is to find out the importance of employee involvement in a service industry like GBK. Further the research aim to compare the secondary data with the finding of the primary data to find out the reality of the situation. In order to compare the data to set the benchmark, another interview conducted with the manager of Greenwich GBK. In order to achieve that qualitative research method selected to explore, explain, evaluate and answer question of the research topic, which are open ended.
Further, the research is mainly deductive as the project aim to find out the level of employee involvement in GBK. According to the Lewis et al (2007) deductive research is also known as scientific research as it's involve the development of the theories that is subjected to rigorous test. As it found in the literature review, there are numerous models of employee involvement available and the aim of the research is to test the existing theory with finding of primary research.
The research approach that used in this research is deductive approach as the researcher aim to test the theory with the findings.
Every research methods have it own advantages and disadvantages. According to James (1997) of Oklahoma state university the advantages of this method are the information are comprehensive and depth in nature and this subjective information help to understand the whole situation. Lewis et al (2007) attributes that qualitative research explore complex question that cannot be find out through quantitative research and it can lead to build new theories.
As per as the disadvantages are concern the important one is that it can be very expensive and time consuming. James (1997) said that the comprehensive nature of information gathering can limited the scope of the research. The authenticity of the information can be question as it can biased.
This research on employee involvement in GBK carried out as a case study. Therefore, the strategy in this search is in the case study form. The aim of the research is to explore employee involvement as a whole and refer to GBK to investigate the status of employee involvement. Interview and questionnaire are the way to carried out primary research. The questions of the interviews are well structure and accurate targeting the question of the research. The questions are design to suit for a case study strategy.
According to Feagin, Orum &Sjoberg, 1991) case study are multi-perspective analysis's which means that this will not only represents the voice of the prominent or powerful actors but also to those group which are powerless and voiceless. This will leads to an acceptable conclusion. The researcher conducted both the interviews and questionnaire to collect all possible information from the management through interviews and from the employees through questionnaire.
In case study the collection of data can be time consuming so as the analysis. It can be expensive if it is conduct in a large scale. As it already mentioned by Yin, (1994) construct validity is problematic in case study research because of the investigators subjectivity. Case study is base on a single unit and to compare with the vast literature may leads to inappropriate result. According to Saunders et al (2007) the general criticism of case study strategy is the dependence of one single case believe to be incapable to provide an acceptable conclusion. Due to the size and scope of the case study, the results can be questioned.
Data collection method
The primary research will be conduct through interviews and questionnaire. According to Lewis et al (2007), semi structure interview gives freedom to the interviewees. The researcher aims to conduct three interviews with managers of GBK. This interview will conduct individually and the response is noted. Out of three managers interviewed, two are from the canary wharf GBK and one from Greenwich GBK .The aim behind choosing to interviews the manager from Greenwich GBK is to compare the level of employee involvement in different GBK, which is one of the research objectives. The researcher conducted the interviews face to face meeting as such interviews will capture the most detail information through verbal and observation. The questions of the interviews are base on the models and theory that the researcher wants to explore. The interviews and survey question cover the topic like importance of employee involvement, ways of employee involvement, communication strategy, and psychological contract; practise performance link and management support.
As Lewis et al (2007) the main disadvantage can be time consuming as face-to-face interview can take more time to conduct. The results of the interview is depends on the quality of the question. It can be expensive if done on a large scale of people. As it is a face-to-face interview, the behaviour of the researcher can be crucial as aggressive behaviour can affect the respondent in a negative way.
Further, the researcher conducted a survey to find out the employee views on employee involvement in GBK. The researcher involved 20 employees of canary wharf GBK in the questionnaire. The question of the survey targeted to cover the same topic of the interviews to find out the employees views in different issues like psychological contract with the employer, type communication, involvement in the decision making process and the level of job satisfaction. In order to get maximum response the researcher informed all the employees regarding the purpose of the research. Further, the researcher decided not to ask for the name of the respondents. This will give the employees an opportunity to revels their views without any fear and the data would be more authentic (Saunders et al2007).The data collected from this process will be analyse by different ways for example quantitative data like maximum response of yes comes as positive and vice verse. However, qualitative data will be accessed using the key wards and classifying the data into categories with the theory of the literature review. (Creswell 1994).
Other methods of data collection like focus group considered but rejected. Although is a very good medium to collect free flowing information but it is not considered because of limited sources. The data generally collected generally takes long time to analyse. The other limitation is it could have been bias (Saunders ET al2007).
The sampling technique used in this research is systematic as it is suitable for all sizes and the cost is low.(Lewis et al,2007) The sampling includes the most important people whose have the power and influence in that organisation. In this case, study of GBK Canary wharf two managers and one manager of Greenwich were available for the interview. In addition, the researcher conducted a questionnaire involving 20 employees to find out the level of employee involvement. The benefit for having a sample of both employees and managers as it is allowing the researcher collects information from both the sides. The sample fairly covers all the employees and managers of the unit. Further, it does include another respondent from other GBK, which helps to benchmark the EIP of Canary wharf. The sample represents almost all the employees of the Canary Wharf GBK. The limitation can be to get response from all the employees. The other problem could be time consuming to analyse the data.
Ethical issue considered during the process of data collection which very important to the success of the research. All the data collected through out the process is remain in the scope research. All the participant privacy is been respected in this process and they have given all the right to refuse any question. Further, this research will not harm or create any kind of problem for any participant. (Saunders et al2007).
Interview/Survey question and their link to theory
The researcher aims to explore employee involvement and participation through different models discuss in the theory like psychological contract, black box model and communication strategy in GBK and the questions of interviews and survey are related the above theory. Further, the questions are focus to meet the set objective of the research. The main objective of the questions is to find out the level of employees involvement in GBK and its benefit and limitations. Question as importance of employee's involvement, techniques of employee involvement, communication strategy, Psychological contract, practise performance link is included in both interviews and survey. The reason behind asking the similar question from the same topic is to find out the views from both the side.
Other methods and models as financial participation discussed in the literature review is not consider in the primary research as the research is based on a case study on GBK restaurant in canary wharf in London and it assume that there is not any significant financial participation in the lower level. The researcher conducted interview with the manager of Greenwich GBK to find out their views and compare that with Canary wharf GBK.
The researcher conducted interviews with three managers and two of them are from Canary wharf GBK and one is from Greenwich GBK. The researcher included 20 employees of the Canary wharf GBK in the survey.
FINDING AND ANAYSIS
Finding of the survey
The researcher conduct a close ended question and the options are; strongly disagree, disagree, agree, strongly agree and not applicable. The survey questions are related to the questions of the interviews with the managers. This will help the researcher to find the employee point of views regarding the level of employee involvement in GBK matters.
Regarding the question on encouragement of proving their views in different matters in GBK 12 out of 20 employees agreed that they have been encouraged by the management to provide their views. This shows that do the managers encourage the employees to put their views. Further, the employees are very concern about employee involvement and most of the employees think that it is important for better performance. Out of 20 people, surveyed 17 think that it is v important.
The result of the survey shows that most of the employees are not satisfied with the input they are making in the work. According to the survey, 12 out of 20 employees are not satisfied.
The result of the employee involvement like team meeting and task-based participation are that the survey shows that 12 out of 20 express that employees are encouraged and involve through team meetings. This shows that the main way of the employee involvement in GBK is through team meeting.
Furthermore, the employees view on the question on management support like clear job description the results shows that 12 out of 20 employees agree that their job responsibility is been well defined by the managers.
Further, it is been found that most of the employees are not being encouraged by the management by reducing the fear factor and recognise better performance. The result of the survey shows that around 70% do not agree with this question.
Day to day work in a restaurant is really important and it been found from the employee point of view that there is lack of employee involvement in the decision making process as 12 out of 20 employees disagree that they are consulted before any decision is taken.
According to the employees, the management regularly communicate with them through team meeting and other sources. As it shown in the chat that around 80% employee said that they are regularly communicate by the management.
Further most of the employees believed that they feel valued when their voice is listen. It has been observed from the survey where more then 90% employee are very positive about it.
On answering the question on the important to be a part of decision making process, most of the employees (95%) thinks that it is crucial as a part of their work.
Further, it found that the management is giving regular and updated training to the employees time to time. The figure above shows that 70% employees are agreeing with this question.
Benchmark canary wharf GBK with other GBK (Greenwich)
In order to compare the level of employee involvement with the canary wharf GBK the researcher conduct another interview with the manager of Greenwich GBK. From the interview, it is found that manager views are mostly same with the managers of Canary wharf GBK. For example the manager C have the same view on the importance of employees involvement its benefit and psychological contract .The main difference in opinion is the barrier to involvement where in canary wharf the main obstacles are part time employees and employee turnover there is no part time employees or turnover in Greenwich GBK. Further, the Greenwich GBK has only 15 employees in compare of 40 in canary wharf. Further the manager explain that the management have consult the employees before taking decision irrespective of canary wharf where the management rarely discuss with the employees before taking any decision
Analysis and Conclusion
Employee involvement is quite an important topic in today's corporate world as most of the employers realize that the knowledge and experience can be use to enhance performance. Further, it creates a good environment for the employees as they are feeling more valued and secured about their jobs. In UK, restaurant industry is one of the most important one where lots of low waged employees works. Restaurant industry generally have a high employee turnover and there is lack of involvement in the decision making process. In this research, it is trying to find out the importance and limitation in the restaurant industry with reference to GBK.
The important of employee involvement, benefit, and limitations
From the research it can concluded that the management and the employees are quite aware about the importance of employee involvement in GBK. The organisations understand that employee involvement can result great customer services, greater job satisfaction to the employees. Further, the management understand the fact that it is important for better environment in the work place and its increase the employee motivation to take extra responsibility for the work. Further, the employees' also understand the importance and interest in the employee involvement programme. Further, the management also believe that its help the organisation to build a committed workforce with reduce turnover.
Judge and Gennard (2005) discuss the views expressed by the management where they discuss the importance of employees' involvement in the current prospective (refer to 4.4). Further, the views are also similar with Grates (2008) where he outlines that employee involvement can results great services and reduce employees' turnover.
Further the survey result on the importance of EI is also reflect by Industrial action survey in 1999(refer 4.4).
Importance of employees' involvement in recession
The organisation realise the importance of employees involvement particularly in recession when the job security is its low, profit reduced and cost cutting. The management understand the needs of better customer services to counter the recession and bring the customer back. Further, the management realise that it is crucial time for them to motivate the employees to take extra responsibility that help the organisation to reduce cost.
The views of the management are also reflecting the point made by HR focus (2009) and Frauenheim (2009). (Refer 4.5)
Types of employees' involvement
From the research, it found that the involvement in Canary wharf is GBK is mainly direct communication between the employees and the management. The involvement in GBK is more current then traditional.
The organisation mainly has direct participation and does not have any representative
From the research it can conclude that the organisation have financial participation like staff competition for rewards for higher sales and voucher for better result for mystery customers. The financial participation is mainly profit-limited pay.
The views finds renounce with the Taily at al (2003) where he explain about profit related pay.(Refer 4.6.7)
The organisation mainly has downward communication like as notice broad, personal interaction and through team meeting. The organisation communicates to inform the employee about different matters of GBK. Marchington et al (1992) also discuss this. Further, the organisation mainly used team meeting to interact with the employees, which discussed by CIPD (2009), and Marchington and Wilkinson (1999) (Refer 4.6)
The organisation does not have any special programme to involve the employees in the decision making process. The management mainly involve the employees to solve the customer complain. The employees are unhappy as they are not involve in the decision making process. Further, the organisation is not conducting any survey to find out the employees views in different matter in GBK.
Taily et al (2003) and Marchington et al (1992) renounce the views of the management. (Refer 4.6.6).
Team meeting is the main way of communication in GBK Canary wharf where the management involve the employees in the day-to-day activities.
The management of the organisation acknowledge the importance of the non-written contract. However, the employees of the organisation are not agreeing with the management. The management believe that psychological contract is important to build trust in the organisation, good relation and great environment in the unit. Further, the management thinks that they are fulfilling the expectation but the employee thinks on the other way.
David Guest (2002) also discusses the data collected from the primary research in the Psychological contract. Professor David Guest (2002) of Kings College London outlines the importance of psychological contracts and what it can offer to the employee and the employer (Refer 4.6)
Black box Model
From the information collected from the primary research it can concluded that there is link between practise and performance link in Canary wharf GBK. The management explain by given example how employee involvement practise improve the performance in the organisation. Further employee involvement practise results better co-ordination and helps to reduce cost.
The views of the organisation is also discuss by Dr Murrells in their black box model where he explained how the practise and performance linked and how better practise results better results. (Refer 4.7)
Management support is important to introduce and implement employee involvement programme. From the data collected, it found that the management is interested to implement employee involvement programme. The employees are getting regular training for the work but there is lack of feedback from the management. As it is, explain by the management that they do not do any appraisal for the employees. However, the management is in regular contact with the employees through different channel of interaction. Further, the management have the resources like experienced staff and the support from the head office to exercise regular training and development programme. Further, the managers understand the importance of involvement, they listen and encourage the employees to put their views, and the relation between the employees and the management is not bad. Further, the management believe that there is increase important of involvement in the time of recession as its results better job satisfaction and great customer services to bring the customer back.
The views of the organisation is renounced with the views of Apostolou(2000), Day(2009) and judge et al (2005) where they explains the importance of management support to implement employees involvement .(Refer 4.9.2 and 4.9.3)
CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY
Critically analyse the importance of employee involvement as outlined in the literature and to identify from this review issues to be explored at GBK. Establish GBK's approach to employee involvement through primary and secondary data.
The prime focus of this research is to examine the level of employee involvement, its importance and limitation with reference to the case study in Canary Wharf GBK. From the literature review and the finding it can concluded that employee involvement is important for an organisation. Employee involvement helps both the employees and employers directly and indirectly. The existing ways of employees involvement programme is effective in sharing information and communicate with the employees in GBK but definitely there is a lack of involvement in the decision making process. Further, there is lack of the psychological contract in the organisation, although management understand the expectation of the employees but it seems that they are not taking steps to meet those. From the literature and the research it can said that the benefits of employees' involvement are like better performance, reduce turnover, better psychological contract, better customer services, increase trust and coordination and reduce cost.
All the responded accepted that employee involvement is very important and the employees shown their desire to involve in different matter in GBK.
Although it is difficult to measure the result of involvement but the respondent tried to justify the improvement in the organisation because of involvement.
Further, the level of employee involvement is moderate in GBK where the management is in regular communication with the employees through team meeting, notice board and personnel interection.The main ways of involvement is through team meeting where they discuss the main issues with the employees.
Different channel of information sharing used according to the prefer situation. For example in team meeting generally called to check the service and customer complain whereas notice board used to pass the company information and training programme.
The responded believe that regular information sharing is important to keep the employee aware about the recent development in the company and this will help the management to involve the employees.
However, the main barrier in communication in this case study is the language problem as most of the employees are not belongs to UK.
The organisation is not a big one so there is hardly any indirect participation or representative participation.
From the existing literature and the finding in the research it can conclude that involvement in the decision making process is an important factor in employee involvement. The organisation in the research has limited participation of the employees in the decision making process. Further, the organisation does not conduct any survey to know employees views in different matters. This is leads to a conclusion that there is lack of upward involvement in GBK.
However it is encouraging that the management is quite aware about employees involvement, as they have given example how it improved the service in various ways. Further, the organisation is quite aware about the importance of employees' involvement in recession.
Regarding the comparison between these two case studies there is not much difference between the two units in the technique used for involvement. The Greenwich GBK has more involve employees then CW as they do not have part time employees and less employees' turnover. Further, the Greenwich GBK is smaller then Canary Wharf GBK. This leads to a conclusion that the smaller unit is more employees that are involved then the bigger one.
- more research need to done to find out ways to involve the part time employees.
- Restaurant industry must understand the importance of employee involvement in order to provide great customer services to get competitive age in the market.
- there is need of employee involvement programme to involve the employees in the decision making process.
Organisation must conduct regular survey to find out the employees views regarding different matters of the unit.
Their must be increase in the financial benefit to motivates the employee to take in the involvement process.
The management needs to take necessary steps to motivate the employees to take part in the process.
There is a certain ignorance regarding the real benefit of involvement among employees, the management must convince the employee and aware them about the benefits
Scope and limitation
Hospitality is a big industry in UK and it is known for its low wages and employee turnover. The main scope of this research is to show the importance of employee involvement in this sector. Employee involvement can lead to better performance and can help the organisation to reduce cost through reduce turnover. Another benefit is the information that there is need of a more research to find out ways to involve the part time employees. This research can help the organisation to improve the performance.
The main limitation of the research is limited sample to test the theory in the literature review. The other limitation can be the amount of time invested in this research is quite late. As the research is based on, only one unit or organisation the authenticity of the testing theory can be question.
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