The success of any given company is based on its ability to facilitate proper employee communication, counseling, fair discipline, rights, motivation, and involvement in different operations. Employees feel part of the organization and more committed to its performance when all these practices are followed in the best way possible thus, the company recognizes and appreciates the significance of the employees to the organization. The purpose of this report is to review and analyze employee practices at Qatar Petroleum (QP), a state-owned petroleum company in Qatar. More so, the report will focus on making recommendations to improve these practices through the application of employee relations principles and concepts to the company. Adherence to each of the above principles of employee relations would make the company one of the best-performing companies around the globe.
This report explicates employee communication, counseling, communication, discipline, rights, motivation, and involvement at Qatar Petroleum while offering recommendations for the best practice.
The current form of employee communication utilized at Qatar Petroleum is as illustrated below.
Employee _______ Supervisor _________Line Managers __________Top Management
In line with the existing form of communication, employees have to report everything to their respective supervisors, who then communicate the information to line managers and subsequently to the top management of the company. This communication system is strictly defined and every employee has to adhere to it when passing both urgent and normal information within the organization. Qatar Petroleum (2012) affirms that in most instances, employees work in teams, and the communication process begins from a team before it gets to a supervisor. This ensures that everyone in a particular department is aware of the information before it reaches the supervisor and the top management. The top management makes ultimate decisions after the due process of communication has been followed in line with the organizational chart as indicated above.
However, the above communication system can be improved from the perspective of employee relations. The strict sense of adhering to the organizational structure in the communication process can be eliminated to give employees the opportunities to communicate directly with members of the senior management. For instance, not every piece of information has to pass through the supervisor because this delays action especially in instances where urgent decisions need to be made. According to Macey, Schneider, Barbera, and Young (2011), the communication system should be improved in a way that gives an employee the opportunity to reach a line manager or members of senior management without necessarily going through a supervisor. This is crucial because it builds some sense of trust between employees and members of the management. It would also avoid unnecessary delays in the operations of the organization hence leading to success. Therefore, the recommended sample of communication could be as follows.
Employee ___________ Line Manager _______________Top Management or
Employee ___________Top Management
Senior supervisors at Qatar Petroleum are responsible for employee counseling. Among the most significant counseling activities that take place at the organization are open educational forums where employees discuss different forms of behavior and the best ways of handling them. Qatar Petroleum (2013) agrees that educational sessions offer supervisors the opportunity to talk to employees about the significance of their work and the importance of respecting work schedules.
Another relevant activity involved in the counseling process at the organization is private and confidential meetings between the senior supervisor and an employee focusing on a particular issue. The company recognizes the fact that employees face different problems both at home and in the workplace. Therefore, it emphasizes confidential meetings between the supervisor and an employee hence giving the employee the opportunity to disclose most problems and get the required assistance.
It is recommended for the company to put in place well-defined Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that would facilitate the counseling of every employee in the organization. This would be a more advantageous approach to employee counseling because it is a work-based program that is always ready to offer free and confidential assessments to employees hence enabling the management to assist them in improving their current situation. Carter, Ulrich, and Goldsmith (2012) confirm that it would be easier to counsel employees on both employment and personal issues through EAPs that enable them to state the diverse issues they face clearly. Moreover, activities involved in Employment Assistance Programs (EAPs) focus on broad and complex issues affecting the mental and emotional state of employees. This means that counseling will not only focus on the physical aspect, but also on the mental aspect of employees. Effective performance of these employees will be realized through this counseling approach, as they develop an improved approach toward handling issues.
Every organization, including Qatar Petroleum, faces instances of employee indiscipline and has to take reliable measures to take care of such cases. Qatar Petroleum utilizes diverse disciplinary measures to ensure its employees stay on the correct path of behavior and achievement while serving the organization. The first disciplinary measure is suspension of employees with consistent cases of indiscipline. Salt and Higham (2014) reiterate that an employee at Qatar Petroleum is likely to be put on an unpaid suspension when he/she does not improve his/her conduct after several warnings. Suspension is a warning to employees to ensure they adhere to the company`s regulations and standards.
The second common disciplinary measure used at the company is termination. Termination is effected in line with the Qatar Labor Law No (14) of 2004, which focuses on the terms of employment and the need to ensure employees are well disciplined. Employee termination comes about when employees have made serious mistakes that harm the reputation of the company.
From the perspective of employee relations, it is recommended for the company to utilize other disciplinary approaches such as demotions. Demoting employees is a perfect strategy to punish them instead of only relying on suspensions. This gives them the opportunity to redeem themselves in a lower capacity. It also protects the reputation of the company, as it is considered as a company that respects the disciplinary process when dealing with its employees.
Moreover, the disciplinary process can be improved to a process that recognizes the significance of the first and second warning letters. Macey, Schneider, Barbera, and Young (2011) opine that the best ways to discipline employees is to use warning letters that give them the chance to prove themselves and improve their behavior where necessary. It is the best approach to strengthening relationships with employees and ensuring they remain focused on the process of working in line with the disciplinary standards of the organization. Usage of extreme disciplinary measures can cause fear among employees and affect their level of performance. Therefore, these two recommended measures maintain better relationships with employees and reflect the organization’s understanding of their plight.
Organizations are always required to involve their employees in different activities. One of the key types of employee involvement strategies the organization uses is information sharing. Qatar Petroleum is always keen to share relevant decision-making and performance information with its employees. Employees are always informed of the decisions the company wishes to make and their contribution is considered. This ensures they work in line with the decisions the company makes. Apart from provision of the information on decision-making, employees receive frequent information relating to the performance of the organization. Such information shows them their real contribution to the economic status of the company.
Another relevant employee involvement style used by Qatar Petroleum is training. Workshops to train employees are organized, providing the employees with the platform to contribute to the organization in terms of skills and knowledge. Training ensures that employees have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process as part of the organization.
From the employee relations perspective, it is recommended that Qatar Petroleum uses the delegation approach to involve its employees in the growth of the organization. Delegation implies giving employees the opportunity to have some form of managerial experience in the course of performing their respective duties. Carter, Ulrich, and Goldsmith (2012) point out that it would be an appropriate strategy because it would ensure that better working relationships and trust are built between employees and members of the management. It makes employees more responsible and appreciated in the organization hence leading to improved performance and achievement in the entire organization.
Additionally, the involvement of employees could be improved through continuous participation of every employee in various organizational decisions ranging from planning work schedules, budgets, and processes of the company`s operations. This demonstrates trust that is given to the employees. Trusting the employees with the performance of the organization is the best approach toward integrating them into the organizational system and building better working relationships with them. They have the opportunity to determine their shifts and adhere to them appropriately without being forced by the management.
Employee motivation is a fundamental part of the overall performance of any organization. Qatar Petroleum motivates its employees in different ways. It motivates the employees through provision of tax-free benefits including housing, transportation, recreation, education and schools, and health and medical services. Qatar Petroleum (2012) affirms that the tax-free aspect of salaries motivates the employees to continue working toward the success of the organization because this is always likely to lead to increased benefits on their part. The enjoyment of such benefits is also indicative of the organization’s concern about their social welfare apart from work-related issues.
Another approach used to motivate employees is the assurance of paid holidays and annual leaves. The company`s employees take holidays and annual leaves based on their agreement with the company. They enjoy their full benefits while on holiday, and this motivates them to remain focused on the delivery of the organizational goals and maximization of benefits.
Training and employee development opportunities are also vital strategies used to motivate employees at Qatar Petroleum. The company focuses on the advancement of the employees` skills and knowledge through training and growth opportunities hence motivating them in the best possible ways. They work with confidence because of the skills and knowledge derived from training and development opportunities.
However, the organization could improve its motivational approaches to match the employee relations perspective. It is recommended for the organization to improve its motivation through rewards and other gifts to employees. They should be offered rewards and other gifts based on their performance. Regular employee reviews and appreciation of their performance would be instrumental in rewarding employees and ensuring they remain consistent in their operations. They also relate better to the management and each other when their performance is appreciated through a defined reward system.
The development of flexible work schedules is another recommended approach to motivating employees at the organization. Carter, Ulrich, and Goldsmith (2012) state that flexible work schedules imply that employees have the opportunity to have time off work. They should be put in place and respected adequately to give employees more opportunities to perform better and remain committed to the organization.
Qatar Petroleum strictly adheres to the rights of employees as directed by the Qatar Labor Laws of 2004. For instance, the company respects the termination procedures stated in the law. It can only terminate its employees based on the contract hence showing respect to their rights and opportunities to progress in the organization.
Additionally, respect to the employees` rights is noticeable from the company’s adherence to sanctions and disciplinary procedure stated in the country’s labor laws. It follows the latter by ensuring that both Qatari and non-Qatari employees are treated equally and fairly. They also have equal opportunities of advancement based on their performance and not necessarily the time of service.
In line with the employee relations perspective, it is recommended that the company focus on diversity and accommodations to protect its employees` rights. This means that they should employ not only Qatari employees, but also those from other countries. Macey, Schneider, Barbera, and Young (2011) believe that employees should be trained on the significance of respecting each other. The company could promote these rights and understanding by discouraging discrimination in the workplace.
In conclusion, the purpose of this report was to review and analyze employee practices at Qatar Petroleum (QP). Moreover, the report focused on the application of class concepts to recommend the best strategies of practice from the perspective of employee relations. The most significant observation made is that Qatar Petroleum is trying to manage its employees in the most satisfactory ways. However, it still faces some problems. The recommended strategies will play an assistive role in leading to respect of employees and continued involvement in the activities of the organization.