In an effort to ensure increased productivity and peaceful work environment, Human Resource Managers need requisite skills in industrial relations management.
That would ensure that the relationship between management and workers is enhanced efficiently to promote productivity.
Although Industrial Relations Management is a function of Human Resource Management, it is a specialised field that requires expertise in an organisation.
“HR is just as important as Industrial Relations. To attempt to use Human Resources Management skills to manage Industrial Relations would only be detrimental to your organisation,” says Joseph C. Gabrah, an Industrial Relations expert.
The increasing appreciation of IR management has led many firms to engage dedicated IR managers in addition to HR managers, but mainly in Ghana, HR managers undertake the IR function, he said.
In an interaction with ADR Daily on how to promote industrial peace and co-existence, Mr Gabrah said that in Ghana, most HR practitioners fail to integrate the policies of IRM into HRM thereby fulfilling only half of their job description.
“Industrial Relations in its basic form refer to any formal institutional relationship between a mass of workers and management.
“It is an integral part of every working environment of which in the case where it is absent, chaos would reign,” he added.
He noted that although IR management is part of Human Resources management, many HR managers lack the skills in IR, thereby creating challenges in the relationship between workers and management.
According to him, industrial relations is not like other social sciences. “It is unique in its way because it hits at the core of workers. It targets the emotions of workers. Unlike HR which focuses on the general wellbeing of both management and workers, IR is fixated solely on the workers.
Mr Gabrah said per his experience HR practitioners fail to utilise Industrial Relations functions.
“Most HR Practitioners do not take full advantage of Industrial Relations functions, and this is a major causative factor for the many labour conflicts,” he said.
He, therefore, urged HR practitioners to seek requisite professional training in IR to enhance their performance of the benefit of their organisations.
Also, he encouraged firms to employ dedicated IR managers to promote industrial relations in their organisations effectively.
By Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com