As stated under Article 36 (11) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, “The State shall encourage the participation of workers in the decision-making process at the work place”.
It is the duty of the Human Resource Manager (HRM) to ensure that the entire workforce benefits from training and re-training and also to provide adequate procedures to guide the workers.
In this regard, open channels of communication with the workers will be an encouragement for ensuring participation in achieving Labour Management Cooperation.
To further deepen this commitment, a set of principles as outlined below could be what is required in the attainment of LMC.
Principles of Labour-Management-Cooperation (Working Together)
- Labour-Management Cooperation provides an opportunity for Labour and Management to jointly see what they do well and what it will take for them to enjoy continued success.
- Labour-Management-Cooperation does not require either party to lose its identity or relinquish its role. Both parties must recognize that cooperation, and long-range preparation and planning are in the interest of all stakeholders and the business as a whole.
- Labour-Management-Cooperation should be seen as a long-term effort designed to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness and not merely as a means to create different teams. Labour Management Cooperation must be fully integrated with contract negotiations and administration as well as organizational goals and values.
- The success of Labour-Management-Cooperation often depends on how it is initiated. True Labour Management Cooperation is characterized by joint initiation, structural design, control, implementation, communication, and ownership. The plan for implementing Labour-Management-Cooperation should contain provisions for mentoring, coaching, monitoring and evaluation.
- Change and the eventual transformation is essential for the survival and growth of any organization. Labour and Management must be willing to modify their values and norms in order to institutionalize a New Work System.
- Successful change and transformation depend upon an accurate understanding of the status quo, the defining of a vision for the future, and jointly creating a realistic means to fulfil that vision.
- Labour-Management-Cooperation can aid positive change and transformation, and should be flexible enough to withstand adjustments in the face of shocks in the global market.
- The greatest assets of any organization are its human capital. Each human being has the potential to strengthen and transform the organization, both individually and collectively.
- Labour Management Cooperation should result in measurable outcomes. These outcomes, equally weighed, include human development, human dignity, corporate democracy, quality, increased productivity for growth and progress.
- Adequate safeguards should be built into the process including joint control, a written agreement, fundamental fairness, and adherence to the principles of Labour Management Cooperation.
- A successful Labour Management Cooperation process establishes structures for:
- Direct and representative participation in brainstorming open to all members of the organization.
- Frequent and timely feedback of information and rewards.
- The sharing of relevant information and expertise.
- Guarantee of individual rights and liberties (fundamental fairness, i.e., providing for the opportunity of review of conclusions).
- Establishing supporting attitudes and values and translating those into behaviours.
- Labour Management Cooperation must be uniquely tailored to reflect the needs and culture of the specific location. There is no one formula to be imposed from outside, but there is a set of fundamental principles necessary to guide initiation, process and ownership.
- A successful Labour Management Cooperation process is one which requires enormous commitment from social partners and one which cannot be held “hostage” when problems occur in the relationship.
- A successful labour-management process is not “free”. There are significant costs involving time, resources, and training. The parties must be willing to view these costs as an initial investment on which they expect to gain a long-term return in improved image, employment security, quality, productivity, mutuality and growth for progress.
By: Austin A. Gamey,
Gamey and Gamey Group Limited
HRM/ADR and Labour Consultant