Ensuring better employee relations is as important in public sector companies as for any other organisation. However, it is generally observed that most employees in the public sector organisations suffer from stress (Health and Safety Executive, 2002).
Mersytravel is the operating name for Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive; which oversees the provision of public transport on Merseyside. It was initially observed that the employee morale was low and they used to get tensed. The company identified that as per Frederick Herzberg two factor hygiene and motivation theory, some factors like job security, salary, and status etc., that are the provided by public sector organisations do not motivate employees and don not contribute in ensuring employee well being. Instead, if these factors are not present, this may lead to employee dissatisfaction. In contrast, as per the theory, employees will feel motivated if they are provided growth and advancement opportunities, and are recognised for their achievements (Accel Team, 2006).
In order to improve employees' morale and to enhance employees' knowledge, the company established a learning and development strategy in consultation with its employees in 2003. A scheme called Merseylearn was developed that focuses on providing learning and development opportunities for hard to reach learners such as shift workers. They can use this system 24 hours a day to develop their skill sets. This has also enabled the staff to undertake courses at home (Investors in People, 2006).
A wide range of other learning and development programmes have also been developed that have helped staff to undertake language and literacy training within workplace.
The company gained myriad of benefits from this approach. Employees' turn over rate has sharply declined; sickness days, which were quite high previously, dropped by an average 3 days between 2003 and 2006; staff promotions have increased by 10% as a result of training programmes; staff participation in work related participation schemes has also risen by 50% per cent (Investors in People, 2006).
This steady increase in employees' productivity indicate that the training programmes add to the employee well being by improving employees' skills, knowledge and behavior towards