As the paper outlines the United Kingdom and France have different strategies used to improve employee relations, however both nations work consistently at creating a linkage between satisfying employees and achieving organisational goals. A comparison between UK and France The United Kingdom has a very Westernised approach to improving employee relations, much of which is built on the Americanised model of business that involves empowerment strategies for workers, improving cultural sensitivity, and improving technical and communication skills for better relationships between the organisation and the employee. In the UK, globalisation has driven many of these employee relations policies that are often directly linked to human resources; a form of partnership. Friedman identifies that such values that create HR linkages in employee relations strategies include building innovation through training, learning cultural sensitivity, and often adopting global business trends common in industrialised nations. From this paper it is clear that globalisation has evolved UK employee relations in such a way that a partnership between HR and line management cannot be dismissed. As one example, many companies in the UK have realised that childcare is a significant issue for workers, especially when job role responsibilities become more diverse and employees must be especially devoted to their organisational role and remain committed to achieving long-term objectives. A recent survey identified that the establishment of childcare vouchers, offering tax and national insurance relief, improves staff turnover by up to 29 percent. This is especially important in organisations that sustain expatriate leadership to help support business objectives or when the working hours exceed normal operating hours. Childcare vouchers create a partnership with human resources as it motivates improved performance in the worker receiving the new employee relations benefit and aligns the corporate benefits division with ongoing HR support for the objective. In France, there is a structured collectivist mentality in the broader social culture that drives much of the business decision-making that occurs on a daily basis in business operations. Collectivist cultures place significant emphasis on group belonging and demands loyalty for the in-group. Collectivists “view themselves as a member of an extended family where group interests are often placed ahead of individual needs”. This cultural aspect of society often drives business decision-making in which teamwork methodology is part of the long-term strategic goals that drive daily operations. Collectivist mentality has created, as part of employee relations, more 360-degree feedback systems in which employees are appraised by not only their immediate supervision, but by peer employees, extended line leadership, and sometimes even the customer. Again, as with the United Kingdom, establishing a group-minded performance appraisal system links employee relations directly with human resources in order to promote conformity and also to improve employee learning by assessing the employee using feedback from multiple sources.
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