CIPD Assignment Answer sample

Emerging developments that inform approaches to employee voice and engagement.


There have been several emerging developments that inform approaches to employee voice and engagement. First, is technology enabled communication. The advances in technology have significantly impacted the way organizations facilitate employee voice and engagement. Various digital platforms, such as collaboration tools, employee feedback apps, and social intranets now provide channels for employees to express their opinions, share ideas, and engage in meaningful discussions with their peers and management (Hyman, 2018). These technologies enable faster and more efficient communication, breaking down hierarchical barriers and fostering a culture of open dialogue.

The second development is remote and flexible work. This was mainly accelerated by COVID 19 pandemic. At the time, organizations had to rethink traditional approaches to employee voice and engagement. Remote work needs different mechanisms for communication and engagement, such as virtual team meetings, online forums, and digital suggestion boxes (Hyman, 2018). Employers are now recognizing the importance of creating virtual spaces where employees can freely express their thoughts, provide feedback, and stay connected with their colleagues and supervisors.

The other development is focus on inclusion and diversity. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the value of diversity and inclusion in fostering employee engagement and giving voice to all employees. Efforts to create an inclusive culture and diverse workforce have gained momentum, promoting different perspectives and experiences. Inclusion and diversity initiatives provide platforms for underrepresented groups to have their voices heard, ensuring that diverse perspectives are considered in decision-making processes. Employee resource groups (ERGs) and diversity councils are examples of structures that facilitate employee voice within the context of diversity and inclusion (Hyman, 2018).

Continuous feedback and recognition is the other development. The traditional annual performance reviews are being replaced by more frequent and continuous feedback practices. Organizations are adopting feedback systems that allow employees to receive real-time feedback from their supervisors, peers, and subordinates. These systems not only encourage ongoing development and improvement but also provide avenues for employee voice and engagement. Additionally, organizations are placing greater emphasis on recognizing and appreciating employees’ contributions, fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.

Difference between employee involvement and employee participation and how it builds relationships.

                        Employee involvement denotes the degree to which employees are included in decision-making processes and have a say in the direction and outcomes of their work (Berry & Kato, 2018). It emphasizes employees’ active engagement in shaping the organization’s goals, strategies, and operations. Employee involvement often involves higher-level decisions that impact the overall organization and its policies. It goes beyond mere participation and focuses on employees’ substantive contribution to decision-making. This can take the form of participation in cross-functional teams, task forces, committees, or other formal structures where employees have a role in strategic planning, process improvement, or policy development.

Employee involvement fosters stronger relationships by promoting trust, respect, and a sense of ownership. When employees are involved in decision-making, they feel valued, respected, and included in the organization’s affairs (Berry & Kato, 2018). This enhances their commitment and engagement, leading to stronger bonds between employees and management. Involving employees in higher-level decisions also allows for diverse perspectives to be considered, encouraging collaboration and fostering a culture of teamwork. By building relationships based on mutual trust and empowerment, employee involvement contributes to a positive and inclusive work environment.

Employee participation on the other hand denotes the active involvement of employees in specific workplace activities, initiatives, or programs. It often focuses on operational aspects and day-to-day decision-making within the employees’ immediate work environment. Employee participation can take various forms, such as seeking employees’ input, suggestions, or feedback on specific projects, work processes, or team-related matters. It can also involve providing employees with opportunities to contribute ideas, share their expertise, or participate in problem-solving discussions. Employee participation plays a crucial role in building relationships by creating a sense of belonging and ownership among employees (Berry & Kato, 2018). When employees are given the opportunity to contribute their ideas and perspectives, they feel more connected to their work and the organization. Their voices are heard, and they become active contributors to the team’s success.

Three employee voice tools and two approaches that might be used to drive employee engagement.

(i) Employee Surveys. Employee surveys are a commonly used tool to gather feedback and opinions from employees. These surveys can cover a wide range of topics, such as job satisfaction, work environment, leadership effectiveness, and organizational culture (Bridger, 2022). Surveys can be conducted annually, semi-annually, or more frequently, depending on the organization’s needs. They provide a structured and anonymous way for employees to express their thoughts and concerns, enabling organizations to identify areas for improvement and take appropriate actions.

(ii) Suggestion Boxes or Idea Management Platforms. These provide a mechanism for employees to contribute ideas, suggestions, or feedback on specific issues or improvement opportunities. These tools can be physical boxes placed in common areas or digital platforms accessible to all employees. They allow employees to submit their suggestions or ideas, which can then be reviewed, evaluated, and implemented by the organization. Suggestion boxes or idea management platforms empower employees to actively participate in shaping the workplace and driving positive change (Bridger, 2022).

(iii) Employee Focus Groups.  Focus groups involve bringing together a small group of employees to engage in in-depth discussions on specific topics or issues. These sessions are usually facilitated by a moderator who encourages open dialogue and ensures that all participants have an opportunity to express their views. Focus groups provide a platform for employees to share their experiences, insights, and ideas in a collaborative setting (Bridger, 2022).

            Approaches to Drive Employee Engagement

                        The first approach is through Leadership Communication and Transparency. Effective communication from leaders is crucial for driving employee engagement. Leaders should regularly communicate the organization’s vision, goals, and progress, ensuring transparency and clarity. This can be done through town hall meetings, regular team updates, or one-on-one conversations.

The second approach is through employee development and recognition programs. Investing in employee development and recognition programs significantly impacts engagement levels. Organizations can provide opportunities for skill-building, training, and career advancement to show employees that their growth is valued (Mondore, Spell, Betts & Douthitt, 2018).

Critically evaluate the interrelationships between employee voice and organisational performance.

                        Strong employee voice and good organisational performance enables a positive impact on organizational performance (Baird, Su & Nuhu, 2022). Employee voice, when effectively encouraged and utilized, can positively influence organizational performance. When employees feel empowered to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns, it can lead to improved decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation within the organization. Engaged employees who have a voice in the workplace are more likely to contribute their knowledge, skills, and discretionary effort, which can enhance productivity, efficiency, and overall performance. Employee voice also fosters a positive work culture, improves employee satisfaction, and reduces turnover, all of which can positively impact organizational performance.

Strong employee voice and good organisational performance also enables improved organizational learning and adaptability (Baird, Su & Nuhu, 2022). Employee voice plays a critical role in organizational learning and adaptability. When employees are encouraged to share their insights, experiences, and suggestions, it helps organizations identify areas for improvement, adapt to changing circumstances, and respond to challenges effectively. Employee voice enables organizations to tap into the collective intelligence of their workforce and harness diverse perspectives, leading to better problem-solving, innovation, and the ability to seize opportunities. This continuous feedback loop and knowledge sharing contribute to organizational agility and improved performance.

Strong employee voice and good organisational performance also enables the creation of a supportive organizational culture and leadership. Building a supportive organizational culture and effective leadership are critical for the interrelationship between employee voice and organizational performance to flourish. Organizations need to create an environment where employees feel safe, encouraged, and empowered to voice their opinions and ideas (Baird, Su & Nuhu, 2022). This requires leaders to actively listen, value employee input, and create channels for communication and feedback. Furthermore, organizations are able to establish structures and processes that ensure that employee voice is captured, evaluated, and acted upon. Without a supportive culture and leadership, the potential benefits of employee voice may remain untapped, limiting its impact on organizational performance.

Explain the concept of better working lives and how this can be designed.


The concept of better working lives refers to creating work environments and conditions that prioritize the well-being and satisfaction of employees. It involves designing workplaces that foster a positive and supportive culture, enhance work-life balance, promote personal and professional development, and prioritize employee health and happiness (Ozenc & Hagan, 2019). The goal is to create an environment where individuals can thrive and experience fulfilment in their work.

To design better working lives, organizations can consider having employee engagements. Engaged employees are more likely to be satisfied and productive. Designing work experiences that allow employees to feel valued, involved, and connected to the organization can significantly improve their overall well-being. This can be achieved through effective communication, involving employees in decision-making processes, and recognizing and rewarding their contributions (Ozenc & Hagan, 2019).

Second, this can be realized through having work-life balance. Supporting work-life balance is essential for employee well-being. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible schedules, or compressed workweeks, enables employees to better manage their personal and professional responsibilities. Employers can also encourage employees to take regular breaks, vacations, and provide resources for managing stress.

Better working lives can also be designed through providing opportunities for learning and growth. Organizations can offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, and career progression paths to help employees develop their skills and advance in their careers. Regular performance feedback and development discussions can also contribute to employees’ sense of purpose and progress. This can also be realized through having health and wellness initiatives. Prioritizing employee health and wellness is an integral part of designing better working lives. Employers can offer wellness programs, access to mental health resources, fitness facilities or memberships, and initiatives promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Supporting work-life integration, such as providing on-site childcare or flexible parental leave policies, can also contribute to employee well-being (Ozenc & Hagan, 2019).




Section Two

1.      Distinguish between organisational conflict and misbehaviour, and between informal and formal conflict.

Organizational Conflict denotes a disagreement between people or groups within an organization maybe due to difference in goals, values or interests. It normally involves a struggle for power, control, or the pursuit of different objectives. Organizational Misbehavior denotes the intentional or unintentional actions by employees that go against institutional norms, policies, or ethical standards (Dundon & Wilkinson, 2012). It includes theft, sabotage, workplace bullying, harassment, or any behavior that deviates from accepted standards of conduct. Organizational conflict involves disagreements and clashes between individuals or groups within an organization. Misbehavior denotes actions that deviate from the accepted standards of conduct.

Informal Conflict refers to conflicts that arise impulsively or naturally within an institution without a predefined structure or formal process. These types of conflicts may crop out due to differences in personalities, work styles, or communication styles among employees. These types of conflicts are mostly less visible and can be sorted through means like open communication, negotiation, or mediation. These conflicts may not escalate to higher levels or require formal intervention. Formal conflicts happen during collective bargaining negotiations, grievance procedures or when legal issues arise (Dundon & Wilkinson, 2012). They normally involve higher levels of management or external authorities and require adherence to established protocols for resolution such as arbitration or litigation.

  1. Distinguish between official and unofficial employee action.

Official employee action refers to actions undertaken by employees that are within the range of their job description and aligned with an institution’s policies, procedures, and goals (Hosseini, Saeida, Sabokro & Salamzadeh, 2022). These actions are mostly sanctioned and recognized by the organization and are most likely documented and formalized. These actions have the backing of the organization and its management. Examples of official employee actions include; completing assigned tasks and projects, participating in team meetings and collaborations, following established procedures and protocols, adhering to organizational policies and guidelines among others.

Unofficial employee action refers to actions taken by employees that are outside the space of their job responsibilities or not officially recognized or authorized by the organization. These actions may or may not be in perspective with the policies, goals or procedures of an organization. These actions could stem from individual motivation or desire to improve a process or an outcome but they are authorized by the institution (Hosseini, Saeida, Sabokro & Salamzadeh, 2022). The actions are not harmful to the organization.

Examples of unofficial employee actions includes; initiating personal projects or initiatives that are not part of assigned duties, implementing alternative work methods or procedures without prior approval and offering unsolicited suggestions or improvements beyond the assigned responsibilities among others

  1. Assess emerging trends in the types of conflict and industrial sanctions.

One of the emerging trends is the remote work conflict which has been occasioned by rise of remote working. This form of work set up has brought new challenges and conflicts like communication breakdown and work life balance. The other form of conflict is inter-generational conflict. This has come due to diverse in age range in the workforce. It is seen through work styles, communication preferences and attitude towards technology. It often results in conflicts and tensions between employees from different generations (Baron, 2013).

Technology-enabled Dispute Resolution has played an increasing role in industrial sanctions by providing online platforms for conflict resolution. Virtual mediation, online arbitration, and dispute resolution software are being utilized to streamline the process, enhance accessibility, and reduce costs associated with traditional in-person proceedings.

Another emerging trend is diversity and inclusion conflict.  With increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, conflicts related to differing perspectives, cultural norms, values, and backgrounds are emerging. Organizations are striving to manage and embrace these conflicts constructively to create inclusive environments (Baron, 2013). Ethical Conflict is also another emerging trend. As societal expectations and awareness around ethical issues continue to grow, conflicts related to ethical dilemmas are becoming more prominent. Employees may face conflicts between personal values and organizational practices or encounter conflicts between different ethical frameworks within the workplace.

  1. Distinguish between third-party conciliation, mediation and arbitration.

Third-party conciliation is a process where a neutral third party, known as a conciliator, aids communication and negotiation between disputing parties with the intention of assisting them to reach at a resolution. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process whereby a neutral third party, known as a mediator, aids communication and negotiation between disputing parties to help them arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution (Lempp, Blackwood & Gordon, 2020). The mediator does not impose a decision but helps in fostering open dialogue, understanding perspectives, and exploring potential solutions.  Arbitration on the other hand denotes a formal process where a neutral third party is selected to hear arguments and evidence presented by the disputing parties and make a binding decision. He acts as a private judge and has the mandate to deliver a final and enforceable decision.

In conciliation, the third party (conciliator) helps facilitate communication and negotiation between parties but does not impose a decision. In mediation, the third party (mediator) assists in the negotiation process but does not have decision-making authority. In arbitration, the third party (arbitrator) acts as a private judge and makes a binding decision.

In conciliation and mediation, the disputing parties retain control over the outcome and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. In arbitration, the arbitrator makes a final and binding decision, which the parties are obligated to follow (Lempp, Blackwood & Gordon, 2020). Conciliation and mediation are non-binding processes, meaning the parties are not legally obligated to accept the outcome. In arbitration, the decision made by the arbitrator is legally binding and enforceable.

  1. Explain the principles of legislation relating to unfair dismissal in respect of capability and misconduct issues.

The first principle is fair reason for dismissal. Under this principle, an employer must have a fair reason for dismissing an employee (Rubenstein, Frost & Gould, 2015). The employer must demonstrate that the reason for dismissal falls within the specified categories outlined in the legislation that governs that jurisdiction.

                        Misconduct Issues. Misconduct denotes behavior or actions by an employee that breach workplace rules, policies, or standards. It could range from minor issues to serious offenses. Under this legislation, employers are required to follow a fair and reasonable process when addressing misconduct (Rubenstein, Frost & Gould, 2015). This means that the employer has to conduct a thorough investigation, giving the employee an opportunity to provide their side of the story, and following any relevant disciplinary procedures.

Appeal Mechanisms. Employers are required to institute a mechanism for employees to appeal against their dismissal. This permits employees to challenge the decision and present any additional evidence or arguments supporting their case.

Capability Issues: If an employee’s capability, competence, or performance falls below an acceptable standard, it may be considered a fair reason for dismissal. However, before dismissing an employee on grounds of capability, the employer is generally expected to provide reasonable support, such as training, counseling, or performance improvement plans, to help the employee improve (Rubenstein, Frost & Gould, 2015).

Procedural Fairness: Legislation commonly emphasizes the importance of procedural fairness in dismissal cases. This includes providing the employee with sufficient notice of the dismissal, conducting a fair and unbiased investigation, allowing the employee an opportunity to respond to allegations, and providing the employee with the right to be accompanied or represented during disciplinary proceedings.

  1. Analyse key causes of employee grievances.

One of the causes of employee grievance includes unfair treatment (Krajcsák, 2022). Perceived or actual unfair treatment by those in authority can be a major cause of employee grievances. It could include favoritism, discrimination, harassment, or unequal application of policies and procedures. The other cause has to do with poor communication. Inadequate communication or lack of transparency can lead to misunderstandings, mistrust, and grievances. When employees feel uninformed, excluded, or their concerns are not heard or addressed, it can lead to grievances.

The other cause of employee grievance is lack of recognition and rewards. Employees who feel undervalued or believe that their contributions are not recognized or rewarded appropriately may become dissatisfied and file grievances. Lack of opportunities for career growth or insufficient feedback on performance can also contribute to this issue (Krajcsák, 2022).

Excessive Workload and Stress is also a top grievance. When employees are consistently burdened with excessive workloads, unrealistic deadlines, or insufficient resources, it can lead to grievances. High levels of stress and job dissatisfaction can arise, impacting morale and productivity. Grievances can also arise from policies, procedures, or practices that employees perceive as unfair, impractical, or outdated. This can include issues related to scheduling, leave policies, performance evaluations, or disciplinary actions. In addition, when employees face challenges in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, such as long working hours, inflexible schedules, or inadequate support for personal or family commitments, it can result in grievances.

  1. Explain the skills required for effective grievance and discipline-handling procedures.

One of the skills required is active listening. The ability to listen actively and empathetically is crucial for understanding the concerns and perspectives of employees involved in grievance or disciplinary procedures. It involves paying attention, clarifying information, and demonstrating understanding to foster trust and effective communication. The other skill involves strong communication skills. These are essential for conveying information clearly and effectively to all parties involved (Fahim, 2018). It includes explaining procedures, policies, and outcomes in a transparent manner while being sensitive to the emotions and reactions of the individuals involved. Conflict resolution is the other skill needed. It helps in facilitating discussions, negotiations, and mediations to reach mutually agreeable resolutions. It involves managing emotions, facilitating compromise, and finding common ground while maintaining impartiality.

Problem-Solving skills are also needed for handling grievances. The ability to analyze complex situations, identify underlying issues, and develop creative and practical solutions is vital in grievance and discipline handling. Problem-solving skills allow for the exploration of various options and the implementation of fair and effective resolutions. Fairness and Impartiality skills are also needed in order to maintain an objective and unbiased approach. Being fair and impartial helps build trust among employees and ensures that decisions and actions are based on factual evidence, policies, and applicable laws (Fahim, 2018).

It is also important to have a solid understanding of relevant organizational policies, procedures, and legal frameworks related to grievances and discipline. This knowledge helps in ensuring compliance, making informed decisions, and providing accurate guidance to all parties involved.

  1. Advise on the importance of handling grievances effectively

Addressing grievances in a timely and fair manner demonstrates that the organization values its employees and their concerns (Hall & Purcell, 2012). It promotes a positive work environment, which contributes to employee satisfaction and helps increase employee retention rates. By addressing grievances effectively, organizations can manage and resolve these conflicts, fostering better working relationships and reducing tension and animosity among employees.

Addressing grievances promptly and effectively helps prevent them from escalating into larger conflicts or legal disputes. Early intervention and resolution helps contain and resolve issues before they become more challenging to address, saving time, resources, and potential damage to the organization’s reputation. When grievances are handled effectively, organizations are able to identify and rectify systemic issues, leading to positive changes that enhances the overall work environment and employee satisfaction. Handling grievances effectively also cements trust and confidence in the organization’s leadership and management (Hall & Purcell, 2012).

When grievances are handled correctly, employee morale and productivity gets boosted. Unresolved grievances can negatively impact employee morale and motivation. Employees who feel that their concerns are not being heard or addressed may become disengaged, leading to decreased productivity and lower job satisfaction. Effective grievance handling helps boost employee morale and creates a supportive work environment.

  1. Explain the main provisions of collective employment law.

Employees have right to organize. Collective employment law archetypally grants employees the right to form and join trade unions or other representative bodies. This provision protects employees’ freedom of association and allows them to collectively bargain and negotiate terms and conditions of employment (Schubert & Schmitt, 2020).

                        Employees are entitled to collective bargaining.  Collective employment law establishes the process and procedures for collective bargaining between employers and employee representatives. It sets out the rights and obligations of both parties in negotiating collective agreements that govern employment terms, including wages, working hours, benefits, and other conditions.

Employees are entitled to recognition and representation: The law outlines the requirements and procedures for trade union recognition by employers. It establishes the rights and obligations of trade unions in representing employees’ interests and participating in decision-making processes within the workplace (Schubert & Schmitt, 2020).

Collective employment law also provides for industrial action. Employees have the right to take industrial action, such as strikes, lockouts, or other forms of protest, as a means to exert pressure during collective bargaining or address labor disputes. This provision outlines the conditions, procedures, and restrictions under which industrial action can be undertaken. Employees have rights to information and consultation. Collective employment law often includes provisions for employers to provide information and consult with employee representatives on matters that affect employees’ interests, such as major workplace changes, redundancies, or health and safety issues (Schubert & Schmitt, 2020).

  1. Compare the types of employee bodies, union and non-union forms of employee representation.

Union can take the form of trade unions which negotiate with employers on behalf of their members to secure better working conditions, benefits, wages and other employee related matters. The trade unions engage in collective bargaining with employers to negotiate and reach collective agreements that govern the terms and conditions of employment for their members. These agreements cover areas such as wages, working hours, benefits, job security, and dispute resolution procedures (Addabbo et al., 2021). Union membership involves employees joining trade unions and becoming members and paying union dues.

For non-unions, representation can be realized through work councils. The work councils are representative bodies consisting of employees elected or appointed to represent the interests of workers within a specific workplace or organization. They focus on matters such as employee welfare, health and safety, and compliance with employment laws and regulations. Non-unions can also be through employee representatives and also through employee consultation and participation.

  1. Evaluate the purpose of collective bargaining and how it works.

Collective bargaining serves as a vital process for negotiation and reaching agreements between employers and employee representatives, typically trade unions (Richardson, 2013).  Its purpose is to establish mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment, including wages, benefits, working hours, job security, and other workplace-related matters.

Collective bargaining aims to protect workers’ rights by ensuring fair and equitable treatment, safe working conditions, and reasonable compensation. It provides a platform for employees to collectively voice their concerns and interests, promoting a balance of power between employers and employees.

Collective bargaining seeks to improve working conditions, including factors such as health and safety standards, job security, leave entitlements, and work-life balance. Through negotiation, workers can advocate for improvements in these areas, enhancing their overall well-being and quality of life (Richardson, 2013). Collective bargaining also allows workers to negotiate for fair wages, benefits, and other forms of compensation. It provides an opportunity to address income disparities, ensure competitive remuneration, and secure financial stability for employees.



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