Every organisation around the world is made up of multiple people with different psychological, social and cultural backgrounds. For an organisation to function well, it is important for its employees to keep it running efficiently. Every employer has 3 fundamental responsibilities towards his organisation and its employees. 1. To recruit and maintain the right staff. To manage conflicts within staff members and promote team spirit. 3. To maintain the diverse and dynamic nature of the workplace and ensure communication, adaptation, orientation, and integration of the employees. In order to recruit and maintain the efficiency and Productivity of staff the management is expected to conduct performance appraisals of its employees. To manage conflicts within workplace the first step is to identify it. Workplace conflicts can occur in 3 phases namely, tension, crisis and conflict. Each of these conflicts have their own solutions. While some can be cleared with communication, others require legal and stringent action. It is necessary to understand the 3 phases and take necessary action to resolve them. To ensure the diversity of the workplace it is important to orientate and integrate employees and sensitise them about different cultures and their lifestyle.These strategies help organisations maintain productivity and efficiency of the workforce.
We have conducted a research to identify these strategies put into action by 2 European countries. This research is conducted in an attempt to understand and critically analyse the working systems of work organisations in France and UK. It is a detailed comparative study of the working styles of the two countries. It will also enable us to find out which country has a preferable work atmosphere. It will also help us discover which country possesses scope for the opportunities and development of the employees as well as the employer.
In France, people have a traditional and aristocratic approach towards every aspect of the society. This also includes their work organisation. The french management style is indeed very traditional therefore making it a vertical hierarchy. There is always a superior for every team of employees, who assigns tasks for the team. However this is an exception for the IT companies as most of them follow the American management style, which is more horizontal and collaborative. According to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture France records a score of 68 for power distance. Children are raised to be emotionally dependent, to a degree, on their parents. This dependency will be transferred to teachers and later on to superiors. It is, therefore, a society in which a fair degree of inequality is accepted. Many comparative studies have shown that French companies have normally one or two hierarchical levels more than comparable companies in Germany and the UK. Superiors have privileges and are often inaccessible. CEO’s of big companies are called Mr. PDG, which is a more prestigious abbreviation than CEO, meaning President Director General. Although Jobs are better protected in France than they are in the UK, this means that employers cannot easily dismiss their employees so the need to ensure they employ the right person from the beginning is high. French workplaces are much more formal than in the UK.
Since 2002, evaluations in France have been part of an integrated policy process validated by the immediate supervisor.
Final evaluation reports must be signed by the employee and the supervisor performing the evaluation.
Appraisals use criteria that assesses professionalism, technical skills, organization, results, personal qualities, and interpersonal skills.
However, in 2010, this system was modernized and now incorporates work objectives, goals for the year to come, and training or skill development if needed.
There is now a five-point system used by several government agencies around the world and France is no exception.
This evaluation system incorporates the following: Work Objective; Leadership and Management Section; Professional Qualities and Personal Attributes; Overall Assessment of Employee Performance; and Work Objectives for the Next Appraisal Period.
Each of these sections contains different criteria and is appropriate for each individual’s role. An important quality for appraisals is the objectivity which allows evaluations to be directly related to an employee’s performance and does not analyze the personal qualities of the individual. These evaluations are ranked by systems established by French law and mandated by the French Supreme Court. Being under control of the French Supreme Court warrants factual and understandable evaluations. This system does not take away the employer’s freedom when creating evaluations, rather it creates a unified way of deciphering evaluations from company to company. Rankings are typically color coded for easy placement and analysis. Evaluations are done frequently, however, part-time employees are evaluated less often than full-time employees. And while there is no specific research stating that review results will directly influence salary increase or decrease, positive performance reviews can fast-track an employee promotion possibilities. Though the appraisal system in France has been modified a number of times, specific elements of some criteria have continued to be applied for decades. The 2010 system has proven to be the most effective and accurate.
France makes more use of performance assessment in HR decisions compared to the average OECD country. Assessment is used for almost all employees and takes the form of an annual meeting with, and written feedback from, the immediate superior. An extensive range of criteria is used, including activities undertaken, timeliness and quality of outputs, improvement of competencies and interpersonal skills. Assessment is of high importance to career advancement and remuneration, and medium importance to contract renewal. In addition, France uses performance related pay (PRP) to a substantially greater extent than the average OECD country. PRP is used for most civil servants and takes the form of permanent pay increments. It can represent a maximum of 11-20% of base salary, and promotions are also used as a performance incentive.