November 01, 2008

Human Resource Management Lesson 4 Exercise


I have selected the sales division of Telefónica in Spain to answer the questions about what mechanisms and procedures are used for employee involvement and to give employees voice. I know this company because one of my best friends works for this company. Telefónica operates in the global telecommunications market, with headquarters in Spain. With a presence in 24 countries employs an average of 249,000 persons.

Attached the mechanisms and procedures used:

Direct methods:

·        Surveys:

o       Once per year employee satisfaction

o       Once per year Manager Feedback Survey 360º

·        Meetings with the manager :

o       Weekly meeting, manager and team members the focus is the week plan and the employees can express ideas, complaints or whatever though about the company.

o       1:1 yearly meeting between manager and employees, open discussion plus evaluation and development plan.

·        Involvement of the employees in the reengineering of some processes:

o       “Operative excellence program,à Sales tools design & feedback to marketing plan.

o       “Impulsa program” à Employees approach for selling new products and gain the competence (e.i: Vodafone).

·        Annual Convention. Offsite meeting

Indirect methods:

·        Unions representing employees. Negotiations of conditions of employment between Telefónica and employee representatives.



Are these Telefónica mechanisms effective in giving employees an effective voice at work and adding value to the organization? My opinion is that is positive to have formal mechanisms to have the opinion of the employees in such big company as Telefónica, for instance:

·        Through the results of employee surveys some issues are usually identified, the management is able to put in place actions plans to fix the issues affecting for instance the performance.

·        Enhance quality in sales, for instance the involvement of the employees in the reengineering of some processes are usually efficient because the employees’ know-how is used.

·        The productivity increases because most employees are more committed having voice in Telefónica.

The positive impact describe above is quite in line with the results of Dundon and Wilkinson research, they say that employee voice could have positive impact in three aspects: employee contribution, improved performance and improved managerial styles.

At first sight ‘employee voice’ is a nice sounding term that is not as clear or unproblematic as it might at first appear. There are some barriers to employee voice identified by CIPD research (Marchington et al 2001; Ackers et al 2005): a partial lack of employee enthusiasm, an absence of necessary skills and issues related to line managers. Looking at Telefónica example I would say that there are some issues concerning managers, for instance most of them look at HR issues not as a priority or the different understanding of term between managers and employees.


  • Study notes. Warwick University. Human Resource Management.

  • Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2005) Human Resource Management at Work (3rd edn). London: CIPD

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi

    Appropriate outline. Not much direct use of lesson or textbook based material in the blog. Employee voice is an interesting topic – and you could begin to reflect in your blog what it actually means? Is it the opportunity to have your opinions heard by your immediate line manager, or to be able to influence the organisation’s direction, policies etc? Do employees and managers agree with the meanining of the term? There are many implications that arise from this distinction – if employees think that they can influence events within the company how much influence overall and by each individual should be allowed, how should it be collected, what if one or two individuals strongly object with a particular course of action by management etc? Does management see ‘voice’ mechanisms as a way of pretending that employees have some say in the company whilst actually ignoring their views? Is ‘voice’ just a ‘new’ way of describing communications and consultation?

    So on relfection ‘voice’ is a ‘nice’ sounding term that is not as clear or unproblematic as it might at first appear.



    03 Nov 2008, 20:31

  2. Hi John ,

    many thanks for your feedback, i have updated question2/3 with your comments

    09 Nov 2008, 18:40

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