Month: October 2016

HR Word: Bargaining Levels

Definition: Bargaining Levels

Bargaining levels are the various levels or hierarchies at which collective bargaining is done to resolve the dispute between the employer and trade union. The different bargaining levels can be unit level, plant level, industry level, territorial / geographical level & national level bargaining.

By referring to the rungs in the hierarchical levels at which the bargaining takes place, the bargaining levels are explained below:

Unit Level Bargaining: This is decentralized approach to bargaining. Unit level means individual level bargaining. In companies like MNCs belonging to IT industry, there is educated and well aware workforce. There are no unions in this type of industry. So whenever negotiation has to take place, it happens at individual level.

Plant Level bargaining: This type of bargaining takes place between an employer and a union. If there are multiple unions, the bargaining can take place between an employer and multiple unions. The basis of bargaining are the parameters set by a particular plant/company.

Industry Level Bargaining: At this level, the bargaining generally takes place in a tripartite form involving the union/unions, employer and government officer/officers. The parameters for this kind of bargaining varies from industry to industry. For example, bargaining takes place in different form in Jute/Textile industry than Steel industry.

Territorial / Geographical level: The employment provisions and say pension schemes made by state/ territorial government changes depending upon area. Companies set up in varies geographical locations cannot use same grounds or parameters for bargaining.

National Level Bargaining: This is a centralized bargaining unit. National level bargaining is common in public sector where wages, compensation and various other employees benefit schemes are decided at national level. If we compare internationally, Norway is ranked highly in collective Bargaining in national level bargaining.

HR Word: Alternative Worksite 

Definition: Alternative Worksite

Alternative worksite is any place other than regular work place where official work can be performed by an employee. Alternative worksite arrangements are provisions given to employees where their work can be done at alternative work sites, generally the employee’s home. 

The provision may require the work to be linked electronically with the regular work place using a telephone, computer or some other electronic device. Alternative worksites include virtual offices, telecommuting, working from hotels etc.

:Requests for alternative work site arrangements vary from organization to organization, and may even be subject to the approval of the employee’s department head based on operational needs.

 Approvals may take into account factors such as the nature of the work involved, duration of the assignment, as well as the suitability of the proposed work site. Generally, the Human Resources Department of the organization is involved in policies regarding alternative worksite arrangements.

Advantages of Alternative Worksite are

  • More productivity
  • Lesser costs
  • Attraction and retention of good employees

Disadvantages of Alternative worksite are:

  • Difficulty in implementation
  • Lesser degree of control

Example:  In view of the technological advancements in communication, companies like IBM and AT & T are looking for alternate ways of working, and strategically looking at reducing operating costs.  Citigroup implemented this kind of strategy to generate real estate savings of about $64 million in the year 2008 alone.Imagine the Savings in 2016.

Happy Diwali 

HR Word: Alternation Ranking Method.

Definition: Alternation Ranking Method

It provides a ranking-based nonmonetary measure of human resource value. While employees can simply be ranked by selecting the highest (and the next highest, and so on) based on a particular dimension, the alternation ranking method is a modification that helps simplify the process of judgment, thereby increasing its reliability.

The method consists of first selecting an employee with the highest value and then the person with the lowest value. Subsequently, the person with the highest value (among the remaining people) is selected, as also the one therein with the lowest value. Iterations continue until all employees have been ranked.

A related approach is the paired comparisons method which obtains rankings by a series of comparisons between pairs of individuals. Both these methods have proved more reliable than the simple ranking method.

Wishing you all Shubh Dhanteras & Happy Diwali


Manish Pipalwa.

HR Word: Availability Analysis

Definition: Availability Analysis

Availability Analysis is a term which is applicable to the members who form a part of a disadvantaged group which suffers discrimination within a culture. The term Availability Analysis is usually associated with Affirmative Action / Employment Equity / Reservation / Positive Action.

Availability Analysis is an analysis that identifies the number of members belonging to a disadvantaged group or protected class that are available to work in a labour market which can accommodate them in the given jobs.

Availability analysis identifies the number of minorities, from both internal and external sources, who are qualified for employment for a job. 

Internal sources means the existing set of employees and external sources means a potential employee group. For external sources, the employer seeks workers from a particular area, called ‘reasonable recruitment area’, for a particular job. For internal sources, the employer seeks workers who are considered promotable, transferable, and trainable for a particular job. Also, as a part of internal sources, the employer considers employees who are trainable to become promotable and transferable in a specific time period.


The employer first selects an area from which workers are to be selected. For example, consider a metropolitan area like Mumbai. Within Mumbai, the employer analyses the availability of members from the ‘Koli’ minority who are qualified to perform a particular job. The external:internal ratio can be determined on the basis of job requirements.


HR Word: Agency Shop Agreement

Definition: Agency Shop

In terms of the agreement between management and the union a non-union member has to pay the union a sum equivalent to a member’s subscription in order to continue employment with the employer. This is called an agency shop.

 In other words, requires the payment of union dues but gives workers the option of joining union. “We just need your money”

The aim of an agency shop is to ensure that a non-union employee, who receives all the same benefit from the union’s bargaining efforts do make contribution in those efforts. 

This is a particular form of union security arrangement,

• In terms of which all employees within a particular bargaining unit

• Are required either to belong to a particular trade union

• Or to pay an agency fee to it.

• This type of arrangement is usually contained in a collective agreement.


An agency shop agreement is different from closed shop agreements as that they do not directly compel the workers to join a particular trade union.


HR word : Adjective Rating Scales

Definition: Adjective Rating Scales

Performance Appraisal Process forms a crucial part of an employee’s lifecycle in an organisation. There are several means of performance appraisal being used by organisations around the globe today, out of which Adjective Rating Scales is one of the oldest and most popular methods.

The Adjective Rating Scale is an absolute standard method for appraisal wherein the individual is measured against a set benchmark. It lists multiple traits on which each employee is assessed, like Quality of work, Quantity of work done, Cooperation with other employees across organisational hierarchy and Job knowledge. Each trait has either 5 or 10 points defined across a range for ranking each employee on each trait.

Performance Factor

Performance Rating





Quality of work is the accuracy, Skill and completeness of work

Consistently unsatisfactory

Occasionally unsatisfactory

Consistently satisfactory

Sometimes superior

Consistently superior

Quality of work is the volume of work done in a normal workday

Consistently unsatisfactory

Occasionally unsatisfactory

Consistently satisfactory

Sometimes superior

Consistently superior

Job knowledge if information pertinent to the job for the individual to have satisfactory job performance

Consistently unsatisfactory

Occasionally unsatisfactory

Consistently satisfactory

Sometimes superior

Consistently superior

Dependability is following directions and company policies without supervision.

Consistently unsatisfactory

Occasionally unsatisfactory

Consistently satisfactory

Sometimes superior

Consistently superior


How to use?

The supervisor goes down to each trait as defined in the scale and chooses one point across the continuum that aptly defined the employee’s characteristics. To ensure effectiveness of this appraisal method, the meaning of each item in the scale as well as the scale points must be unmistakeably understood by the supervisor.


There are several other means of appraisal like critical incident method, Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS), checklist and essay methods but this method continues to be popular owing to several advantages. Adjective Rating Scales are easy to formulate and require less time to administer. They provide for standardisation of traits so that employees across any level in the organisation can be assessed equally. Also, as they quantifiably assess employees, the outcomes of the appraisal process can be defended easily in case of being challenged.


HR Word: Action Short of a Strike

Definition: Action Short of a Strike

Action short of a strike is when the employees of an organization engage in an action that cannot be classified as a strike nor is it the work that the employee is hired to do, but it is somewhere in 


Workers engage in action short of a strike to interrupt the normal flow of business and functions in the workplace or department so as to make the employer realize that they are dependent on the employee’s goodwill to run the business and hence they should not engage in practices which are against the interests of their employees like job cuts and pay cuts.

When an ‘action short of a strike’ is designed it includes maximum number of people possible so that the impact is strong.


1. Workers withdrawing their goodwill

2. Work to rule

3. Workers refusing to cover up for others

4. Workers refusing to work overtime

5. Go-slow

6. Workers refusing to work overtime or outside contracted working hours

7. Workers refusing to do any work outside their Jo description.

It is different from a strike as a strike is a walk -out by workers for a particular period of time. Example: All employees leaving the workplace at the same time during normal office hours.