The topic of discussion is based on the main challenge of (1) equal and fair distribution of overtime work among employees. It also raises the challenge of (2) assessing employee performance and deciding whether to work overtime according to that assessment. Communicating directly with employees and (3) getting a quick response to accepting overtime can sometimes be challenging. Related to this is the problem of (4) notifying about overtime work, finding the right and fast way.
Both parties must get rid of emotions and distinguish between the employee’s personality (manager) and the very problem that the company or team is facing. Each party has its interest; it is only necessary to discuss these interests without going beyond the framework and raising personal questions and claims. The third principle is the existence of a common benefit, which must be pursued, respecting the side of managers and employees. It is also evident that it is necessary to use objective criteria for evaluating actions and proposed plans. The most crucial tactic in conducting these negotiations is BATNA, thanks to which both parties can find the most pleasant outcome for themselves. BATNA should be used in talks when it becomes clear that the original goals and ideal plans will not become a reality. BATNA is a proposal to notify employees by mail and in advance in a specific case. Then workers will not get rid of overtime, but managers will not be able to impose it brazenly but will be obliged to warn.
Interest-based negotiation is a much more profitable strategy than negotiating income distribution. Interest-based negotiation is the most respectful and fair option for both parties. This approach makes it possible to find a consensus and not impose solutions to issues (Ahammad et al., 2016). This approach clarifies to the actors of negotiations or conflict that in this situation, a lot of interests collided, and not black and white, good and evil. This tactic of negotiation requires long and detailed communication to clarify the interests of all parties.
The positions of the managers were clear and logically expressed. It was noticeable during the discussion that managers are ready to be flexible and offer a lot of different options for employees to reach a compromise. Students did not show the workers’ attitudes as strongly as it was not well explained that there are people who would like to take overtime. Often, workers proceeded from a rigid position that none of them a priori would benefit from taking overtime. The previous session was interesting because the groups were not yet experienced in discussions and building clear arguments. Groups are now flexible and varied in their statements and trying to find compromises. Students have developed some diplomatic communication skills free of emotion and prejudice.
Each session requires careful preparation and a preliminary discussion of the strategy for defending your point of view. It is necessary to draw up plans on paper or in electronic form, do not hesitate to use them during negotiations. For further sessions, it may be advisable to refer to academic journals and business sources more frequently regarding job distribution. In different sources, you can find statistics and experiences of other countries, which can be a good foundation for defense.
Readers can conclude that the result was beneficial to both parties. Groups developed detailed strategies for allocating overtime thanks to the flexibility of the arguments and suggestions of the managers. It touched on direct communication, electronic communication, reconciliation, fairness (professionalism, experience, and employee performance) of overtime assignments. Unfortunately, the moment with the assessment of the performance of employees remained unclear. However, it requires intense analysis and discussion, considering the service or product of the company or at least one or two departments with specific responsibilities.
Ahammad, M. F., Tarba, S. Y., Liu, Y., Glaister, K. W., & Cooper, C. L. (2016). Exploring the factors influencing the negotiation process in cross-border M&A. International Business Review, 25(2), 445-457.