A group of experienced HR professionals who were studying for a master’s degree in human resources management found themselves discussing the catalysts for problems in the relationships between employers and their employees.
After an, at times heated, discussion about their wide-ranging experience they concluded that on many occasions the reason for the break down in relations had been a lack of understanding of the perspective of the other party.
- Employees did not understand the employment legislation and the commercial requirements that drive the creation of the policies and procedures that governed their relationship with their employer.
- Employers either didn’t understand or didn’t demonstrate that they understood how the decisions they made about employment policies and procedures impacted their employee’s lives.
They concluded that if an attempted explanation had not resulted in the desired level of understanding it would often have been better if no attempt at explanation had been made.
After all of those students had successfully graduated a couple of them established their own independent HR consultancy.
Remembering the discussion that had taken place in 2003 they decided to include within their website a section that would explain to all types of employees the:
- History of the employment rights that they enjoyed and often took for granted.
- Logic behind the employment legislation that has been created to protect the rights and describe the responsibilities of both employers and employees.
- Common sense of the employment policies and procedures that employers create to ensure that they comply with the employment legislation
- Decisions that employers make about individual employees and collectively to ensure the long-term viability of the organisation.
- Role that employees play in making the relationship that they have with their employers successful.
The launch of the website that would eventually become WorkWorkWork.works included the first version of the employees’ guide to employment.
The employees’ guide to employment had an immediate impact, and not all of it positive.
Some HR people and managers questioned the sense of providing employees with information about how HR management works. They worried that instead of helping people to build positive relationships with their employers the new knowledge would enable them to disrupt the organisation by raising grievances.
Others suggested that it made no sense for a HR consultancy to provide this information for free was an unsustainable business model. You’re giving away your knowledge they said!
Far from creating problems for employers, all of the anecdotal evidence indicates that helping employees to understand the rules that govern their employment doesn’t result in more grievances or disputes.
On the contrary, the approach seems to remove doubt from employees about the work that they are doing and how managers make decisions based on those employment policies and procedures are implemented.
This allows the employees to focus on their work and become more productive.
By 2007 the employees guide to employment had grown to be much bigger than the website that it had been intended to be part of.
With size also came the challenge of managing a large database of unique content.
Advances in web publishing technology were at the same time also opening-up a wider range of possibilities for the way in which content could be presented.
The decision was made to separate the employees’ guide to employment into a separate website with its own identity.
Continued audience growth and an ever-increasing range of content led to more changes in the way the employees guide to employment was published.
Categories within the employees guide to employment were given their own websites and web identity.
Moving to separate websites for each section of the employees’ guide to employment enabled the library of content, which continued to grow rapidly, and was increasingly narrow cast to specialist audiences.
At the same time the HR consultancy which was the main part of the business had grown substantially and was increasingly operating outside the United Kingdom.
The first advertisement appeared in the employees’ guide to employment.
A lengthy research and development process concluded with the:
- Creation of a new identity – workworkwork.works
- Design of a new format
- Strengthening of the desire to make work, work by providing an employees’ guide to employment.
WorkWorkWork.works is launched with wide ranging content, created by a team of experienced professionals that aims to provide an employees’ guide to employment and make work work.