The Industrial Landscape in Australia is complex and perhaps failing to achieve the objective of harmoniously balancing productivity gains with workers rights.
Teenagers are often cited as a group who can lack direction, experience an imbalanced perception between what is important for their future compared to that which seems important right now, have a lack of cooperation or willingness to learn automatically from those with prior experience. They are influenced by many people and organisations ranging from schools and teachers, parents and family members, sporting coaches, their peer group - all offering their perspectives on right and wrong, moving norms of society, and social media. But their goal is often simple - reach a level of education and find a job.
In some similar ways Employee Relations as a group in Australia has a wide mix of influences ranging from layers of Government, a booming workplace lawyering industry, trade unions at many levels, complex workplace rules and legislation, Tribunals and other Specialist Workplace Government Departments, social changes from different generations across the workplace, educational and training organisations, the News networks and of course employees and business itself.
So how could the Australian Employee Relations landscape be viewed as still being within its teenage years? One item which stands out in common is the level of complexity with both. When either party or influence lacks moving in a similar direction towards a common goal then each can scramble to increase their voice, preferences and control. This can lead to higher levels of complexity as each has their needs met.
There should only be one common purpose of all those involved within the Australian Employee Relations landscape, and that should include the continuous improvement of overall productivity so the entire country can benefit for years to come. This at least would make it easier for the next generations of our teenagers whose life is probably always going to be naturally complex anyhow.
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