Negotiation for Life
In this scenario, Joe is experiencing some problems in the work place concerning his schedules. He is caught up between balancing family responsibilities, work, and his studies. At the work place, his responsibilities have doubled since he has to do his job as well as that of customer service desk team leader since the position has been vacant for some time. His family needs him to help with household chores and help take care of their daughter now that his wife pregnant. In addition, his studies are getting affected. He does not have enough time to study after spending the whole day working and later attending night classes. It is clear that he needs to negotiate with Jim to allow him to cut his working hours since he has to attain balance. This negotiation is not easy since there is so much required at the work place. However, he owes it to himself and his family to try and negotiate better working terms with Jim in order to remain productive.
In this negotiation, Joe’s definition of a successful negotiation will influence how he prepares and negotiates. It is important for him to consider the seven elements of a successful negotiation in order to make sure that all the parties involved are considered. A successful negotiation;
- Satisfies everyone’s core interests– during this negotiation, the underlying needs, concerns, aims, and fears of the parties involved should be prioritized. In this case, the demands of the workplace, family responsibilities and studies are the key elements. This negotiation will seek to ensure that none of the three is neglected. Joe cannot attend to his family and succeed in his studies if he is overworked. At the same time, taking on all the work that he is currently doing might also affect his productivity due to fatigue and schedule clashes.
- Gives the best out of many options– the agreement that Joe and Jim will arrive at should be the best of the numerous options available. Joe should leave the negotiating table confident that the outcome creates real value (Weiss, 2016).
- Meets legitimate, fair standards– the best outcome in a negotiation is one that leaves the involved parties feeling fairly treated. In this case, the best outcome will enable Joe have more time with the family since they need him more as well as his studies. The fair outcome is not necessarily a great deal for any of the parties. But rather, the one that enables Joe to balance. In this scenario, the best outcome is one that minimizes Joe’s working hours from 65 to 50.
- Is better than his alternatives– a bottom-line is the desired threshold but it can be unattainable. Joe should decide on his next move in case he fails to achieve his desired outcome during the negotiation. If Jim decides that his working hours will not be reduced, what will that mean to his family, how will that affect his studies? He needs to take a better alternative than he would have if he decided to quit his job.
- Comprises clear, realistic commitments– a negotiation will only be successful if the parties involved hold up to their end of the bargain. Joe should negotiate for a deal that is easy to keep. This will enable him to give the best to his job, family and studies. If there are commitment issues on either party, this will affect him more.
- Is the result of effective communication– a negotiation is only successful if all the parties have a clear understanding of what is actually happening. Joe should make a point of communicating to Jim about his situation. He should build an understanding with Jim so that they can solve the problems he is facing. If he does not open up about the challenges he is facing, the outcome of any possible negotiation may not satisfy him. Open communication will make the negotiations more efficient and definitely, this will yield clear agreements. In addition, a clear understanding of issues will enable Joe to build stronger relationships with his seniors. Maintaining clear communications will enable him to have easier negotiations with Jim in the future.
- Helps build lasting relationships– building strong and long lasting relationships is a factor that shows the success of negotiations. Joe and Jim have a good relationship that is built on mutual respect. Thus it is easy for Joe to talk to him concerning any issues in the future. In addition, Joe is a trusted employee which is the reason why he has been entrusted with a lot of responsibilities. This is so because he can be trusted to deliver quality results at the right time. Thus it will not be so hard for him to get consideration from Jim. The relationship they have built over time and the quality of his services will make it possible for him to negotiate with Jim in the hope that he will be granted his wishes.
The best strategy to use during the negotiation is communication. A successful negotiation can only be achieved when the agreement is based on clear communication. This way, none of the parties is harmed. In this case, Joe should tell Jim how his work schedule is affecting his family and his studies. The best thing they can do to off load his workload is employ someone for the vacant position as soon as possible. Joe has been working two jobs and this is definitely taking a toll on him. Joe should ask for help in doing the interviews so that they can get the best replacement for the position. During his time at the company, Joe has proved to be a valuable asset. His commitment to the company is making him take on more responsibilities even though he is suffering as a result.
Jim has the responsibility of ensuring that the company’s policies are upheld during the negotiation. Thus while considering work schedule modification, he will be looking into the company’s best interest. It can be quite challenging to balance between an employee’s needs with the current work demands. In addition, it might also be hard to modify work schedule s for employees in some employee classifications such as those in management positions. By the end of the day, the needs of the company and those of Joe should be met.
Research has shown that employees who work for more than 50 hours are less productive. Productivity has been shown to decline sharply after a 50-hour work-week. It further falls after 55 hours and for those working for 70 hours are not more productive that those working for 15 extra hours (Sullivan, 2015). Joe has been working for 65 hours a week. This means that his productivity levels are going down by the day. It is therefore important for Joe and Jim to put in place measures to ensure Joe and other employees do not work for more than 50 hours. Such an agreement will give Joe more time to spend with his family and concentrate on his studies while remaining a productive employee. In addition, it will ensure that the company’s revenue is not affected. The goal of the negotiation is to ensure that the interests of the company, represented by Jim and those of Joe are considered.
Sullivan, B. (2015). Why you should never work more than 50 hours a week. CNBC. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/01/26/working-more-than-50-hours-makes-you-less-productive.html
Weiss, J. (2016). Seven elements for successful negotiations – The Boston Globe. BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/01/29/seven-elements-for-successful-negotiations/UmygRmjmgXzGFSLaxCoL4H/story.html