July 14, 2020

What is an Employee

Anshika Awasthi

An employee is an individual working for a company, organisation, and any other working body in return for an annual salary or hourly wage for a set job. The employee is hired by a set of eminent professionals – employers, for the work required to perform a particular job.

Employees are the building cells of a workplace responsible for running numerous tasks assigned to them by their managers or senior members of the company. There is mostly a selection process followed by an interview for the hiring of employees. The most deserving applicant is hired to perform the job in the workplace.

The process of selection of employee usually starts by submission of resume followed by an interview. Every company has a different selection process depending upon the company policy. Candidature of an employee is greatly influenced by his/her resume. Soon after the selection process, the applicant is greeted by his/her offer letter. An offer letter confirms the employment of the applicant. In some cases, an offer letter is substituted by an employment contract and sometimes word-of-mouth too. However, the process of negotiating a salary has no universal guidelines. Salary negotiation depends on the mutual conclusion between employee and employer.

Usually, a tentative salary bar is mentioned during the time of hiring. Some employees accept the offered salary while some negotiate for more to start a job with higher pay. Since raises are based on pay rate negotiated, thereby employee cannot outdo the best-negotiated deal.

Various Stages of an Employee

  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Performance
  • Offboarding (switch, retirement)

Hiring

Hiring is the process of identifying and getting selected for the job position which matches your skills and experience. An applicant of the hiring process is called to be an employee only after s(he) successfully starts working for the company.

The first step of hiring is reaching out to recruiter through emails, cold calls, personal meetings, phone calls, and various hiring websites. Go through job description before applying or getting recruited for the job. After getting shortlisted, the last process goes without saying is the interview. Be clear about the job roles and additional questions to be asked by the human resources staff.

On boarding

Onboarding is the second step followed by hiring. Here an individual is required to complete company procedure, agreement signing, bonds, or other formalities. Human resources manager briefs the candidate with compensation, benefits, hours of employment, sick time off, and vacation. The process is finalised with mutual understanding. Securing an employment agreement and making sure it is not one-sided, is of paramount importance when beginning to work somewhere.

Employment gives authority to bargain agreement which covers various aspects of employment and workplace relations. This includes negotiating salary. While if a contract is signed by the employee, it takes away the right of an individual to negotiate salary.  

Training

Training is a set period of time when an individual is shaped for the company’s task s(he) is assigned for. Training period sharpens the skill set, it allows an individual to make better economical use of equipment and material provided in the office. In addition, the rate of accidents and damage to machinery and equipment will be kept to the minimum by the well- trained employees. There are numerous benefits to the training process as follow:

  • Greater productivity
  • Uniformity of procedures
  • Less supervision
  • Systematic distribution of skills

Performance

Performance is the result of a job or task assigned to an employee. It involves factors such as quality, quantity, and effectiveness of work as well as the behaviour at the workplace. Managers or seniors are the ones who access employee performance of each staff on an annual, quarterly basis. The ultimate motive of accessing the performance to identify areas of improvement which increases the scope of productivity of the company.

Off boarding

Off boarding is the process when an employee leaves the workplace, voluntarily or involuntarily. The process is defined and applied in an effective manner by the human resources staff. Off boarding involves:

  • Settling cash advances or other unsettled account
  • Recovering company’s asset
  • Complete final pay process
  • Collecting other various off boarding documents, etc.

How an employee work?

An employee works according to different entitlements depending on their employment. Employees work as full time, part time, probation, casual, and etc.

Full time – a full time employee usually works on an average, more than 38 hours a week. They are permanent employee with fixed salary.

Part-time – a part time employee usually works on an average, less than 38 hours a week. They are assigned secondary job tasks in the company. However, the employment of part-time worker is permanent for a fixed period of time.

Probation – Probation is a set period of time which allows the supervisor to properly evaluate and monitor the new employee. The time period can vary anywhere between 30 days to several months. If the new employee shows promising candidature, s(he) is given a raise or a promotion. On the other hand, the supervisor has right to terminate the employment anytime during probation period.  

Casual – a casual employee is the one with no firm commitment and entitlements as a full time employee is offered. A casual employee does not commit to all the work an employee might offer. They have:

  • No guaranteed salary
  • No guaranteed work hours
  • Doesn’t get paid, sick leaves
  • Can end employment without notice, unless their employment contracts specifically mention serving notice period.

An individual works within front or back office of a workplace such as marketing, sales department of front office and technical, IT department, etc. of back office. An employee has a manager or a boss, the person s(he) reports and takes directions from. It is the basic right of an employee to be treated in a professional way by superiors, co-workers, and other department of a workplace.

An employee has a workstation, which is an assigned desk where s(he) works his/her job tasks. An employee is entitled to get fully equipped workstation which consists of all the machinery, laptop, desk-table, telephone, and other numerous office supplies.

Rights of an employee

An employee should be aware of the legally and constitutionally safeguards rights s(he) should be provided for a healthy, sound workplace.

Below is the list of all the aspects s(he) should be aware of:

Employment Agreement – Every employee is entitled to receive an employment agreement when s(he) joins the company. It is a documents stating designation, working hours, expectations of the employer and the ultimate goal expected by the company, employee policy of the company, leaves, salary and other various entitlements as an employee.

Rights during Probation – Every employee on probation period is entitled to terminate the employment at any point in time. They have rights to serve no legal formalities before quitting on terms of unsatisfactory work or workplace. No employer has rights over an employee to make them stay and work for the company after quitting during the probation period. This period of time spans mostly anywhere between 3-6 months to 2 years.  

Minimum Wage – According to International labour organisation, Minimum wage is the minimum amount of remuneration an employer has to pay to an employee for the work performed during a given time period, which cannot be reduced under no circumstances. Every country has different minimum wage laws made to protect unduly low pay to ensure equity and equality share among citizens.

Workplace harassment – An employee is entitled to be protected against behavioural threatening or any sort of harassment within the jurisdiction of workplace. Several countries have laws created to protect sexual harassment of women (Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013), racial injustice, and other laws against any sort of harassments in order to maintain a workplace diversity. Workplace diversity is important in a workplace to create a sound & safe workplace culture.

Leaves – The leave policy for each company is framed according to the legislations of different countries. Company are required to provide leaves at least for national and state-specific festivals. There are variety of leaves that an employee is entitled to:

  • Casual leaves
  • Privilege leaves
  • Compensatory leaves
  • Leaves without pay
  • Parental leaves
  • Emergency leaves, etc.

Bottom Line

In the world of entrepreneurship, start-ups, being an employee has become synonymous with being lazy, low-achiever, puppet, stale and what not. This is not further from the truth that being an employee has its own advantages, perks, privileges and what not. Especially in times of technological advancement, being an employee can actually mean working for the virtual workplace, or remote work, digital nomad, and all by working remotely or according to your own convenience.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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