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Employee Relations

You would hear big companies tell and take pride in the fact that the employees are their greatest assets. Owing to this statement, you would expect that there is a considerable investment in the creation of a conducive workspace that fosters a collaborative approach to work. This idea is right in most cases of these companies. However, there is still a lag in employee relations, which is undermining productivity in the workspace.  

“Relationship” issues are highly detrimental in the workspace, either amongst the employees or between an employee and the manager. In the case of the latter, it could lead to a bridge of trust, and could ultimately lead to dismissal.

Proper communication can, more often than not, resolve relationship issues in the workplace environment. As simple as this might sound, most workspaces do not quickly achieve this level of communication. Employee relations influences nearly every human resource decision made in an organization. There are numerous factors on which we premise employee relations. However, it is pertinent first to review the concept of employee relations.

What are Employee Benefits? | Employee Relations Defined

We can define employee relations as a concept, as industrial relations. It is primarily concerned with the contractual, emotional, physical, and the functional relationship between an employee and his employer.

At its core, employee relations include the processes of developing, implementing, administering, and analyzing the employer-employee relationship. This relationship comprises maintaining organization culture, developing engagement of employee, resolving workplace conflict, conducting workplace investigations, and managing employee discipline.

Hence, employee relations’ central concept is meant to cover the scope of the relationship between employers and employees as well as the co-workers’ connection. Relationship between employees and managers can vary greatly, as it can be one that individuals based on trust, respect, appreciation or fear, and even secrecy.

Relationship between managers and employees can either be good or bad, and most companies always put in their best to make sure they avoid bad relationships. The practice of preventing those sour relationships is because it can affect the effort put in by the employee, hence, compromising on the productivity level. 

The concept of employee relations also spans through various efforts of the organization to ensure that a wholesome relationship exists between the manager and the employee. This duty is committed to the Human resource management of the company. In a company with good employee relations, there is the assurance of treating employees with all fairness. The company also has frameworks and structures in place to bolster the relationship between employees and managers, as well as mediating issues that might arise in the course of work.


What are the Benefits of Good Employee Relations Management?


Moving companies preach the development of positive relationships between managers and their employees because they understand that employee relation is the basis of growth and productivity of a company.

In situations of a positive relationship between the manager and employees, there is a birth of a collaborative and more productive environment. Previously mentioned is because there is an elevation in the morale and motivation of both parties.

In this case, employees are more excited about work, and enjoy every bit of activity they are engaged with, while at it. The feeling of positivity brings about a wholesome work experience. When employees are happy, they work harder and produce better service to the customers; hence, the growth of the business.

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The Four Pillars of Employee Relations

Establishing and maintaining good work relationships is the key to a positive workplace, and it doesn’t have to take much time. There are several ways in which a manager can foster a better employee relationship in a company. We have summarized them in four simple tips; 

1. Open Communication

employee relation with open communication

Just as it is in any form of interrelation, communication is critical. Workers spend the chunk of the day at work. Hence, it is very pertinent that employees feel comfortable in their places of work. They have to find fulfilment and comfort at work. Anything short of that would compromise the quality of work. In ensuring this comfort for employees, the core is effective communication. 

As a manager, you should ensure that your employees are free to talk to you whenever. You can guarantee this communication when you make them realize that you are always available to speak. As an employer or manager, you should also note that your employees would prefer it when you are entirely truthful with them as to what you need from them.

This simple tactic makes employees loyal and productive; they know what to do and want to do it. A high level of open communication promotes retention and motivation, foster loyalty, and improves organizational performance. Most managers already understand that communication directly affects an organization’s financial health and profitability.

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If you want to be sure of how your employees feel about you as the manager, you can create a survey, and ask them to give anonymous feedback. Feedback is one way to know things going on in their minds and be able to relate to their level of commitment and connection to the organization. Other than these, you should engage with your employees on a personal basis. Take more interest in them beyond what they do for you. Talk to them and show sincere interest when you do. They want to know that you are listening.

2. Show Recognition

In employee relation show recognition

Do you know that a simple “Thank you” can go a long way in affecting how someone’s day goes? Appreciation and gratitude mean a lot to your employees, and when you sincerely recognize them for a good deed, they do more. It’s simple logic. Appreciation brings about engagement. Engagement is about the active investment of an employee in their work and the value it adds to the organization.

Gallup employee engagement survey says only 32% of workers say they engage them at work.

Therefore most managers have much work to do to unlock the full potential of their workforce. One way you can improve engagement is showing appreciation by giving public praise. By doing this, you are providing such employee a more profound sense of worth. He feels better about himself and does more of what he has done. This way, he is more functional, and the overall benefit is of the company. 

It will help if you reward your employees for a job well done. This act would cultivate a culture of appreciation, and your company’s profit will be grateful for it. By making them know that their efforts count and are appreciated, they would be inspired to work harder, working harder for you and the company at large.

3. Constant Feedback

employee relation improves when you give feedbacks

Feedback is another way in which you can foster a robust relationship with your employees. Employees want to feel valued and respected; they want to know you hear their ideas. As an employer, you should enable feedback in your workplace. Also, as an employee, offering frequent positive feedbacks on areas your managers are doing good is a great one. Also, in cases where they are lacking, the onus lies on you to know how to bring it to their notice constructively. With these coming from both ends, you can nurture a vibrant team.

As a manager, you should understand the fact that your employees want to know how they are faring. They want to know what area to improve on, and what they are lacking. However, it would help if you were careful of the presentation so that you don’t end up destroying the morale with which they work. You should also provide them with tips and guide on how they can be more effective at their jobs. As the manager, you can decide on having feedbacks every fortnight or month.

4. Invest in your Employees 

Invest in your Employees relation

You need to show your employees that you see them as people and not as machines or robots. They are not just workers; they are people with flesh and blood, with families only as you. It would be best if you made them know that you understand this. Making them know that you are more inclined towards their fulfilment as a person and a professional is a big statement, and this will make them respect you the more.

Invest in your employees. Invest in them means going beyond what they merit as wages or salaries; it goes towards affecting them more as a person. Once they are happy in their personal life, you can be sure of an increase in productivity at work. Hence, you should invest your time, money, and resources to ensure that they are balanced personal. Only then can your business enjoy their potentials optimally.

Final Take:

It takes more than just employing people and having a structure laid down, to build a team. You want to go beyond the structure or framework if you are going to make a productive team. Workers are people, and they want you to treat them as such. Take out time to consider issues with your employees, know what they are lacking, and know what they want or how they feel about you. Only then can your business grow. 

How else do you think we can inculcate an excellent employer-employee relationship? Share us your thoughts in the comment section. 

General FAQ on Employee Relations.

What is employee relations?

Employee relations is an operational effort from the employer’s end to create better and peaceful harmony in workplaces among human resources.

Why is employee and labour relations important?

Creating a happy workplace is very important to improve the work culture and productivity of the business. Hence employee and labour relations is a very important concern for any business.

What is the role of hr in employee relations?

HR is the leading person in creating a better relationship among the business teams. They create an employee development plan that creates better employee relations in the workplace.

How to measure employee relations?

The best way to measure employee relations is by using survey tools and running anonymous or confidential surveys to identify the harmony existing in the workplace.

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