A successful business relies on positive employee relations.
Employee relations focuses on ensuring that your employees are happy and engaged at work. You may have a lot on your plate, and it may seem like employee relations can be set aside until it’s convenient, but it can’t. With the rise in remote and hybrid workplaces, you need to ensure that your employees are happy, satisfied, and engaged.
Employee relations—the manner in which the managers and HR representatives at your company interact with your workers—can have a huge impact on your workplace culture. Maintaining positive employee relations helps to improve staff morale, reduce workplace conflict and ultimately, increase productivity.
Here at SurveyMonkey, we strive to stay on top of the most up-to-date research on the workplace. Using the millions of responses we gather on a daily basis as a guide, here are some straightforward ideas and tactics for improving employee relations at your organization.
Follow the following five steps to ensure that your employee relationship management leads to increased employee wellbeing and performance:
First impressions matter. Subjecting an excited new employee to endless paperwork and meaningless presentations won’t capitalize on their initial enthusiasm. Instead, greet them just as enthusiastically and take the time to personally get them set up for work. Introduce them to their coworkers and even assign a mentor to help them acclimate. Making them feel like they’re valued and welcome from the very beginning will set a positive tone that that will remain with them as they learn how they fit into to your company and their new job.
More often than not, the focus of evaluations are on how an employee can improve and what they need to do better. In addition to this, employees need to hear about the things that they do right—on a regular basis.
Communicating with employees solely through memos or emails is not only inefficient, but also impersonal. Workers will easily feel as if they are not an integral part of your company if all you ever do is talk at them. Your employees are some of the most important resources you have, and so having two-way personal communication is essential.
Companies that take an active role in offering and encouraging career development for their employees will find that they end up with a more motivated and well-equipped workforce. Managers and HR representatives should work closely with employees regarding ways they can improve on their existing skills and get new training.
If your employees are happy, they will be more engaged as well as more productive at work. The brain of a person in a positive mood simply performs better than that of an unhappy person. And happy workers are also more creative and better at solving problems. Simply letting your workers know that you care about their happiness is the first step, but you can also take some additional steps to create happier employees.
Employee relations establish the foundation of trust between your company and its employees. When your employees feel valued, respected, and a sense of belonging at the workplace, it not only benefits them—it benefits the company as well. A strong connection between workers and employers facilitates improved communication and collaboration, which results in a favorable work environment. Just remember—trust is a major component of good employee relations.
There are numerous advantages to good employee relations. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant:
Highly-engaged employees make your company more profitable. You’ll experience less staff turnover, fewer safety issues, and enjoy higher rates of customer loyalty. Employee engagement results in higher productivity, motivation, and job satisfaction.
To improve communication and drive improved engagement, try these tips:
Conflicts in the workplace are detrimental to your business. Usually occurring between employer and employee, these conflicts only get bigger if neglected. Establish good employee relations during the first 45 days of employment, when new employees are acclimating to their jobs. This sets things up for a positive relationship throughout their employment with you.
In an environment of trust, employees are empowered and confident. The key to this empowerment is found in providing opportunities for autonomy and increased responsibility.
All of your employee relations efforts will result in a thriving company culture. This harkens back to the trust you’re building. Employees that feel they are working with management towards a common goal are more likely to think positively about their workplace. When employees trust the company they work for, they are more likely to adhere to policies, be aligned with your brand mission and values, and invest themselves in making the workplace a better place.
Great employee relations can decrease the pressure to overwork. If employers express their support for a good work-life balance, they reduce the risk of employees becoming demotivated and burnt out. A good work-life balance will also support employee retention.
With improved employee relations, your employees will advocate for your company. This, in turn, builds your brand, expands your reach, and builds your social media presence. Support this by being transparent and keeping employees informed of company news.
Your healthy work culture includes every employee. Create an environment that allows everyone to participate and thrive. Ensure your DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) policies are up-to-date and that employees have received appropriate information and training.
With good employee relations, you can identify problems and concerns early rather than waiting for a crisis. These are some of the most commonly reported employee relations issues:
As you can see, employee relations issues can be extremely serious. It’s worth taking the time to improve your company’s employee relations to avoid these problems, as they can negatively affect productivity and morale.
Avoid these disruptive issues with a workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment, and favoritism. Ensure that you are communicating openly about your mission, vision, and policies. Address employee relations not only during new employee orientation but also periodically for all employees to maintain trust.
Whatever steps you take to improve employee relations, you’ll want to be able to evaluate employee engagement on a consistent cadence and use benchmark data to compare your results to other companies.
You’ll find that at SurveyMonkey, we offer a wealth of information, questionnaire templates, and solutions to help encourage your employees to be healthier, happier, and more engaged.