Employee Relations: Top tips
Employee Relations - Importance
Building and maintaining employee relations is key in developing a positive and productive workplace. Successful organisations encourage the building and nurturing of positive relationships amongst co-workers, as well as between managers and employees. All businesses, both large and small, can foster positive employee relationships through creating a supporting and exciting team-based working environment, as well as developing a strong mission statement. Management should aim to strengthen and maintain employee relationships through constant communication, setting clear expectations, and providing timely responses to employee concerns and issues.
According to a Gallup poll, employees who have a best friend at their workplace are seven times more likely to engage in their work and be satisfied with their jobs. As naturally social creatures, human beings crave positive interactions and friendships as much as they do water and food. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that building positive workplace relationships leads to a more productive, happier and motivated workplace.
Building strong employer-employee relationships is an important aspect to modern businesses. The most valuable part of any organisation is its employees. No organisation can run effectively or successfully without a team of dedicated and motivated employees. Maintaining strong relationships internally keep the business running smoothly, encourage employee loyalty, reducing turnover and minimise conflict.
Developing employee relations programs is a crucial part of a HR strategy, designed to ensure employees are utilised effectively to meet the organisation's goals. The key characteristics that make up positive working relationships include:
- Mutual respect
- Open communication
- Welcoming diversity
Employee Relations – How to build
An effective employee relations strategy begins with a concise and clear mission statement, which aims to outline the objectives of the organisation. Every employee should understand how the mission statement fits with their values and role in the organisation. It is also important to hold regular staff meetings to discuss how employees are striving to work towards the organisation's goals. The organisation should also have clearly written policies describing their rules, procedures, and philosophy for dealing with employee-related issues.
Effective communication is another vital component of a good employee relations strategy. Employees need to know about what is going on within the company to feel engaged in the business. They need to understand how certain plans, developments, or decisions will affect their jobs, and how their work values the organisation as a whole. When management hides information from employees, it often creates a climate of mistrust, which can damage employee morale and productivity. In addition to this, communication should be two-way, fostering a relationship with employees where they feel encouraged to give their feedback and express certain appeals and grievances.
Management should also encourage teamwork through formal and informal team-building activities. Activities such as team-based charity events, mini-golf or bowling can go a long way in making people feel comfortable with their colleagues and develop friendly relationships. Trust and respect between management and employees, and amongst co-workers, leads to greater motivation and collaboration, ultimately driving innovation and efficiency in the workplace.
Another way to foster positive relations in the workplace is through rewarding good work and addressing employee concerns and problems immediately. It is important to acknowledge employees publicly with verbal or written commendations when they exceed expectations or help others who are having a difficult time. This not only increases employee satisfaction, but also supports the natural development of positive employee support networks.
A positive work environment that supports developing employee relationships is a crucial component of any successful organisation. Happy employees have a positive impact on customer service quality and overall productivity. There are many other ways to build and maintain employee relations, and although some strategies may seem straightforward, they can be crucial in running a productive and healthy business.
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