Employee relations denote the dual relationship between the employer and employees that is aimed at effectively managing and strengthening this relationship. A company that focuses on fostering strong employee relations experiences higher commitment, elevated enthusiasm, and improved efficiency and productivity. Employee Relations refers to conveying information to employees about the objectives of the organization. They should recognize the end goals of the organization and how they can contribute to accomplishing these goals.
On the other hand, industrial relations denote a tripartite relationship between the employer, employees, and the union that represents the employees. An employee relates industrial relations to better training, job security, salary, and safe working conditions. For an employer, it stands for improved productivity, work laws, and resolving conflicts with the involvement of a Union that raises problems to the employer on behalf of an employee or the entire workforce.
In the past few years, employee relations have become more important in the industry. While some banking and public sector businesses continue to have unions, the newer multinational companies would rather focus on understanding the actions of the management and that of their employees and bridging the gap between the two in order to meet organizational goals.
How to develop employee relations?
Despite many companies considering their employees as their most valuable resources, employee relations issues are prevalent in the corporate world and are preventing employees from realizing their full potential. This can turn out to be disadvantageous to the company as the employees who have a poor relationship with their manager tend to become disengaged, either due to the lack of trust or in fear. Naturally, companies don’t want their employees to feel disconnected and less committed to doing their best. A good employee relations program takes care a fair treatment is meted out to all the employees, employee and managers have strong relationships, and problems surfacing between them are quickly re-mediated.
As industrial relations soon becoming a thing of the past, there are a few things that managers can do to improve employee relations.
1.Maintain clear communication
Communication is the key in any relationship. Good communication helps employees to clearly discern their responsibilities and how they should work to fulfill those responsibilities. In the absence of clear communication, employees feel confused and stressed, which lowers their commitment.
Employees mostly spend their days working so the managers need to ensure that the employees feel comfortable and know that have done their tasks well. By keeping communication open at all times, the managers keep employees engaged and allow them to discuss their ideas in a safe atmosphere.
Instead of having faith in their team and providing independence to the employees, some leaders tend to micromanage, resulting in their employees feeling disconnected. The quality of their work suffers, which subsequently leads to further micromanagement. The managers fail to identify the difference between guiding and micromanaging. Their feedback will help develop positive employee relations, but interfering too much and offering unsolicited advice will make employees feel uncertain about themselves and will lead to many other problems.
Employees need feedback to learn and improve. The managers can acknowledge employees good work and offer constructive criticism on the areas they can improve, nurturing a healthy relationship with the team.
3.Invest in the employees
Happy and hard-working employees are valuable assets for any company. But, these employees are only human beings who have normal lives beyond work. If they are satisfied in their personal lives, they are likely to be more efficient at work. Valuing and investing in their lives, not just at work but in general, will be favorable for everyone. The employers can offer medical checkup programs or a gym membership to keep their employees healthy and happy. In addition, the employees should be allowed to pursue other activities of interest besides official work. The employees should be offered some professional development training to enrich their knowledge and hone their capabilities.
4.Stop making exceptions
Usually, a manager chooses ‘favorites’ among the team and this it can absolutely discourage the other members on the team, spoiling employee relations. Moreover, it creates tension among coworkers and this can result in employee disconnection. Instead of playing favorites, managers need to show recognition. Appreciation means a lot to the employees and by reinforcing good work, the managers can inspire them to carry on while also motivating the others. Rewarding the team cultivates an environment of gratitude, ultimately encouraging employees to keep up the good work.
5.Gather ideas from the employees
In order to make the employees feel connected and collaborate in decision-making process, the managers should encourage employees to present their ideas. The employees should feel that their ideas and suggestions are always welcome. However, don’t just listen to the ideas and do nothing with them as this will leave a bigger negative impact. Instead, the managers should try to implement useful suggestions and put your intention into action.
6.Discuss the goals and vision
The managers can foster healthy employee relations by making their team members realize that their actions are important for the growth of the company as well as themselves. It is necessary for an employer to show that they care about the employees and not just consider them as workers. Showing that their performance is important to the company will bring out their respect and they will remain engaged.
The employees should feel that they are playing a key role in something that is bigger than them. In order to boost employees’ passion, managers should discuss the long-term goals and vision of the company and how they can help in achieving them.
Maintaining strong employee relations is essential for every company. When there is a positive association between managers and employees, employee commitment, productivity, enthusiasm, and confidence are bound to soar high. Employees who fall in with their employer like going to work rather than feel nervous about it in the morning and have a good overall work experience. Confident employees are better at their jobs and keep the business flourishing.
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