The core factors that significantly impact employee satisfaction and employee engagement are how you manage the relationship with your employees. Taking this into account, a large number of companies today are actively investing in resources and adopting effective practices to boost employee relations and better the workplace environment.
Every employee relations strategy strives to boost collaboration and relationships in the workplace. Good leadership is the key to attract prospective employees and retain existing ones. Keeping that in mind, employee relations focus on assisting line managers to connect with the staff in the best way possible.
The Need for Healthy Employee Relations
To ensure the organizational success of a business, sustaining healthy employee relations is inevitable. For high productivity and human satisfaction, there is a need for a strong employee relationship. These relationships involve resolving and avoiding any issues that may stem out of the work scenario or impacts it in some way or the other.
A healthy and safe work environment, complete commitment and involvement in the tasks assigned, incentives for employee motivation, and effective communication lay a sound foundation of strong employee relations. Healthy employee relations are a leading cause of an increased number of motivated, efficient, and productive employees that increase sales level.
Healthy employee relations indicated that employees of the organization should think positively of themselves, their job, as well as about being a part of the organization.
Developing and Achieving Strong Employment Relations
How do you develop such employee relations? The first thing is good management. Surveys and research have found that employees are likely to over-achieve and do their job with more commitment who respect their employer. They are efficient in doing their designated duties. And this creates a goal-oriented environment with high productivity levels.
Here are the four main pillars upon which managers can build and sustain positive employee relations:
1. Invest in Your Employees
Employees are the asset to your business. You need to show that you care about them as real people with lives, not as mere workers whom you have hired to do tasks from morning till evening. When you express care through your actions and gestures, it is quite the statement on a personal and professional level that is going to prompt their respect towards you.
When you invest in their lives in general and not just work, it will work out the best for you. As employees tend to be more productive at work when they are happy in their personal lives. You could offer them:
- A gym membership
- Health and old-age benefits
- Workshops and professional development initiatives
- The permission to purse side projects
- Paid holidays
2. Acknowledge and Recognize Their Efforts
This goes without saying that kindness goes a long way. Appreciation and gratitude and showing your appreciation towards a job well done could mean a lot to your employees. When you take out time to highlight and praise their good efforts, it inspires them to do better. Praising publically rather than behind closed doors is one of the best ways to show recognition.
When you reward your team accordingly, it fosters a culture of appreciation between the manager and employee while encouraging others to follow suit and work hard.
3. Effective and Transparent Communication
Communication is the key to any relationship. Be it personal or professional. Since employees spend a major part of their day at work, they should feel comfortable with their manager and fulfilled with their job.
So, the best way to ascertain this is via ABC: Always Be Communicative. Your team should know that they can come up to you for anything. Be clear and transparent with them about business needs and your expectations.
Carry out work surveys to be in the know about how employees feel about certain matters and working at your company in general in the form of anonymous feedback. You have to keep the communication flowing. Be transparent regarding any company policies and procedures such as telling them that the company-owned phones come with an employee monitoring tool.
4. Constant Feedback
Employees want feedback so they can learn, grow, and improve themselves in their job. When you give them the needed guidance and worthy tips through constant feedback (once or twice a month), they would highly appreciate it.
Giving frequent performance feedback to your employees for their work, along with constructive criticism on areas where they can certainly improve themselves, is crucial in cultivating positive employee relationships.
Strengthening and Boosting Employee Relations
A manager has the power to do a lot of things. There are plenty of things he could do and prevent doing, to enhance employee relations in the business:
1. Never Play Favorites
Playing favourites is never going to help you or others. When employers choose favourites, it is quite obvious. Favouritism can negatively impact the morale of the team and even ruin employee relationships.
It leads to tension and bitterness between the colleagues that can ruin teamwork and cause disengagement.
2. Maintain Transparency
This links to having effective communication with your employees. They should be very clear in terms of their job roles and responsibilities. Be clear in what you expect of them and guide them on how to meet those expectations.
3. Avoid Micromanaging
With micromanaging your employees, your employees become uninterested and disengaged. This way, the quality of work suffers. And as a result, more micromanagement takes place that worsens the situation further.
Micromanaging is controlling behaviour. You aren’t only risking employees getting irritated, but also prevent them from exhibiting their skills and expertise. As a manager, you should know the difference between guidance and micromanage. Giving feedback and valuable advice keep the employee relation positive. But hovering over their shoulders and watching them move every step of the way would make the employees doubt themselves, annoyed, and lead to various other problems.
4. Tell Them About the Company Goals and Vision
Employees should feel important. You have to make them feel valued and that they are part of something bigger than them. Talk to them about the company’s vision and goals, and how, with the employees’ efforts, you plan to achieve them. See that you talk about the company’s goals frequently.
5. Listen to Their Ideas and Insights and Use Them
Two brains are better than one. And when it comes to business decisions, having a meeting before the decision-making can be quite beneficial sometimes. As stated earlier, you have to make the employees feel an important part of the team. Take their advice; listen to their ideas. Give them a chance to share their thoughts and insights about business matters. You never know they might be of help to you and the business.
Let them know that their ideas are welcome. Always. Don’t just collect ideas, try to put some action into them if they are good enough.
But it’s not just the responsibility of the employer to take care of the employee relations; employees have some responsibilities, too.
All the burden of maintaining employee relations does not and should not fall upon the shoulders of the manager only. Employees should be able to take responsibility for their actions and work-related problems. Sometimes, restricting social media sites on office computers doesn’t work because employees can use them on their smartphones.
Social media sites and apps are one of the biggest distractions at work. Employees check their phones after small intervals and end up wasting a lot of work hours. Nowadays, many companies provide their employees with smartphones and install employee monitoring apps on them. As companies own these devices, they can also legally monitor them through consent.
The Xnspy employee monitoring tool is a popular monitoring tool that tracks the digital activities of the employees. The app monitors social media and web browsing activities and also helps in determining if your employee is sticking to the company policies and procedures. Xnspy could also help managers discover is their team members are not involved in any unethical activities. If social media use during work hours starts getting out of hand, employers can also ban select social media sites and apps on employee phones. And if not, they can at least calculate how many times an employee checks the phone for notifications and then establish appropriate rules and short breaks to browse through social media or the internet. Xnspy plays a key role in providing employers with this information.
Employee relations deal with employer-employee as well as the relationships among co-workers. Apart from having trustworthy and respectful relations with your employers, pay attention to forming bonds with your workmates for a better company environment, and improvements in productivity.