The Key to Better Employee Relations

The Key to Better Employee Relations

To what extent do you value the importance of employee relations? Maintaining a healthy and friendly relationship with your employees is essential to maximising engagement and enhancing the trust that exists between management and employees. 

We’ll begin with the basics first; what are employee relations? Well, employee relations is a term used to describe the relationship between an employer and their employees. And why is it important you ask? Maintaining a healthy relationship with your employees is the secret to a healthy work environment thus leading to a more successful business. 

When creating an employee relations strategy it’s important to have in mind the reasons why you need to keep a good relationship with your employees. Although good employee relations can benefit your business through economic growth and general development, it’s also important to consider other factors that don’t necessarily relate to bringing in revenue. 

Without further ado, let's delve into the top reasons why it’s crucial to maintain good employee relations.

Less employee turnover

It’s no secret that employees value a good relationship with their employer. In fact, 92% of workers believe that having an empathetic leader is key to strong retention. It’s pretty obvious that if you don’t value good employee relations and don’t take the time to invest in your employees, they’re going to look elsewhere. 

Remember your employees want to feel a part of every aspect of the business, if you’re not putting in the time and effort to communicate with them, they’ll feel neglected.

Employee experience 

Employee experience plays a key part in the employee journey. It determines how the employee feels about their job, the enjoyment and satisfaction they get out of it and of course what they learn from their role. When putting together your employee relations strategy ensure you take employee experience into consideration. 

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you don’t have a good relationship with your employees, their experience with the leadership team isn’t going to be the best. Having good employee relations will improve the employee experience which will lead to greater job satisfaction from your employees and a better working environment.

Employee relations infographic by Oak Engage

Enhance motivation and productivity 

Believe it or not, maintaining good employee relations can enhance employee motivation and increase productivity. We all know about the risks of disengaged employees and how damaging that can be to a business, therefore staying connected with your employees and taking an interest in their work will make them feel wanted in the business leading to enhanced motivation and greater productivity.

Less conflict 

If there’s one thing you want to avoid in the workplace, it’s conflict. Conflict can be very damaging to not just your business but your employees and their health. Having bad employee relations can lead to conflict in many ways; employees may feel like they’re not being listened to and valued within the business which can lead to workplace gossiping and a lack of faith in leadership. 

It doesn’t just happen between employees and the leadership team either, if you don’t practice good communication in the workplace it can lead to departmental frustration and employees turning against each other.

Employee loyalty

If you want anything from your employees, you want them to be loyal to your business. When employees are loyal to their business, they’re more likely to invest in their work, bring new ideas to the table and go the extra mile. 

Having loyalty for your business makes you feel attached to your company and proud to be part of the culture and values that the company stands for. If your employees are loyal and engaged with your business, they’ll be more likely to speak highly of your organisation and represent your business when the time is necessary.

The Key to a Successful Employee Relations Strategy

So, we’ve covered all the reasons why it’s crucial to maintain good employee relations; now it’s time to explore the steps you need to take to nail down a successful employee relations strategy.

Figure out the best form of communication 

Obviously maintaining regular communication with your employees will be the first step to perfecting your employee relations strategy, but first, you should work out the best method to stay in contact with your workforce. 

Take into consideration the number of employees you have, the age of your employees and the type of business. For example, if you have a majority of employees who work on the road or in a customer-facing role, they won’t have easy access to a desktop - leaving them unable to check emails. This then, is where a mobile-based solution fits neatly into your strategy. If you have a large majority of desk-based employees, you may want to incorporate a desktop solution.

A smiling construction worker wearing a high-vis yellow jacket looking at a mobile phone.

Rethink your company culture 

If employee relations were not at the forefront of your company culture before, maybe it’s worth reevaluating your core values altogether. Your employees make up the majority of your business, so making sure they’re part of your culture and values is essential. 

Remember, you can’t improve your employee relations strategy without it being an inherent part of your culture and values first.

Value communication & social interaction 

It’s important to bear in mind that the workplace doesn’t always have to be about work. The social interaction part is just as important. Remember, taking time out of your day to communicate and socialise with your employees is extremely valuable in terms of productivity and creating lasting bonds in the workplace. So, take the time to plan regular social events for your team, whether this is a team-bonding activity or an after-work drink on a Friday night to celebrate the week; strong social connections make a happier and healthier working environment.

Summary 

The relationship between a leader and their employee is something that should never be overlooked. Planning and setting out a proper employee relations strategy can work wonders on your organisation and your employees. Whether you take more time out of your day to talk and listen to your employees or you empower them with an internal communication system, employee relations is a topic that should always be valued.

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