Handling Employee Relations. #NewToHR

Handling Employee Relations

A company’s success will often depend on how much it’s able to ‘get out’ of its employees.

After all, these employees will be responsible for a business’s productivity levels, so it is only in a business best interests to keep these employees happy and motivated.

Unfortunately, problems do arise in the workplace, but these problems don’t have to get in the way of great team spirit and efficient operations. In fact, by paying special attention to employee relations, a business is able to overcome many of the problems that might cause major issues if left untreated.

What is Employee Relations?

In an HR sense, employee relations is the term given to a corporate philosophy that aims to ensure workers are happy and successful at work. This philosophy, which often becomes an active strategy, looks to evaluate and eradicate obstacles that stand in the way of a motivated workforce.

One of the ways an HR strategy can do this is by encouraging staff to view themselves as stakeholders in the business.

Elements of Employee Relations

A business will often choose to create an employee relations program, just to make sure that it’s actually taking an active approach to ensuring workplace harmony.

This program will work best when a clear list of written policies is created, and then implemented. These policies should describe in detail a company’s philosophy, as well as any rules or procedures it uses to deal with any controversies that arise.

This Ensures Greater Fairness

An issue that often arises in the workplace is that of fairness. Employees want to feel as though they’re being treated equally, and that they aren’t receiving attention that others aren’t.

During a work conflict, emotions can rise and tempers can flare. This is why it’s important to have actionable protocol already outlined, just so that fairness is encouraged across the board. That way, an employee can’t feel like their manager is against them if he or she is just following company procedure.

Communication is Essential

Regardless of what particular problem has arisen, communication at all times is essential. An employee should feel part of the process when resolving a problem, not the object of the process.

Communication can be formal or informal, depending on the situation or the company in question. Either way, the employee needs to feel as though their thoughts, feeling and complaints are being heard, understood and valued.

Recognition – The Final Piece of the Puzzle

Some employees don’t want to speak out when conflict arises. It may be out of character for them, or they may feel intimidated to do so. To help bypass this obstacle, many companies now choose to carry out employee evaluations. These evaluations, which often happen annually, give employees and managers the chance to air anything that may be concerning them.

Of course, more serious forms of conflict require faster, more decisive action, but for smaller issues, evaluations work extremely well.

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