Building Employee Relations – What is it and why it’s important

 

Would you say your employees like you? Be honest – admitting is the first step to improving.

Employee relations isn’t always about making sure your employees like you, but rather dedicating the time to build a strong relationship with them. Employee relations cover many different topics, however, most importantly it focuses on keeping your team engaged, happy with their workplace, and promoting open communication. 

Relationships between employers and employees should always be supportive and encouraging. Employer and employee relations should push one another to work harder and better. An employee who feels supported by their employer invests the time into making their company great. In return, an employer who feels respected by their employee puts their all into making their company into a workplace employees want to stick around for the long run. 

After all, by allowing your employees to feel connected to the company, you’re only benefiting by boosted productivity and an engaged worker. It’s important to be open and understanding with each member of your team. In one of Gallup’s recent surveys, they found that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

 

What exactly are employee relations?

Great question! Our friends over at BambooHR have a pretty lengthy definition for employee relations, but most importantly that employee relations is an organization’s efforts to create and maintain a positive relationship with its employees. Typically, these relations are built by focusing on policies that affect employee issues such as fair compensation, useful benefits, proper work-life balance, and reasonable working hours, to name a couple of examples. Only you can know what the right policies that affect your employees are by sitting down and asking them – communication is key.

The foundation of a relationship between employees and employers needs to be built around respect and understanding. An organization must first view employees as stakeholders and contributors in the company rather than simply as paid labourers. This perspective encourages those in management and executive roles to seek employee feedback, value employee input more highly, and consider the employee experience when making decisions that affect the entire company. 

 

Employee Relations Tip #1 – Understanding How Your Employees View You and the Organization

Before starting a plan dedicated to transforming employee relations at your company, it’s essential to first take a deep dive into finding out what opinions employees have about your company now. This can only be done by checking in with the people that keep your company running in the first place.

When was the last time you conducted an employee survey or took a look into what employees think about the current work environment? In a recent survey done by Achievers, a staggering 58% of employees wish their company conducted employee engagement surveys more frequently.

It’s essential as an employer to consistently be considering improvements that can be made to your company’s employee experience. Only about half of organizations track employee relations and the impact that this relationship has on work productivity. By focusing on employee relations in your organization, you’re striving to tackle the issues that employees face daily. 

Rather than ignoring the issues or even worse, fully denying their existence in the first place. As an employer, it’s absolutely essential to be self-aware. Acknowledging that improvements must be made is what makes you a great employer – no one likes a boss that’s too big for their boots.

 


Employee Relations Tip #2 – Connect Often With Employees

On the topic of having healthy communication with employees, do you have a consistent plan put in place to get in touch and work on employee relations in your company? There must be consistent and meaningful contact between employees and employers. It’s not about just making employees feel like they’re looked after – it’s about showing a genuine interest in their well-being.

While this can be done in many different ways, the easiest way is by simply putting in the effort to chat often with one another. By taking time out of your day to send messages to employees asking how they’re doing or how their tasks are going, your employees will feel supported and connected with you and the organization. 

An employee that feels like their company is looking out for them will go the extra mile to actively search for ways to grow with their company – not just until they get the next best offer. Employee relations is about taking the time and effort to form sustainable connections with employees, calls and messages are just one of the first steps in building a positive relationship.

Here at AirMason, we’re big believers in the power of connecting with your employees often. We recently wrote about several innovative and interesting ideas regarding engagement and connection with remote employees – consider some of the following ideas if you’re interested!

 

Employee Relations Tip #3 – Positive Feedback and Rewards

What is your organization’s typical course of action once a big project is finished or a new workflow is implemented? For many companies, oftentimes there’s only a quick acknowledgement and then it’s back to business. In reality, your employees invest many hours and effort into perfecting these projects hoping for even a sliver of praise. Truthfully, they deserve much more recognition and feedback than just a simple “good job”. 

89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. Your employees want to know that their work and effort have meaning and significance within the organization. They want to feel valued. By spending the time to provide positive feedback and recognition, you are building your employee relations and cultivating an environment where employees are actually engaged with the work they do.

Another aspect to consider would be providing rewards for employees who complete large-scale tasks. Examples of this can range from as far as cash bonuses, to even just giving the rest of the day off to rest and recalibrate. After all – a healthy mind is a key to an energized and productive workflow. The Harvard Business Review showcases an upside to breaks that are hardly considered – goal reactivation. It’s easy to lose focus when working on a task non-stop. Taking a break revitalizes the mind and in turn improves self-control and decision-making, and fuels productivity.

Whatever the right fit for your organization is, this is a useful and fantastic way to promote healthy employee relations. Currently, only 41% of employees say their employers effectively reward employees for their great work. However, these respondents say they are highly engaged and have strong, secure employee relations with their company.

 

Employee Relations Tip #4 – Building Company Culture

Does your company culture encourage employees to build relationships with you? Or is there no information regarding what exactly employee relations should look like? For several employees, connecting with their organization’s company culture is one of the most important tools to fostering a powerful employee-employer relationship. 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success – that 88% additionally believes that solid communication is a key aspect of company culture.

At AirMason, we’re experts when it comes to helping companies build and design company culture books that help instantly engage employees. We’ve recently written a fantastic article focusing on how exactly to create an amazing company culture book for your organization – let us know what you think! As well as our articles, we’ve also created some phenomenal company culture books! In fact, take a look at a sample we’ve done for Netflix if you’re curious how you can find easy and innovative ways to create a flourishing company culture!

 

Are you ready to improve your employee relations?

We know it’s a big task. Trust us when we say we’ve helped countless companies do it. Nonetheless, it’s only beneficial for your company in the long run to put in the time and effort now to create the right system for this relationship to grow.

Here at AirMason, we have helped countless organizations just like yours. We build incredible employee handbooks that revolutionize the employee experience and help you keep your employees both interested and excited to be a part of your company! With our easy-to-use software and incredible team to guide you – we’d love to get in touch with you about how we can benefit you right away. Book a free demo with us today and see the difference AirMason makes!