In the above video we will answer the question "what is Employee Relations and why is it so important?" For a deeper understanding of Employee Relations, this post goes into more detail below.
What is Employee Relations?
Employee relations is a discipline that focuses on an organization's employees. It includes the study of how an organization can best manage its workforce and maintain positive relationships with them. Employee relations encompasses many different aspects of human resources management, including:
- Employee compensation
- Benefits programs
- Training and development programs
- Grievance and disciplinary process management
Employee relations also includes activities such as employee communications, performance management, labor relations (i.e., collective bargaining), safety programs and diversity initiatives.
The Importance of Employee Relations
Employee relations is the process of managing the relationships between employees and their employers. The importance of employee relations is often overlooked, but it can have a great impact on employee morale, communication between management and employees, as well as job satisfaction.
Employee relations can be defined as "the study of how organizations manage their human capital." This includes analyzing how companies deal with issues such as compensation, benefits and training programs for their staff members; developing policies that affect these areas; resolving disputes among workers over pay or working conditions; identifying ways in which management can improve its relationship with its employees (or vice versa).
The Role of Employee Relations in an Organization
Employee relations is the process of managing and improving employee engagement, understanding employee needs and expectations, developing policies and procedures that support an organization's culture, recruiting new talent, ensuring equal opportunity employment practices are followed in accordance with federal law (e.g., ADA), managing workplace disputes between employees or between employees and management, maintaining positive communication between management/supervisors and their teams while providing feedback on performance issues if necessary.
Common Employee Relations Issues
Employee relations issues can range from conflict between employees to harassment and discrimination. Employee relations is also important because it helps to ensure that all employees feel like they are part of a team, which improves morale and productivity.
Common employee relations issues include:
- Conflict between employees - This can happen for many reasons, such as personality differences or disagreements over work assignments. It's important that you address these issues quickly so they don't escalate into bigger problems later on down the road.
- Harassment/Discrimination - If there's any type of harassment in your workplace--whether it be racial discrimination or sexual harassment--you need to take action immediately so you don't get sued by any affected parties (or worse). It's also critical for employers with 50+ employees who receive federal contracts under $10 million dollars per year; if this applies to your business then check out our article titled "What Is Affirmative Action?"
How to Handle Employee Relations Issues
- Promoting a culture of respect. A good employee relations strategy will promote a positive work environment, one that encourages open communication and respectful interactions between employees. This can be accomplished by encouraging managers to listen to their employees' concerns, providing training on how to handle difficult situations in an appropriate manner, and holding regular meetings with staff members where they can voice any issues they may have. It may also allow for potential grievance actions to be avoided with informal resolution, through open communication.
- Addressing grievances quickly. If an employee has a grievance against you or your company, it's important that you address it as soon as possible so that both parties know where they stand with each other moving forward (and so there aren't any lingering resentments). If possible, try coming up with solutions together - this is much more likely than just telling someone what their problem is without asking them what they think would solve it!
The Benefits of Employee Relations
Employee relations is the art of building a positive and productive workplace. If you have a happy, engaged workforce, it's likely that your company will see benefits in many areas.
- Increased productivity: Happy employees are more likely to be productive than unhappy ones. They'll work harder and faster because they enjoy their jobs and feel appreciated at work. This could lead to higher sales figures or improved customer service ratings from clients who have had positive experiences with your company's employees.
- Improved customer service: Customers want to do business with companies whose employees treat them well--whether it's answering questions about products or helping them choose which item is right for them based on their needs (and not just pushing something on them). By treating customers well yourself, you'll encourage others in the organization do so as well--which can result in greater loyalty among customers who appreciate being treated like individuals rather than numbers on an invoice sheet!