As a supervisor or manager, one of your key tasks is to manage the employee relations within your organisation. So, what are ‘employee relations’ and how exactly do you manage or indeed improve them?
Employee relations encompasses the overall management and wellbeing of your organisation’s employees including, but not limited to, their behaviour and morale. It is the common denominator when creating successful engagement initiatives, whether it be around performance management through to workplace health and safety.
To generate improvement in this area, and gain happier and more productive staff members, follow these 5 key tips for a manager to improve employee relations within an organisation.
Improving Employee Relations
Stop sending essay-length emails and get back to basics. Use bullet points and, where possible, pick up the phone or walk over to your colleagues to disseminate information. Check out this eBook on how to communicate to increase your productivity.
“Reward good ideas and keep staff updated”
2. Career Development
Create plans that include career pathways and succession planning, with input from your line reports and potentially their staff. Institute tuition reimbursement for recognised and relevant education
Ensure your company vision is not only part of your day to day culture, but that your staff live and breathe it. Share plans, and get employees excited about the organisation’s future. Ask for ideas on what can make the company more productive – a good way to do this is to narrow down the areas that you wish to see improvement in. That way staff have some direction around where to harness their creativity. Reward good ideas and keep staff updated.
“Ensure that each staff member knows what their boundaries are, what success looks like and the expectations of both their immediate manager and the team as a whole”
Employee of the Month programs are great, as are incentives and rewards. However, they are short term behaviour changers, and you need to get the fundamentals right. Ensure that each staff member knows what their boundaries are, what success looks like and the expectations of both their immediate manager and the team as a whole. The absence of any clear guidelines or feedback can be detrimental to ensuring positive employee relations.
5. Good Health
Encourage a work/life balance. Give staff some control (where possible) over their schedules by offering flex time or working from home options. Stagger start and finish times to avoid peak traffic. Provide education around healthy eating, exercising and managing stress. Don’t pay lip service – lead by example. Encourage breaks and suggest walking meetings to get some fresh air as opposed to stuffy boardrooms where possible. Companies can face a big cost in terms of managing absences due to stress, so ensure you identify the signs early and step in quickly to alleviate any long term problems.
“Don’t pay lip service – lead by example”
Essentially employee relations are all about your investment in your people. Your people are also the key to your business success, so don’t take them for granted otherwise your productivity and in term your profit will diminish.
Kathie Kelly is the Director of Square Pegs Consulting which provides assistance to not for profits, businesses and individuals with recruitment and HR projects along with sourcing funding and developing corporate partnerships for charitable organisations.
Kathie has spent a number of years in recruitment/workforce planning, marketing/business development and corporate partnerships/fundraising in both New Zealand and Australia.
An ex ballet dancer and a keen supporter of the arts, Kathie has also been on the board of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, absolutely loves to travel and is an avid rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly or follow her on Twitter @1KathieKelly.