The Four Pillars of Employee Relations

Four ways a company or an organization can maintain positive employee relations.

1. Open communication

In any relationship, communication is the key. Employees spend the majority of their days at work so it's important that they feel comfortable with management in successfully fulfilling their job performance.

One way to ensure this is to ABC - Always Be Communicating. Let your team know that you are there to talk about their work or anything else they need, by being as transparent with them as possible about what you need and expect from them.

One way to keep a constant pulse on how your team is feeling is to conduct simple monthly surveys that allow employees to submit anonymous feedback.

It's a great way to keep communication flowing at all times by engaging your employees and letting them share their thoughts anonymously in a safe environment.

2. Show recognition

Simple gestures of thanks and kind words go a long way. Longer than you might think.

In fact, 77% of employees are starved for recognition.

Appreciation and gratitude mean so much to your employees by being positive and truthful is an easy way to reinforce good work which can inspires them to keep it up.

Giving public praise is another great way to show recognition while also inspiring the rest of the team. Rewarding your team properly is what cultivates a culture of appreciation between employee and management, ultimately inspiring them to continue to work hard for you.

3. Constant feedback

Offering frequent feedback to your employees on their job performance work along with constructive criticism on where they can improve is essential in nurturing a positive relationship with your team.

Employees want feedback, they want to learn, grow and improve. Providing them with the tips and guidance they need to get there by holding frequent feedback sessions, like monthly one-on-ones, will be highly appreciated.

4. Invest in your employees

It has always been my perception people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show employees that you care about them as people, not just as workers. Expressing that their fulfillment is important to you, on a professional and personal level, is a big statement that will elicit their respect and keep them engaged.

The truth is, if an employee is happy in their personal life, they'll be much more productive at work, so investing in their lives at large and not just at work will be beneficial for everyone.

Ways to show them you care

  • Offer them opportunities in regard to keeping healthy and feeling good about themselves.
  • Allow them to pursue side projects that are interesting to them.
  • Offer to support professional development initiatives.
  • Allow the option of paid time off to volunteer.

How to improve employee relations

  • There are many things you can do and stop doing that will help improve employee relations, one is to stop micromanaging. When you micromanages instead of trusting your team and giving them autonomy, they risk becoming disengaged and subsequently, the quality of their work will suffer, which actually leads to more micromanagement, thus creating a vicious cycle.
  • You must keep in mind that there is a difference between offering guidance and micromanaging. Guidance and feedback are always great and keep employee relations positive, but watching their move at every step, hovering and offering too much unsolicited advice will actually begin to make employees doubt themselves and this will lead to other problems.
  • Don't play favorites because when that happens and it becomes obvious it can completely demoralize the rest of your team, thus ruining employee relations. You must treat everyone on your team with equal respect if you hope to earn the same respect back. Because the danger of playing favorites is that it creates tension between colleagues that can lead to employee disengagement.
  • Be as clear as possible, because this ties back to good communication and employees need to clearly understand their roles and what is expected of them. You can then work with them to meet your expectations, which can dispel confusion that can lead to stress, thus lowering their engagement.
  • Collect ideas from your team because you want to make them feel like they are part of the decision making process. You can ask them to submit their ideas, or at least make it known that their ideas are always welcome and suggestions for new initiatives will always be considered.
  • Don't just collect ideas for the sake of collecting them, because this will have an even bigger negative effect. Instead of just listening to your their ideas, try to implement some as well by putting action behind your intentions.
  • When we talk about the motivators that drive us, one of them is purpose. Employees need to feel like what they are doing is important. They need to feel like they are part of something bigger than they are. If you want to fuel their passion, share the organization's long term vision with them and you cannot be shy about communicating this frequently.