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Jul 02, 2019

Approx. 6 min. read

What Are Employee Relations and Why Are They Important

Employee relations and communications are some of the main factors that influence employee satisfaction and engagement. Therefore, many companies...

the-importance-of-employee-relations

Employee relations and communications are some of the main factors that influence employee satisfaction and engagement. Therefore, many companies today invest more resources to improve employee relations and keep their workplaces healthy. 

What are Employee Relations

Employee relations is a term used to describe relations between employers and employees. Today’s organizations are striving to become more agile, faster and transparent. For that reason, the focus on employee communications is bigger than ever before. 

The main goal of every employee relations strategy is to improve relationships and collaboration in the workplace

Good leadership is ranked as one of the most important factors that attracts new candidates and keeps existing employees. In that sense, employee relations often focuses on helping line managers truly connect with their employees

💡 Check out our guide for Building a Better Company with Internal Communications.

7 reasons why Employee Relations are important

Companies with good employee relationships enjoy many benefits. In general, it is easier for them to engage, motivate, understand and keep their employees

Here are just a few benefits of building a positive employee relations workplace. 

Employee engagement

According to research about employee engagement, 90% of leaders understand how important employee engagement is. However, only 50% of them know how to address this issue

Here, employee relations play a crucial role. It has been proven that companies with better employee communications have much higher rates of employee engagement

Here few tips to improve employee communications to drive better employee engagement include:

  • Share, review and update employee expectations.
  • Encourage open communication to identify obstacles and issues.
  • Don’t neglect consistent feedback and recognition.
  • Encourage discussion and sharing of thoughts.

Why would you care about employee engagement at your workplace?

Here are a few shocking stats on employee engagement:

employee relations and engagement

Employee satisfaction

Employee engagement is often related to employee satisfaction. Less engaged employees are less satisfied. Poor employee relations can be one of the main causes for that.

Moreover, 65% of US employees say that communications by their employer impacts job satisfaction. 45% of them say that their employer does not do a good job communicating with employees. 

Employee productivity

Employee satisfaction and engagement boost employee productivity. Companies with well structured employee relations enjoy higher productivity, revenues and profits. Moreover, organizations with highly engaged employees have an average 3-year revenue growth that is 2.3 times greater than companies with less engaged teams. 

If your employees know exactly what their goals are and if you give them constant feedback on their work, they will work harder towards achieving their goals. 

Check out these 5 tips to improve employee productivity with better communications

employee relations for better productivity

Employee retention

High employee turnover is one of the biggest problems companies face today. The cost of an employee leaving is significant. Therefore, many employees try to avoid that expense. 

Employee retention can be improved in many ways. Employee relations is one of them. 

Employees who feel like they don’t know what is going on in the company feel frustrated and isolated. As a result, they feel insecure and often consider new job opportunities. 

Employee advocacy

Employee advocacy is a benefit many companies are trying to achieve. The ability to reach employees’ connections and use your company’s social capital to its full potential can have a big impact on the company’s visibility, brand awareness and productivity

In order to achieve employee advocacy, employers have to be ready to improve employee relations. They need to keep employees in the loop and share important content them. 

Why should you care about employee advocacy?

employee relations and advocacy benefits

Employee experience

Similar to employee satisfaction, good employee experience is one of the biggest proofs of a healthy workplace culture

To deliver a good employee experience, employers need to be ready to improve the way they communicate with employees. Open and transparent communication helps employees feel involved which often leads to higher employee engagement. 

In contrast, poor employee communications lead to insecurity, lack of engagement and honesty in the workplace. 

Employee empowerment

Millenials and younger generations want to be involved in many aspects of a business. They want to have a certain level of decision-making power. 

This is called employee empowerment. It involves giving employees responsibility and autonomy to manage their own work and make decisions to achieve their own goals. 

In order to empower your employees, you need to have a good employee relations and communications strategy. 

For employees to feel empowered, they need to understand clearly what your company’s mission and vision are. Also, they have to be able to understand how their work contributes to the overall business success. 

Trust is crucial for successful employee empowerment. Managers who trust their employees and communicate company’s strategy and goals regularly, often have no problems giving more power to their employees. 

How to implement an Employee Relations plan

The very first step towards planning and implementing a successful employee relations strategy is to have a set of clearly written policies

Employee relations policies should describe the employer's philosophy, rules, and procedures for handling employee-related matters and resolving issues in the workplace.

In addition, it is important to understand that employee relations programs are not a one-size-fits-all solutions.

What works in a company with 100 employees in the United States, may not work for a company of 5000 employees in China. In other words, employee relations programs vary based on company size, location, industry, culture and many other factors

However, there are a few characteristics of every good employee relations plan:

  • Help employees understand your mission and vision
  • Show them how their job aligns with your mission and vision
  • Communicate with employees frequently
  • Give employees feedback
  • Reward them for good work

What do Employee Relations Professionals do

Having an Employee Relations Professional, especially in large companies, is critical for better employee communications

These professionals are either a part of communications or HR departments. Their main job is to keep employees informed and to ensure that company policies and procedures are followed. 

Employee Relations Specialist duties and responsibilities

Here are some of the most important duties and responsibilities of Employee Relations Managers and Specialists:

  • Manage employee files.
  • Share company news.
  • Share policies and procedures updates.
  • Monitor compliance with policies and procedures.
  • Recruit employees.
  • Assist in the hiring processes.
  • Encourage employees for advocacy.
  • Manage relationships between employer and employees.
  • Collaborate in employee exit processes.
  • Assist in writing employee handbook.

How to improve Employee Relations at your company?

Using digital solutions to improve your employee relations efforts has become a must. 

These solutions can help you significantly to better communicate with your employees and make them more engaged and productive. 

Book a free demo to see how Smarp can help your excel your employee communications strategy!

Feeling inspired? Feel free to download our eBook "How to Boost Employee Engagement with Communication Tools"!

A free guide on how to boost employee engagement with employee communication tools

Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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