Human behavior is complex and cannot always be controlled or predicted. Even in a professional workplace, employees are not guaranteed to act appropriately or get along together. It's the employer's responsibility to maintain good, positive relations with their employees. This prevents unnecessary tension in the workplace that causes good employees to quit or file complaints. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to improve employee relations. Some companies hold regular staff meetings, while others give bonuses or hold corporate events every year. Also important is for employees to be given the freedom to speak up and give feedback about the company, whether it's positive or negative. These strategies are necessary to improve employee retention and keep employees as valuable members of a business team.
The Importance of Positive Employee Relations
No one wants to live in a hostile environment, but that is the reality for many employees. They work among coworkers who they can barely stand and go to great lengths to avoid. Every boss has dealt with this common problem of workplace tension. There are two major types of tension:
- The strained relations between employees
- The strained relations between employers and employees
If these problems are left untreated, the relations between the workers will become more separated over time. The company itself will suffer because staff members are refusing to cooperate with each other and even remain in the same room together. Maintaining positive work relations is not an option and must involve a plan. If it means firing qualified workers and hiring new ones, companies have to take that risk.
Ways to Improve Employee Relations
Improving employee relations starts with using strategies that actually work. Five effective ways to improve employee relations include:
- Schedule regular meetings
- Encourage participation
- Suggest feedback
- Encourage complaints
- Reward bonuses
First, set up regular meetings and require all employees to attend. Employers should make these meetings mandatory so that everyone is allowed to participate. Everyone should share his or her opinions about how the company has performed this month and so far this year. Their comments should include compliments about the company along with complaints and frustrations.
Outside of the meetings, employees should continue to express their thoughts by providing feedback. They should work in an environment that accepts their criticisms without threatening retaliation. Employees should feel safe to speak out against their supervisors without the risk of being fired. Some companies set up a feedback box or complaint book that allows them to remain anonymous.
It's important to show appreciation for the employees' hard work. Many people do not work for companies that don't provide some form of benefits, such as extra vacation days or health insurance. Companies can provide end-of-the-year bonuses in time for the holiday season.
Ongoing Improvement Strategies
Good employers treat each employee as an individual and not just another employee. They emphasize the importance of individuality along with team work. This plan starts by simply acknowledging employees on a regular basis. People should greet each other as they enter the building and as they work.
Promoting teamwork is necessary to improve the productivity of the entire company. For different projects, each employee should be assigned a "work partner" instead of working alone. This arrangement forces people to work together and get along, even if it's only temporary. They could develop long-term bonds as a result and work on future projects together.
Controlling the actions and emotions of workers is not always a simple task. However, all professionals need to work together for the sake of the company. Every company should develop a plan to maintain good employee relations.