What is Employee Relations? – Forbes Advisor

One of the problems with employee relations is that it covers a wide range of topics. After all, “everything about employees” is a big umbrella. To clear up some of your confusion, here are ten common examples of topics and issues covered in employee relations. It’s also worth noting that many of these responsibilities can be easily handled by most recruiting platforms today if you feel you need some tech help.

Encourage employee engagement

Community building activities, promoting a work-life balance, incentives and rewards, professional development opportunities – all of these are just some of the things that employee relations departments can do to encourage engagement and the interest of employees. Happy employees work better than unhappy ones, and a good work environment is great for productivity. While there are many different approaches, from providing different physical environments to hosting holiday events, companies should always strive to keep their employees happy and healthy.

Improve communication in the workplace

Companies can make or break a good relationship with an employee on the quality of communication. A good employee relations department will continue to try to improve communication in the workplace, whether it’s establishing policies or encouraging transparent exchanges. This applies to communications that occur both company-wide and on a more personal level – changes in company direction in relation to performance reviews, for example. This can also apply to communications outside of the company, such as through social media.

Settlement of disputes and conflicts

Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that people will disagree with each other. The more people involved in the disagreement, the greater the general discontent and, by extension, the impact on the workplace. In cases like this, the role of employee relations is to resolve conflicts before they start to escalate and negatively influence others. This is also true for disputes or issues the employee has with the company.

Fight against sexual harassment and bullying

Employees who experience sexual harassment or bullying (or witness it to another person) should report it to an employee relations department. The department is then responsible for investigating the allegation, reaching a conclusion, and taking the necessary steps to resolve the situation and end the harassment or bullying. Employee relations is also responsible for putting preventative measures in place, such as scheduling anti-harassment classes and writing anti-abuse policies.

Oversee health and safety procedures

A dangerous work environment is a recipe for disaster. Injuries, damage to infrastructure, all of this can be disastrous for employees and employers. Employee relations should therefore promote risk awareness, ensure proper training if necessary and write company-wide policies in case of an emergency. Examples include first aid training and fire evacuation procedures. In the event of an injury or accident, the department is responsible for managing medical leave and compensation.

Manage salary issues

Like health and safety procedures, the subject of wages – and by extension hours and expectations for pay or shift work – is handled by an employee relations department. This includes things like attendance, compensation packages, timekeeping, and vacation days. Salary disputes, salary increase requests, and annual reviews or performance bonuses are usually handled or communicated by the department. Employee Relations is also responsible for ensuring that employees and the company meet federal and state wage standards.

Clarification of company policy

If an employee has a question about Company policy, it is the responsibility of Employee Relations to answer it. They must also respond to any relevant concerns or comments regarding the policy and communicate clearly if the policy is changed or modified.

Conduct workplace surveys

Any situation warranting further investigation, such as accusations of harassment or allegations of misconduct, will be the responsibility of an employee relations department. In most cases, the ministry will conduct these investigations internally, unless it needs to involve third parties (eg, law enforcement). Employee Relations will also arrange any action taken after an investigation is concluded, such as ‘recognize sexual harassment’ training.

Communicate with employee unions

Employee unions usually elect a representative to liaise with the company. The company must then find someone internally to liaise with the liaison officer. This role usually falls to someone in the employee relations department. This relationship is the main point of contact, collaborative or not, between a union and a company, and can involve responsibilities such as negotiating wages, employee rights and arranging meetings between unions and senior management.

Monitoring employee morale and overall performance

In order to assess whether initiatives are working, employee relations departments should regularly monitor employee morale and performance. By opening up opportunities for reviews and feedback, both anonymous and face-to-face, employee relations can keep up with the company vibe and hopefully resolve any negative feelings before they happen. gets too out of control.

Some employee relations departments choose to conduct these reviews in an organized, data-driven way, while others (especially smaller organizations) may choose a more conversational approach. The results of these sessions can help employee relations departments decide which areas or issues to focus on and which ongoing initiatives to remove or continue.

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