- Employee relations play a crucial role in maintaining a positive relationship between the organization and its employees.
- Positive employee relations can only be achieved where employees are viewed as stakeholders and contributors in the running of an organization.
- The human resource sector plays a strategic role of increasing the quality of work-life balance of its employees.
To achieve a productive atmosphere – and an engaged company culture – you need to establish open communication with your employees. However, only 16% of employees feel connected and engaged at work, finds a survey.
The study by EmployeeChannel revealed that frequent and effective communication are the top two behaviors that create a positive experience at work, and open communication ranked as one of the top initiatives employees want in a company. However, nearly half of employees are neutral, disagree or strongly disagree that their HR's communication efforts make them feel informed or involved.
Poor communication is bad for employee retention and recruitment, putting businesses at risk for high turnover rates. Employees might also fall short of assignments and deadlines, causing your company to suffer.
Steve Adams, CEO of EmployeeChannel, noted that using modern technology solutions to communicate with your employees can help make sure that everyone is on the same page. It's crucial to take advantage of mobile, personalization, analytics and AI technologies to provide an employee-centric solution, he added.
"Based upon our research and hundreds of conversations with HR and internal communication teams, we believe the most effective way to address employee engagement is to acknowledge that employee communication is the cornerstone of employee engagement, and to commit to improving employee communication using contemporary technologies," said Adams.
Not all workers sit in an office with their manager from 9-to-5, so when choosing your communications technologies, you need to consider employees' workflows and schedules to serve their specific needs.
"For nondesktop and remote workers, any solution must be designed from the employee perspective, and must be on the communication device that is most critical to their personal lives – the mobile phone," Adams stated.
He noted that mobile phones are the best choice today since most people are attached to their devices at all times, making it easier to connect with workers who aren't in the office.
How to master effective employee engagement
1. Improve communication.
Once you implement a technological solution that suits the needs of managers and employees, learn how to efficiently follow through with your plan. Adams offered the following tips for HR professionals to make sure they're communicating well with their employees.
- Perform a communication audit. This will help you understand how to best communicate with employees today, what's working and what's not.
- Develop a fit-to-purpose model. You want the channel of communication to match your desired business outcome.
- Create a multichannel communication strategy. Base this on the fit-to-purpose model. No single channel will meet all your communication needs.
- Train employees. Make sure workers understand the fit-to-purpose model and multichannel strategy so that they can effectively use it.
- Provide a single platform for employer-to-employee communication. Make sure it supports the model and mitigates possible challenges.
- Use behavioral insights to gauge impact and effectiveness. Have an analytics platform that provides data on trends and employee engagement.
2. Invest in training.
Employee training plays a crucial role in developing employee skills and motivation. It presents an opportunity to increase the knowledge base of its employees. Employees view this as a form of recognition and appreciation, and they have more appreciation for their jobs and are less likely to leave.
Training often results in improved employee performance. Employees gain a greater understanding of their roles and more confidence to perform their roles. This is beneficial to the organization as it can result in overall improved performance and increased profits.
Training also allows employees to address their weaknesses. Employees gain more knowledge in areas where they had knowledge gaps. The organization is thus able to address the weak links in the organization.
Training also improves the reputation of a company. Companies that have a strong, successful training strategy build itself as an employer brand that many graduates and successful professionals want to join.
3. Stimulate creativity.
The human resource sector should avail the required resources that allow employees to be creative. A portion of employees' work time can be dedicated to creativity where employees try to resolve organization challenges or come up with new products. Where this is successful, the organization can offer some form of appreciation.
Organizations can have employee creativity blog sites for employees to air their views and challenge the existing products or way of providing services.
Have employee product knowledge competitions. By employees taking part in these competitions, they learn more about the products and come up with innovative ways of improving them
4. Offer performance appraisal and appreciation.
An organization should implement a performance appraisal method that employees are comfortable with. The HR sector should come up with a considerable way to tie available corporate rewards to the outcomes of the employee appraisal results. It has been established that the performance of employees is much higher in organizations where rewards are contingent upon performance.
A rewards system often improves these areas:
- Attendance and retention. Employees are more willing to attend work and remain in organizations where they are rewarded.
- Job effort and performance. Employees are willing to put in more work and make sacrifices in organizations with a good rewards system.
- Job satisfaction. According to E. Lawler, job satisfaction is related to how much an employee feels they are being paid.
- Employee commitment. Employees remain loyal to organizations that appreciate them and reward their efforts.
Employee rewards take one of two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are external. They include wages, salary, fringe benefits, promotions and recognition. Intrinsic rewards, on the other hand, include rewards as a result of directly performing the job. They are often referred as self-administered rewards. They include feelings of task accomplishment, personal growth, autonomy or developments that come from performing the job.
5. Recognize positive attitude.
An organization should recognize and appreciate employees with the right attitude. Praising employees or giving positive feedback creates improved relations between the employer and its employees. Have a career plan that indicates the next level for employees who perform well. Employees will put more effort when they know there is room for career growth or promotion.