Human resource management is one of the most critical functions in organizations. HR managers handle some of the most important processes, from disciplinary to supportive, to create workplaces where both the employer and employees can thrive.
Over the last few years, the workplace has evolved. Many organizations have switched to hybrid and remote work models, physical office space has been reimagined, and a healthy work-life balance is becoming increasingly important.
The evolution has changed several things, including the relationship between employees, employers, and the workplace. Employees must have a good relationship with their employers to communicate, collaborate, and be engaged and productive. It is hard for a good employer-employee relationship to come naturally in the current work environment of remote employees and essential work-life balance.
That is why the role of HR is critical. Through employer-employee relations management strategies, HR helps employers and employees create and maintain professional boundaries and emotionally healthy relationships so they can thrive in their roles.
This article will help you understand the meaning of employer-employee relations, their importance, and how HR manages them to benefit the organization.
Table of contents
- What are employee-employer relations
- Importance of the employee-employer relationship
- How HR manages the relationships between employers and employees
- Improve human resource management with Shiftbase
What is an Employer-Employee relationship?
Employer-employee relations is the working connection between employees and their bosses. It can be written or verbal and involves any interaction between them, such as work policy and communication. Employers and employees rely on one another to achieve organizational objectives, so they must have strong positive relations.
Importance of Employer-Employer relationship management
Employees are the most valuable assets in all organizations. They are the backbone of many operations, and that is why many organizations make them central to their strategy and provide all the tools, technologies, and support they need to do their best and thrive.
Employer-employee relationship management cultivates a supportive and constructive culture that benefits organizations in the following ways:
Positive employer-employee relations increase morale, motivation, and engagement, which makes them proud and happy to work. Employees will willingly use their talents and expertise, boosting productivity. There will also be clear lines of communication from employees to employers without fearing repercussions.
This encourages a positive work environment that fosters collaboration, resulting in increased productivity and business profits. Clear communication opens room for constructive criticism, allowing each employee to grow and develop.
Poor employee relations create poor working conditions that hurt performance and increase staff turnover rates.
Good employer-employee relations improve employee satisfaction and experience, which boosts loyalty and lowers the turnover rate. Employees feel trusted and trust their bosses, so everyone feels respected and appreciated, making them more likely to remain loyal to the business.
The money the organization would have spent hiring and onboarding can be channelled to other operations, such as training and development.
Conflict, even if resolved, can negatively influence a company's performance by creating an environment of suspicion between employees and employers. This can lower performance by minimizing collaboration.
Positive work relationships allow employees and their managers or supervisors to address and solve issues without escalating. They can approach and communicate with their employers to work harmoniously towards a common objective.
Eliminating conflict allows them to focus on their tasks without wasting time in conflict resolution meetings.
Positive employer-employee relations reduce the distance between employers and employees. It makes it easier to delegate tasks and responsibilities and expect positive returns from them. Employers understand their employee's strengths, weaknesses, and expectations and can delegate according to them.
How HR manages the relationships between Employers and Employees
The HR department can help build lasting positive relationships between their employees and employers in the following ways:
Conducting surveys to understand the relationship between employees and their employers
The first step to helping build strong positive relations is to know what to focus on. A common adage in organizations is: people leave managers, not companies. Many factors play a role in things like high employee turnover and low engagement, but management plays a huge role.
HR can conduct surveys on employees and employers to understand their perceptions. They can ask questions such as:
- Do you think your manager cares about you as a human being?
- Does your manager set realistic targets and deadlines?
- Do you receive constructive feedback?
- Does your employer handle disagreements professionally?
- Do you receive recognition?
- Does your manager treat everyone on the team fairly?
A well-designed survey can reveal a lot of information about employer employee relationships that HR can use to improve the workplace. It also boosts employee satisfaction by making your workforce feel valued and cared for. High employee satisfaction enhances loyalty and strengthens the overall relationship between the employees and the organization.
Encouraging 1-1 meetings
In the current work environment of remote and hybrid workers who rely on digital communication, it is not unheard of for employers to never speak to their employees 1-1, whether physically or digitally.
The HR manager should encourage employers and managers to regularly hold one-on-one meetings with each employee. If possible, it should be in person. If not, it should be remote. During the 1-1 meeting, the employer can discuss anything from concerns to issues and new ideas.
But the meeting could go either way: it could build the relationship or destroy it. To ensure the meeting goes positively, HR should guide management on how to handle the meeting.
For example, they could prepare a list of points to discuss in the meeting and pick the best with the employee or employer. HR should also direct the employer to open their mind, be rational, actively listen, and be constructive in their feedback. This 1-1 meeting cheat sheet has all the details HR managers need to make 1-1 meetings more productive.
When the employees feel the employer is accepting, it builds trust and strengthens relationships.
Transparency is the workplace philosophy of sharing information freely to benefit the organization and its people.
Like a typical husband-wife relationship, employees will find it hard to build a trusting relationship with their employers if they feel the employers are hiding things from them. The same goes for employers. They will find it hard to trust employees who aren't transparent. No matter how hard it might be, being open and honest with each other is critical for professional relationships to thrive.
HR should encourage a company culture of transparency. Workplace transparency involves open communication between employees and leadership, where leadership openly shares expectations, mistakes, feedback, setbacks, revenue, etc., and employees are committed to asking questions, feedback, challenges, and new ideas.
One of the ways HR can encourage transparency is by providing avenues for communication, such as email, Slack, or other more convenient and instant alternatives to employees. HR can also encourage the creation of an online hub that contains all the information employees need, such as mission statements, discounts, organization charts, etc.
When organizations adopt remote or hybrid work policies, some managers feel like working from home can lower productivity. They assume that employees stop working when they aren't being watched, even if they are trustworthy when working in the office. So, they turn to micromanaging and monitoring them all day. It is not uncommon to hear managers insisting on detailed status updates throughout the day or asking the employees to keep their webcam on.
But micromanaging can be detrimental to the employee, the employer, and the organization. Managers burn out, employees lose confidence in their abilities and become less empowered, and their employment relationship deteriorates. According to Forbes, 69% of employees considered changing their jobs due to micromanaging, and 36% did.
HR can discourage micromanaging by working on building trust between employees and employers, encouraging employees to communicate their progress to their employers, and helping managers understand their job descriptions, as they often don't require constant monitoring.
Encouraging feedback and recognition
HR should encourage and implement a system of regularly providing positive and negative feedback. When done constructively, feedback helps break bad habits, reinforces positive behaviour, and motivates employees. Feedback goes both ways: from the employer to the employee and the employee to the employer.
Additionally, HR should implement a system of publicly recognizing employees who have done exceptionally well. Recognition stands for the open praise and acknowledgement of an employee's achievements and behaviours.
It builds the employee-employer relationship by making the employees feel valued. HR should implement systems that recognize employees for achievements, milestones, exceeding expectations, etc.
Constructive employee feedback and recognition enhance the employee-employer relationship, which increases employee engagement, improves productivity, reinforces desired behaviour, and boosts employee retention.
Improve human resource management with Shiftbase
Relationships between bosses and employees can take time to create and develop positively, especially now that organizations are adopting a hybrid and remote workforce. Human resource departments must ensure both horizontal relationships (between employees) and vertical relationships (between employees and employers) are solid and positive so everyone can work toward the same organizational objectives.
Human resource managers should improve how they manage their data to enhance this function. It should be effortless and seamless to streamline all HR functions and activities in one place.
Shiftbase is an employee scheduling and time-tracking software that is easy to integrate with HR and payroll systems and third-party applications like Growzer, Formitable, Lightspeed, Wagestream, etc. Organizations can benefit from Shiftbase as it keeps everything connected, improving human resource management efficiency without expanding HR teams.
Try Shiftbase today to improve your organization's human resource management.