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5 Ways To Improve Your Employee Relations

Strong employee relations play an irreplaceable role in an organisation’s employee engagement strategy. Learn more.

Healthy and positive relationships between employees and managers have an undeniable impact on an employee’s overall engagement and experience at work, impacting their performance, productivity and team bond. 

Often defined as the emotional commitment that employees have towards their work, engagement is a key stake in organisational success. While employee engagement encompasses a range of factors—from compensation and recognition to career advancement opportunities—relations constitute a fundamental aspect of the whole picture.  

With 75% noting that interacting with their immediate boss is the most stressful part of their jobs, embedding quality workplace relations is integral to organisational performance. Coupled with the post-pandemic climate where hybrid workplace models are commonplace, managing daily interactions with managers is an added challenge. This explains the uptake of new technology and skills as a necessary move to keep pace with the global market.   

1. Make it personal

As a manager, personalising relationships is fundamental to building better employee relations. Get to know your employees one-on-one, with the intent to understand and appreciate their abilities, aspirations, and preferred working styles. 

As part of the 12 New Rules of Engagement, a BI WORLDWIDE framework for employee engagement relevant for present day concerns, we recommend that managers develop unique relationships with employees in order to build trust. Nurture collaboration, make time for coaching moments and help your employees navigate the workplace. These actions can help instil a sense of commitment to their professional growth.

2. Open up room for dialogue 

Creating room for dialogue gives you the opportunity to encourage feedback, suggestions, and ideas from your employees. Demonstrate a level of trust by going a step further and implement some of their suggestions. In these dialogues, managers can receive feedback in an environment that is safe for both parties. A risk-free environment is where employees can expand on creative problem-solving and ideation as well. 

Exemplify the commitment to open dialogue by encouraging employees and leaders alike to admit mistakes openly and share feedback without fear of consequences. The 12 New Rules of Engagement advocates being boldly transparent, listening to your employees with an open mind and incorporating  their ideas to shape the team’s  vision for the future. Cultivating openness builds a culture where growth is valued and employees are heard, which motivates your employees to put their best foot forward. 

2. Encourage work-life balance 

According to a report by Deloitte, 77% of employees have experienced burnout, signifying a poor work-life balance. Recognising that a healthy work-life balance is essential to many, even replacing a paycheck for some, managers can nurture positive relations by paying heed to this value. 

Put this into practice when you lead by example. Understand that your employees have commitments beyond work, from caregiving duties to personal development. Ensure that your employees take time off from work, demarcate clear boundaries in a professional manner, and be flexible when necessary. Solidify this principle by doing the same for yourself. 

4. Provide opportunities for advancement 

Another way to strengthen employee relations is to take their development further by offering opportunities to grow and expand in their roles. Employees want to feel like their growth is valued and being looked out for. 

Because advancement goals can look different from employee to employee, there is a need to set tailored development plans and adjust quarterly goals to help them achieve their objectives. From sending employees for training programmes to leading projects internally, you can put forth actionable steps that advance their career goals. 

5. Recognise employees for performance and achievements 

Expressing appreciation and commending your employees for their contributions significantly improves their commitment to doing their best work. Another recommendation by the 12 New Rules of Engagement, magnifying their success through social and public recognition makes their accomplishments visible to leaders, reinforcing their sense of belonging to the organisation. 

Reward your employees throughout the year a timely manner with the personalised merchandise and experiences through our Rewards Marketplace. Designed for high sociability, your employees will be able to involve their family and friends in selecting and planning their rewards. Positive reinforcement enables you to build deeper relationships with them, by demonstrating a level of involvement in their growth and well-being at work. 

Strengthening employee relations is an integral part of an organisation's employee engagement strategy. It is an ongoing effort to develop a method that works for each and every employee, but every bit counts. 

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