Literally speaking employee relations consists of all those areas in Human resource Management that involves general relationship with the workforce. This may be in the form of collective or mutual agreements that leads to the formation of trade unions or through policies and procedures for employee engagement and communication.
The increased growth of workforce diversity has led to a need for continuous changes in HR practices and policies. Managing human relations has become the most difficult challenge that the managers are facing today. Conflicts within the organization, small or large have become inevitable. This can be overcome by developing sound interpersonal and conflict management skills within you.
Furthermore employee relations strategies are made in order to overcome these problems. These strategies define the objectives of the organization to manage its relationships with employee and all other organizations. These strategies are aimed at enhancing the overall quality of employee management and ensuring their participation and continuous improvement.
Establishing and maintaining harmonious relationships with employees, managers need to develop skills that focus on interpersonal communication and conflict management. In addition to this, they need to define and establish such policies and procedures that go well with the diversity of workforce. It is evident that maintaining diverse workforce and understand their psychology has been emerged as one of the biggest challenges for managers. The impact of globalization can be seen on every organization and in every part of the world.
In today’s times, it is really the toughest business for managers to deal efficiently with employees. Failing to do so can result in high attrition rate. To retain and get the maximum output from them, managers need to improve their skills such as active listening, effective communication, acceptability, adaptability, decision-making and conflict management. These are the core skills that supervisors and managers can use tactfully to resolve conflicts among employees or between employees and organization.
However developing or improving above mentioned skills does not guarantee a smooth and conflict-free working environment because conflict is the hard core truth that can not avoided fully. It is but natural to have conflicts and clashes where different people from different backgrounds and cultures come together and work. Still, we can focus on developing these skills in order to manage employee relations to the extent possible:
- Interpersonal Skills: Effective communication is an art as well science to mend spoiled relationships among employees as well as between employee and employer. This is the foundation for all the actions taken by a manager to establish and manage human relations in an organization. Working with diverse workforce, understanding their psychologies, needs and requirements requires tremendous amount of effort as well as interaction. It is the first step to break the ice and move ahead in a positive direction. It helps managers create a peaceful working environment in the organization.
- Conflict Management: Learning to manage conflicts can help managers resolve employee relations issues quickly and effectively. Listening patiently both the sides and arriving upon a decision that can satisfy both parties can help greatly. A manager should avoid jumping straight to the conclusion, making hasty decisions and boosting the ego of one party. This can lead to bigger or never ending conflict. Effective communication, efforts to reach to the truth and making right decisions are some of the qualities that a manager needs to possess to resolve the conflicts among employees forever.
Employees are the most important assets of any organization-big or small. Managing employee relations effectively can help organizations achieve their goals faster.