As we transition to a new decade, the evolution of the workplace has put employee relations in the spotlight. How employees and employers value one another is a key indicator of business success.
A strong relationship drives the very best behaviors and delivers better returns.
Leading companies have been making great strides in this area over the past few years - adopting mobile technology that includes their employees in internal communications and implementing policies designed to improve the employee experience.
If you’re ready to work on employee relations, and don’t know where to start, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 11 actionable ways to strengthen the bond with your workforce in 2020.
Pro Tip: Always include frontline and mobile workers in employee relations strategies. A mobile team app connects everyone and can help keep these valuable employees informed, inspired and engaged.
1) Go Digital
Having the right technology needs to be the first move you make when refocusing your strategies to put employees above numbers.
A mobile team communications app is a demonstration of trust, transparency, and inclusion.
A comprehensive Employee Experience comprises a great corporate culture combined with excellent digital technology for people to perform their work at the highest level within an appealing space.
2) Build a Centralized Employee Relations Oversight Team
As you begin to implement strategies to prioritize employees, determine the team that will oversee their implementation and track the analytics of employee feedback and engagement.
While this is ideally a team made up of HR managers, expand on this idea to create a task force that includes people from all walks of life that represent different departments for a well-rounded representation of your organization. Meet monthly to brainstorm employee motivation ideas and design strategies based on data gleaned from your digital workplace analytics dashboard.
3) Establish Complete Transparency and Open Communication
Here’s what employees want from internal communications: a voice and transparency. Create a "hive communication" within your company with your own workforce app. Give everyone access. Encourage open communication through a digital workplace and let every employee participate and contribute.
Then harvest your swarm intelligence through using polls, idea sharing, and sending clear, simple and engaging messages within group chats or newsfeeds. You choose to communicate via broadcasting (to all) or 'narrowcasting' (to a specific group) to make your organization's WHY and its common goals clear to everyone.
Transparency and communication are key strategies for driving up engagement. Employees simply appreciate being included in messaging. They feel valued as a part of the organization which results in a more loyal and higher-performing workforce.
4) Get to Know What Your Team Truly Wants
Employee satisfaction comes down to understanding what employees want and need in order for them to be happy at work. Leaders can use workplace tech, like an employee app, to get feedback with surveys to make sure employees’ needs are being met.
Create a culture that encourages employee feedback and take action on what you learn from them.
See how Beekeeper helped build a Tight-Knit Company Culture for Wireless Vision
Pro Tip: Survey your employees often to see what they need to feel happier and less stressed at work.
5) Make Work Less Stressful
There’s a reason employees take ‘mental health days’ in today’s culture. Employee burnout is real, with nearly a quarter of the workforce at their burnout breaking point.
A compounding effect is creating a lot of pressure on the collective workforce - little free time, making ends meet, raising families, work demands.
Create an environment in your company that reduces stress instead of adding to it.
Things that help employees enjoy their work:
- Friends in the company
- Agency and autonomy
- Good benefits package
- Flexible work arrangements
6) Resolve Issues Quickly
An inevitable element of employee relations is conflict resolution - from discrimination complaints to conflicts between workers. It’s essential to have a process and protocols in place to handle issues swiftly and fairly.
For conflict resolution make sure to:
- Create an environment where employees feel safe to speak up.
- Resolve issues in a timely manner to lessen the impact to workflows and productivity. Lingering issues can also lead to an air of distrust in the workplace that can spread like wildfire.
Bottom-up communication using mobile technology allows for faster identification of problems so that company culture, operational efficiency, and employee satisfaction can grow.
7) Inspire Employee Advocacy
A company’s reputation used to be built on customer experience alone. Now, more than ever, employees are predominantly shaping a company’s public profile. From WOM (word of mouth) to online reviews of employers, your workforce creates your image.
Inspire your employees to champion the brand by prioritizing the employee experience and creating an inclusive, transparent workplace. Employee advocacy does wonders for talent recruitment and employee retention strategies, important in this day and age where competition for employees is fierce.
The way you treat employees has a direct effect on how employees treat your customers. Customers vote with their feet depending on the quality of the interaction they experience with any given organisation.
Quality customer and employee interactions are, over the long run, the lifeblood of any business.
8) Give and Receive Feedback
If you do not have continuous channels for engagement and feedback, you can never stay in tune with your employees.
Create a system of checks and balances in your company by being a champion of constructive, two-way feedback.
Research is suggesting that by switching from giving feedback to asking for it, organizations can tilt their culture toward continuous improvement; smarter decision making; stronger, more resilient teams that can adapt as needed.
Through a digital workplace and in person, employees and managers can develop a back-and-forth for constant personal and operational improvement.
Your frontliners presumably have the greatest innovative ideas from interacting with customers and each other. Digitalizing them can help collect this amazing wealth of knowledge and perspectives from all corners of your organization.
If you don't ask for employee feedback, you are asking for trouble.
9) Retention Begins with Pre-boarding
When you are strategizing and brainstorming employee retention ideas, start at the beginning.
Onboarding should be an exciting time for new employees. Why do so many organizations go silent after a new hire returns their contract?
Start thinking of retention the day an employee accepts the job offer: be transparent from the get-go and tell them about what they’ll be doing and opportunities for movement within the company. Pair them with a mentor to build their work community from day one. Welcome them and make them happy to be there from the start.
10) Create a Safe Workplace for Everyone
The headlines are filled with long-overdue news stories about workplace discrimination, harassment, and abuse. It is imperative that leaders create a safe space for every single employee, from top to bottom.
Have a zero tolerance policy for any acts that make an employee uncomfortable or scared and take action immediately.
Nurture a community of respect and a culture of diversity and inclusion. Not only will your employees be happier but they’ll be more productive and innovative when they are welcome, supported, and cared for.
11) Be More Adaptable
By now, you’ve hopefully said goodbye to a strict 9-5 policy. (If you haven’t, then move this action item to the top of the list.) It’s all about flexible work arrangements now. It ties into so many other areas of employee relations, like reducing stress in the workplace, autonomy, and retention.
Let employees manage their own schedule on the employee app and coordinate with peers to build a schedule that works with their lives. As long as their work gets done and is done well, be adaptable and agile.
As we move into the third decade of the 21st Century, leaders are shifting their efforts to focus more on the well-being of their employees and their role in business success.
Incorporating workforce technology solutions with strategic initiatives can forge a partnership with employees built on trust and transparency. Make sure employee relations is on your list of New Year’s resolutions.
People are your company.
And when you involve them more, companies win.
Keen to get more ideas on how to improve your employee relations? Download our free eBook: