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Improving Employee Relations: A Guide for HR Managers

Online DegreesAugust 15, 2015

As a human resource manager, one of your key tasks is to manage employee relations within your organization. So what are these relations, and how exactly do you manage or improve them? Employee relations encompasses the overall management and well being of your organization's employees including, but not limited to, their behavior and morale. It is the common denominator in creating successful engagement initiatives, whether it be around performance management or workplace health and safety. To generate improvement in this area, and encourage employee satisfaction and productivity, follow these five key tips.


Stop sending essay length emails, and get back to the basics. Use bullet points and, when possible, pick up the phone or walk over to your colleagues to discuss information.

Career Development

Create plans that include career pathways and succession planning with both managers and staff. Institute tuition reimbursement for recognized and relevant education programs.


Ensure that your company vision is not only part of your day-to-day culture, but that your staff lives and breathes it. Share your plans, and get employees excited about the organization's future. Ask for ideas on ways to make the company more productive. A good way to do this is to narrow down the areas in which you wish to see improvement. This way, the staff has some direction with which to harness their creativity. Reward good ideas, and keep workers updated.


Employee of the month programs are a great development, as are incentives and rewards. However, they are short term behavior changers, and you must also get the fundamentals right. Ensure that each staff member knows their boundaries, what success looks like and the expectations of both their immediate manager and their team. The absence of any clear guidelines or feedback can negatively affect the advancement of positive employee relations.

Good Health

Encourage a balance between work and life. When possible, give staff some control over their schedules by offering flex time or work from home options. Stagger start and finish times to avoid peak traffic, and provide workers with an education around healthy eating, exercising and managing stress. Don't pay lip service, but rather lead by example. Encourage breaks and suggest walking meetings to get some fresh air as opposed to sitting in stuffy boardrooms. Companies can face a big cost in terms of managing absences due to stress, so ensure that you encourage managers to step in quickly to alleviate any long term problems. Employee relations are essentially all about the investment in your staff. These individuals are the key to your business success. Don't take them for granted, as your productivity and profit will suffer without them. 

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