Effective relationship management is at the core of everything successful businesses do. If a company can establish a great working relationship with its employees, the result is more productivity, greater employee retention, and a winning culture where everyone is in lockstep and focused on accomplishing the goals of the business.
While establishing a great corporate culture occurs from the top down, effective employee relationship management falls squarely on the HR department in most cases. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how HR specialists can effectively manage employee relationships to elevate company culture while maximizing productivity.
What is Employee Relationship Management
Employee relationship management is an umbrella term that captures every relationship that occurs inside your building. This includes relationships between co-workers, managers, and subordinates. Employee relationship management begins when a new hire is brought into the company, through to the day they leave.
Employee relationship management (ERM) can also refer to the software tools that businesses use to manage employee interactions and relationships more effectively.
Why Your Business Needs to Focus on Maximizing ERM
Many businesses fail to prioritize relationship management because they believe they’re already doing an adequate job managing communication. The truth is, every business stands to benefit from streamlining and improving their employee relationship management processes.
Here are some eyebrow-raising facts that underscore the importance of ERM.
- Three out of five employees feel stress all or most of the time at work
- Highly engaged teams are 21 percent more profitable
- Nearly nine of ten HR specialists believe ongoing feedback and check-ins are critical to employee success
- Employees who feel like their voice matters at work are almost five times more likely to deliver their best work
- Disengaged employees cost American companies over $550 billion each year
Smart Tips for Improving Employee Relationship
Renewing your focus on ERM can pay serious dividends for any company. Considering that the cost of employee turnover can be as much as 200 percent of that employee’s annual salary, it pays to invest in relationship management. Here are some ways your business can make a renewed investment in ERM today.
Encourage Dialogue and Open Clear Lines of Communication
One of the best ways to establish a winning company culture is to make strong communication the bedrock of everything you do.
With strong communication, you’ll be able to avoid stress and confusion among employees, which is a significant detriment to workplace culture. Effective communication also helps remove the barriers between management and employees, so everyone is on the same comfortable playing field.
Create processes that allow employees to discuss issues they’re having and resolve conflicts. Your employees need to feel that they can freely express themselves on matters of the workplace without worry about how it will affect their position.
One of the most essential tenets of strong communication systems is employees’ ability to have their pressing questions answered. Your staff should be able to clarify expectations, sound off on ideas, and have resources at their fingertips that empower them to answer their own questions when possible.
Engage Your Employees in Setting Goals
Show your employees you value their input by enlisting their help when you develop company goals. Most companies hand goals down from upper management and then expect their employees to achieve them. This method does nothing to engage employees, and they end up feeling like cogs in a machine instead of valued contributors to the process.
Your team is full of bright minds who have valuable insight and ideas they can bring to the table, and that insight represents a valuable resource that your company can tap into.
Take Google, for example, they allow their employees to set the company’s quarterly goals, and this practice will enable them to continue to innovate and develop outstanding products. The Google search engine and Gmail are both products of employee goal setting.
Establish a Healthy Work-Life Balance
We pour ourselves into our work every day, and it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that outside of the office, your employees have their own lives which need to take precedence over what they do for a living.
Employees who don’t feel they have the support of their company are less likely to stick around for the long haul, and it’s safe to assume you won’t be getting their best work during the time with the company. But, employees who feel that their employer genuinely has their back tend to go the extra mile.
One way employers can show they care is to offer benefits that help facilitate a better work-life balance, like flexible work schedules, more paid time off, work from home opportunities, and quality health benefits.
Offering substantial benefits that emphasize work-life balance is especially critical in industries where hiring is hugely competitive. Say you’re wondering how to hire a CSS developer, you’ll need to create an attractive benefits package in line with what other businesses are offering.
Letting your employees know that you care about their work/life balance is about more than just fringe benefits. The way that management communicates with employees when dealing with personal issues can also make a huge difference. Train managers to empathize with employees, and make every effort to make reasonable accommodations for them when necessary.
Most employees love opportunities to work from home, but it’s important to remember that this is very different from taking work home with you. Any work from home considerations you make should allow the employee to work a standard shift, not a bunch of unpaid overtime.
Instill Your Mission in Your Employees
Your employees want to feel that they’re a part of something larger and more impactful, and this is especially true of younger employees. Values like social responsibility and charity are especially important to young professionals, and they want to contribute to companies that share these values.
These feelings represent a massive opportunity for your company. Show your employees how your mission and vision align with theirs, and it will renew their passion and sense of belonging within your company.
While every business aims to be profitable, no one starts a company for the sole purpose of making money. People start businesses because they are passionate about filling a need for their customers, and this is something you should communicate with your employees.
Drive home core values like honesty, quality, and service and emphasize how your employees allow you to stay true to those values. You’ll strengthen your workplace culture while motivating your employees to continue to put their best foot forward.
Show Your Employees That They’re Valued
While criticism can be critical to improving your employee’s quality of work, you’ll always motivate them by emphasizing their achievements or by being grateful for their work. Take time to show appreciation for a job well done, because it’s far more motivating than criticism.
Instead of dwelling on mistakes, focus on what the employee is doing right before providing criticism. Thank your employees for the things they’re doing right, show appreciation for employees at meetings, and let your employees know that you value their contributions.
Another easy way to show how much you value your employees is to reward a job well done. Incentives are a great way to motivate employee performance. Still, you should also consider providing impromptu rewards for the instances where employees go above and beyond and deserve to be recognized for their contributions.
Invest in Career Development
Every employee at your company can benefit from a career development path. Career development is a win-win on many levels. For employees, it shows that you value them and are invested in their future at your company. For employers, it allows you to identify and develop talented employees, saving you hiring costs while reducing employee turnover in the process.
You should also take the time to consider the unique skills that your employees bring to the table. Is there a way for you to leverage those skills to the company’s benefit? Where possible, adjust employees’ roles to maximize their value to the company, while also helping the employee feel like they’re contributing more to the company.
Invest in ERP Software to Make the Process of Relationship Management Easier
Specialized software for HR professionals, such as an ERM platform can make it much easier to manage communication and relationships across your entire organization effectively.
Choosing the right mix of software platforms will help your company reduce redundant tasks that bog down every employee’s workday while also empowering your employees to answer their own questions without the help of management or HR.
Tasks like timesheet and payroll management, requesting time off, or compliance management can all be handled from a single software suite, streamlining the amount of time it takes each member of your team to do their jobs.
Author bio: Romy Catauta works in the marketing field and is passionate about writing on remote work, web design, business, and psychology.
Employee relationship management is a critical component of HR, and companies that optimize the relationships that exist within the company are poised for success this year and beyond.
By effectively managing every employee relationship, businesses can cultivate a winning culture that inspires employees to put their best effort forward in everything they do. The tips above are an ideal place to start if you’re looking to make investments in employee relationship management.
To further develop your team, check out TeamBonding’s professional development workshops, training programs, or other team building programs to build your team!