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Employees form a vital part of an organization and are responsible for its growth. There is a complementary relationship between the business and its employees. To maintain this, paying attention to employee relationship management is essential.

This relationship management can come from regular check-in meetings between the employee and the manager, employee engagement, transparent communication, and similar nuances. A study by Gallup has suggested that when managers hold one-on-one meetings with their employees and have regular check-ins, they are most likely to be engaged in the workplace.

In addition, 54% of employees who believe they can approach their managers are engaged. In this blog, you will learn some critical strategies for the same.

What is employee relationship management?

Managing the vertical and horizontal relationships in an organization is employee relationship management. While the vertical relationship is between the employees and the managers/top management, the horizontal relationship is between the employees.

Employees should be able to communicate freely without any hesitation to maintain a positive work atmosphere.

Why is employee relationship management important?

Some of the reasons you should pay attention to employee relationship management are listed below:

1. Improves productivity

Maintaining healthy relationships in an organization builds a better work environment. This may be between members of a team, manager and subordinate, between departments, etc.

When employees are happy at work, they contribute better. This helps the business grow well. Employees with strained relations lack the motivation to work, impacting productivity greatly.

2. Improves employee loyalty

Loyal employees are a blessing to an organization. Employees will be loyal only if the organization shows a genuine interest in their welfare. Employee relationship management is one of the factors that can contribute to loyalty.

When the organization nurtures employee relationships by adopting proper strategies, it will motivate them to stay loyal and continue for a long time.

3. Promotes harmony by reducing conflicts

Harmony among team members and also between different departments is highly imperative for the smooth running of a business. There should be proper understanding and coordination so that everyone works toward the common goal of the business.

Adopting employee relationship management strategies reduces friction and improves teamwork. This ultimately leads to improved productivity.

4. Reduces employee turnover

When employees do not have good relationships at the workplace, it leads to absenteeism and gradually, an increased turnover. Huge employee turnover costs a lot to an organization.

Through proper employee relationship management, an organization can improve the satisfaction level of employees. This helps in retaining them for a long time.

8 Employee relationship management strategies

Here are some strategies you could adopt to maintain better relationships in your organization:

1. Offer regular feedback

You can establish better engagement with the employees by offering regular feedback. Employees are happy to be recognized for their efforts. This boosts their morale and helps them be more productive.  A Harvard Business Review poll has shown that 57% of employees prefer corrective feedback from their managers and peers, while 43% seek praise or recognition.

Feedback is one way a manager can maintain regular communication with subordinates. The feedback must be consistent, fair, contextual, and tactful. This gives the employees more meaning and improves the relationship between the manager and the subordinates.

2. Promote transparency in communication

Communication should be transparent to build trust and relationship in the workplace. They should not feel left out. Transparency in the workplace gives more confidence to the employees. This helps them contribute more since they feel they are valued.

A Gallup survey has found that managers who focus on and emphasize an employee’s strengths and positive characteristics can drive 67% of employees to feel engaged. In comparison, 31% of employees seek out their weaknesses to improve their approach upon which they build the foundation of engagement.

There should not be any hidden agenda in performance reviews or feedback etc. This can lead to discontentment among the employees and spoil the relationships. Care should be taken so that there is no bias in communication. Bias can make team members hostile, and this will impact productivity negatively.

3. Recognize diversity

Respecting and recognizing diversity is one important strategy to improve employee relationships. This makes all employees feel included. It creates a sense of togetherness in the team, where everyone works toward achieving a common goal.

Encouraging diversity improves the work culture and motivates people to stay. It brings down negativity by reducing conflicts and helps increase productivity. This is possible with open communication from the top management.

4. Offer opportunities for career growth

Every employee is interested in moving upward on the career ladder. The organization should provide opportunities that assist them in this process. Many employees like to take up challenging roles to add value to their experience.  A Harvard Business Review article has substantiated that managers are twice as likely to engage their employees while helping them develop their skills.

Organizations can encourage employees by assigning them higher roles or offering exciting tasks. Organizations should try to tap the unused talents of employees. This can be a win-win for both employees and the business. Frequent training sessions and mentorship under an experienced senior member are other ways to help career growth.

5. Develop a proper rewards and recognition system

What could be a better way to encourage employees than rewards? You should have a proper rewards system in place, that will motivate employees toward better performance.

A good rewards system should be timely, consistent, fair, and flexible. Also, automation of the rewards system plays a great role in keeping it functional. Rewards are disbursed on every important occasion without any need for manual reminders and make the employee’s day memorable.

6. Promote work-life balance

Work-life balance is the most talked about in most organizations. Many miss out on this, only to have dissatisfied employees. When work-life balance suffers, employee productivity reduces.

Organizations should support employees by providing paid holidays, flexible work hours, opportunities to work from home, offering medical support to employees’ families, etc. Maintaining a healthy balance between work and life reduces stress and motivates the employees. It improves their engagement with the organization.

7. Encourage innovation

Many employees are enthusiastic and wish to introduce innovation in their work. Organizations should be flexible to encourage innovation as long as it is aligned with the goals.

Being rigid hampers employee commitment and adversely affects productivity. When employees are happy, it helps maintain healthy relationships in the organization.

8. Encourage participation in decision-making

Employees should also be a part of decision-making. They shouldn’t be kept in the shadows while the top management takes all the policy decisions. Consulting employees and requesting their feedback will create a congenial work environment. Management should consider aspects that are a hurdle to the employees and seek responses to eliminate them.

Employees feel valued when their voice is also heard. It boosts their morale and strengthens the relationships in the organization.

Wrapping up

Employee relationship management is a skill to be practiced in every organization. Satisfied employees are an asset to an enterprise. Their contribution toward the growth of the organization is vital.

The above-listed tips can help establish better relationships and provide the impetus for the growth of an organization. Follow them in your organization too, to have a delighted bunch of employees.

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