What Are Employee Relations and Why Is It Important?

Employee relations and communications play a big part in employee satisfaction and engagement in any company. It’s for this reason that companies need to invest more resources into improving their employee relations through schemes and utilising an international HR system. But what are employee relations and why should HR teams be prioritising this aspect of

What are Employee Relations?

Employee relations is a term used to describe the relationship between employers and staff. Companies are always striving to become more transparent, so it’s important that communication with employees is prioritised more than ever. The key goal of an effective employee relations strategy is that the relationships and collaborative forces in the workplace are strengthened. This relies on good leadership, as this is ranked as one of the most important factors in attracting new talent and retaining employees.

Why is It Important?

There are many reasons why a good employee relationship strategy is beneficial to businesses. Firstly, studies have shown that around 90% of leaders understand the importance of employee engagement yet only 50% know how to address the issue. This is one area where employee relations can come in useful as it can help improve employee engagement. From sharing and reviewing employee expectations to encouraging open communication, providing consistent feedback and encouraging discussion, improving communications can drive engagement within the team.

Employee relations can also benefit the satisfaction and happiness of workers. Engagement is often associated with satisfaction and poor employee relations can often be one of the main causes of dissatisfaction in a business. Studies show that more than 60% of employees believe that communications by their employer can impact their job satisfaction and almost half of those surveyed didn’t think that their employers did a good job of communicating.

Productivity can also improve when a structured relations process is in place. This benefits both the individuals who will feel more engaged and happy that they’re achieving their goals, but also the business in terms of revenue and profit. If your employees know what their goals are, and the goals of the company, they will work harder towards those goals, so communication is key.

High employee turnover is one problem that many businesses face. The cost of a member of the team leaving is extremely high, in addition to it being damaging to the company’s reputation, so it’s something that employers are keen to avoid. Employee retention can be improved in a number of ways, but a strong employee relations strategy can play a crucial role.

Implementing an Employee Relations Plan

The first step towards implementing an effective employee relations plan is having clear policies that outline the company’s philosophy, rules and processes for handling employee- related matters. This will make resolving issues in the workplace much easier and more efficient.

Employee relations programmes are never one-size-fits-all, so adapting the programme to suit the needs of your business is important. From the company size to its location, the industry you work in, the culture of the company and several other factors, there’s a lot to consider when assessing and improving employee relations. However, there are a few factors that crop up in most employee relations plans:

 Helping employees to understand the mission and values of the business as a whole
 Showing staff how their job aligns with these values and how they contribute to the success of the business
 Communicating with staff on a regular basis about changes in the business, both good and bad
 Giving regular feedback so that employees know where they can improve and how they are performing at work
 Rewarding hard work and productivity


Happy employees are more productive employees, so in order to get the most out of your staff, it’s vital that you know how to manage your relationships with them. This not only builds trust and lasing employee satisfaction, but it also helps to reduce workplace conflicts and fosters a happier work culture which in turn boosts staff morale.

If your business doesn’t have an employee relations programme in place, it’s something that would be valuable to put into place. And if you do, it could well be worth assessing the successes and failures within that programme so that you can improve for greater impact.



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