20 Feb The Changing Landscape of Employee Relations…
There is no denying the changing face of employee relations, however many businesses are struggling to make the move and adopt a more progressive approach in this area. Gone are the days when the prevailing attitude was “you should be grateful to have a job”. Today business owners, are facing labour shortages, an ageing workforce, high attrition, ongoing absenteeism and so on. These issues, if not actively managed have a massive effect on profitability. So as an employer, what can you do?
- Recognize that what you seek in a great employee, is 90% attitude and 10% skills. Recruit accordingly or invest in a coach to support improved performance in your existing employees.
- Create connections. When money gets tight, social functions and team building exercises, are no longer deemed a priority. Consider this; team building engenders good will, improves communication and collaboration. It enhances relationships and builds ties that bind. As such, employees will want to go the extra mile. Isn’t that what you need when the going gets tough?
- Invest in development. Employees are less likely to become restless and disengaged, if they are constantly being challenged and supported to grow. Having engaged and skilled staff, improves operational efficiency and ultimately results in financial gain.
- Encourage balance. In my view, the term ‘work-life balance’ is bullshit. We have this life and it is made up of a myriad of complex relationships that overlap, interconnect, support or undermine our attitude and outlook. Health, finances, friends, family, surroundings, career – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Ergo, if your employees are happy, positive and motivated people, external of their work environment, they are more likely to be highly productive contributors within it. Ponder the merits of flexible working hours, or promote policies to give employees the ‘right to disconnect’ from technology away from the office; the options to support balance are many and varied.
I understand this all may sound like hard work and a bum deal for employers – ‘all give and no take’, but surely, it makes more sense to commit resource up front and pro-actively manage employee relations, than to be entirely reactive trying to stem an increasing tide of attrition and absenteeism.
Make the choice to be pro-active and take control of your business:
- Put in place programs to support your people to achieve.
- Remove all the excuses to fail, by providing ongoing training and development.
- Be clear about what you are trying to achieve and communicate this to your team.
- Above all else, be transparent; hold yourself and your team to account.
Finally, remember not everyone will want to be onboard your bus. For their own reasons, they will sabotage any effort you make, to enable their success. As an outcome you may need to “liberate” those, who are not in alignment with your business culture. Chances are, you are probably doing them a favour…