What NOT To Do – A Guide to Employee Relations
A great office environment should have been placed on the Bill of Rights as something we should all be entitled to. After films like Office Space, many people are nervous about entering the formal workforce. Who can blame them–company politics are usually something that new employees perceive in the first few weeks of employment.
Many companies still don’t know how to cultivate healthy office environments, whether it’s due to lack of communication training, bad management or just a few bad apples. It’s up to companies to keep employee morale high through effective employee relations practices. Unfortunately, it’s not something that every company upholds.
If you don’t want to fall into this same category, you may want to stay away from committing these employee relations faux pas.
There should never be favorites in the workplace. Not only does it build resentment toward upper management (you), but it’s also the cause of discord within the office. Instead, treat everyone equally.
Ability to Voice Concerns – Voicing Forums
Employees need to express their opinions and concerns. When companies don’t have voicing forums, their employees can feel undervalued. That’s why you need a way to encourage employees to voice their opinions so that they have a say in company policy. Some companies send out employee engagement surveys in order to determine the best ways to handle communication in the workplace.
Lack of Communication
If you don’t talk with your employees regularly, they will end up losing respect for you. Like in every relationship, it’s essential to make yourself frequently available to communicate.
Not Trusting Employees
By not trusting your employees, you’re creating a negative work environment. Nobody likes a boss that’s always monitoring, looking over your shoulder or micro-managing. Once you learn to trust employees, you’ll be able to have a more positive work environment for everyone.
Similar to favoritism, taking sides can cause a fissure of bad sentiments within the office. You should always avoid jumping to conclusions or favoring any employee. Always consider the facts and make the best decisions you can, and always base your decisions on company policies.
Unclear Performance Expectations
Employees need to know what’s expected of so they can have a better chance of success. There’s nothing worse than having vague performance expectations. You need to outline and discuss with your employees exactly what the company standards are and some form or measurement by which to evaluate their success or they’ll lose interest, or worse, your best employees might think they are doing terribly and start looking for another job.
Hiding the Bigger Picture
Employees need to be informed of their roles within a company. They need to feel important and see themselves as vital resources. If you don’t constantly remind them of their good work, they tend to lose interest and sometimes end up producing sub-par work. You have to let your employees know how their work fits in to the company’s mission. It’s up to you as the leader/owner/founder to let them know what the connection is. Make time to tie performance conversations back to this big picture for even more success.
As upset as you may be, as the person in charge, you may never, ever, make a decision based on your feelings. Before you react to a situation, take some time to think, and calm down if you need to. A lot of managers make stupid decisions based on their emotions, so remember this next time you’re in a similar situation. You wouldn’t want to do make a bad decision that could negatively affect your customers, production or even office morale.
Ignoring the Law
Before you make big decisions, such as the termination of an employee, make sure you have justifiable causes. Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you don’t have rules and regulations. Understand that there are many laws that protect employees. Re-read the company manual or the company’s legal sections in order to make reasonable decisions that don’t break the law nor that they can expose the company to a lawsuit.
Never Rewarding or Thanking
Even if you’re a manager within a company, you know the importance of being acknowledged for your work. In fact, it’s an emotional and biological need that all people are born with. Your employees work very hard for the company, so make sure you reward or acknowledge their efforts.
Good office morale is something essential companies need in order to be successful. Having effective, employee relations can help business become the best they can be, internally (employees) and externally (customers).