In today’s highly competitive, globalized market, with so many options available to prospective employees, especially younger ones, there has been a shift in the way employers have had to think of and engage with their workforce. This is especially true when taking into account the somewhat fickle millennial workforce, for whom satisfaction, engagement, and work–life balance are often equally important to salary and benefits. Work-from-home availability, BYOD policies, and benefits and vacation policies are often as important as salary to this segment of the work force.
Thus, there is an ever-increasing need to track employee engagement and satisfaction levels and keep employees happy, and the vast majority of organizations are putting time, effort, and money into employee relations like never before, and gearing specific programs and initiatives for the different types and generations of workers they employ. Employee relations is of import not just to keep attrition rates low or to retain employees but also has a part to play when attracting new talent and new employees. It is not unusual in today’s professional scenario for prospective employees to pose questions related to employee relations initiatives and policies when considering whether they want to be part of an organization. Organizational culture is an increasingly important consideration, especially amongst the younger workforce.
The key elements of employee relations revolve around two facets—employees’ relationships with one another and the employee–employer relationship. Happier, more engaged employees mean better productivity and the smoother functioning and operations of the business and thus, the company’s overall performance, standing, and bottom line. Keeping this in mind, it behooves organizations to strive for a harmonious environment, where teams function smoothly and in sync to a great extent, and where they feel happy and look forward to coming in to work rather than dreading their workplace and interactions with colleagues and managers. Strife, discontentment, and low morale are all essential to avoid or nip in the bud, for the health and longevity of the organization. This can be facilitated by having appropriate employee relations policies in place to ensure that employees are engaged, interacting, and have open dialogue between one another and across teams. In addition, employees must be made to feel comfortable, recognized for their contributions, valued by the organization, as well as by team members and management and those in positions of authority, that is to say, superiors within the organization.