Insight #6: Employee Relations

employee relations clip art

If you ever find yourself interviewing a CEO- or any person within an organization with high authority- and you ask them what the organization’s top five goals are, effective employee relations better be one of them. Better yet, for any future interviews any of you readers find yourself in, do some research on that company’s employee relations; if you dislike what you find, I highly suggest you move on to a different company. Employee relations is critical, for both the employer and the employee; it is the communication between any management and all employees. Some concerns of these discussions include workplace decisions, conflicts, and their solutions. Without this, there can’t be successful communication within an organization.

Each person is different, so the first step to being a good manager- and employee- is to understand that. For example, some people work best when they feel as if their manager is one of them, a base-level employee. They might function best under the six criteria Milton Moskowitz described as continually successful, specifically visibility and proximity of upper management employees. Having visibility and proximity of upper management is when there are minimal rank distinctions. By doing so, the company is eliminating the hierarchical separation between management and employees. However, it was specifically said that some people work best that way, not all.

Nobody likes when authority holders abuse the power they hold; but, for me, having distinctions between myself and management isn’t a bad thing. Personally, I work best- and respect its reasoning- when I know the task I need to accomplish, any specifics it might have, etc. Management has a huge role in that scenario. I respect my management and co-workers, but having the distinction of the two is necessary. If my boss gave me a task to do and my co-worker asked for help at the same time, I’m going to complete the task my boss gave me first. Upon it’s completion, I would offer my services to my co-worker. If my work environment insinuated that my boss is on the same level as my co-worker, my task completion might change- in which that could jeopardize my work and appear to higher authority that I don’t prioritize properly. Maybe that’s over-thinking it- and don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy a work environment where everyone gets along and is on the same page.. very much- but being that laid back seems too good to be true.

If an organization was trying to acquire me as an employee, showcasing the five principles of trusted communication might aid at achieving that: respect, honest feedback, recognition, voice, and encouragement. Studies have shown that incorporating these five principles into your management style is quite successful. This is the type of organization I would want to work for. To produce my best work, I need to feel appreciated. Maintaining a job or two since I was sixteen is seen in my eyes as a privilege, not a right. One has to earn a job, in most cases- unless someone knows someone and gets the job by that instead of their credentials; but essentially, they’ll have to prove they’re worthy after that. I am fortunate enough to have never been fired, always the one to walk away. The two jobs I left were because I felt there was no respect of the employees- you were just another body. If I don’t feel respected, I feel my work isn’t respected. If I feel my work isn’t respected, it will suffer, in which case that doesn’t benefit anyone. Respecting anyone- from a co-worker, to an employee, to the CEO- is an important quality for any company to have.

Honest feedback is hard for people to do, but it has to be done for an efficient workplace. I’m human, so I’m going to make mistakes. If my boss doesn’t correct me when they’re noticed, I won’t learn. Dun-da-da, we learn from our mistakes! If my mistakes aren’t pointed out to me- respectfully, of course- then I’ll continue to make them and my work will never be sufficient. The worst part, I don’t know any better because they weren’t addressed.

Recognition and encouragement go hand in hand. I don’t need praise after completing every task at my job, but the occasional “thank-you” or “good job on that report!” is always nice to hear. Without receiving any recognition, I second guess my work and value as an employee. It is important for me to know that the work I am doing is good, as well as being completed in a timely manner so that I continue to do so. If I feel encouraged, it will only improve my work ethic and results. I need to feel as though I’m a contributor to the organizations goals, because lets face it- why else would I be there?

First image displayed is credited to utmb Health’s website.

Second image displayed is credited to ShopitPress Blog.

Seitel, Fraser. The Practice of Public Relations. 11th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. Print.

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