Employee Relations: Everything You Need to Know in 2020

Written by: Lesley Vos

You know that employee engagement is the key to business success. Here at TeamBuzz, we help to organize and make the process of communication with your team easier. But there is one tiny detail some managers leave out of account:

Investing in employee engagement doesn’t mean making your team happy. Do you know that only 15% of employees worldwide are truly engaged in their work? Yes, you motivate them with benefits and ask for feedback, encouraging them to share their ideas and suggestions, but this isn’t going to do the job.

What you need to do is look through a broader lens. Employee engagement through open communication and constant feedback are components of a much bigger process.

Employee relations.

Understanding this concept inside out, you’ll not only create an employee-centric organization but also be able to maintain the fair and consistent environment affecting your entire company and its business success.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  1. What is employee relations?

  2. Employee relations components

  3. Why employee relations are crucial for business success

  4. Challenges you might face in employee relations

  5. Five tactics to support employee relations in your company

So, let’s dive right in.

What Is Employee Relations?

Employee relations is the word expression used to determine the practical, physical, and emotional relationship between an employer and an employee. As a rule, it’s about the relationship between a manager and a hired talent; and, these relations can be either positive, with mutual trust and respect, or harmful, with fear and lack of understanding or transparency.

Employee relations influence the engagement and overall communication at the workplace, affecting all the business processes in the company. This aspect is the responsibility of an HR department; it’s about building and strengthening the interaction between managers and employees for better work and satisfaction of both sides.

By building positive employee relations, business organizations hope to keep employees engaged and more loyal to work. Typically, they create policies about fair salaries and other benefits for employees to maintain their work-life balance.

Also, employee relations is about preventing or resolving communication problems between workers and their management. This concept goes far beyond monetary rewards. Stellar employee relations is about recognition, constant feedback, open communication, and many other factors influencing employee engagement.

Employee relations is about fair considering employees your company’s most valuable asset, the one affecting your entire business.

Employee Relations Components

Why think of building and growing employee relations in your company? Bright as the noonday:

Your workers’ motivation, morale, and productivity (as well as their retention and profitability) depend on it by far.

So, the components of positive employee relations are as follows:


Do you know that around 60% of employees ignore your emails at work? With that in mind, how can we speak about effective communication leading to sincere engagement?

But even with all this considered, open communication is the key to positive employee relations. Your team needs to know you are here to listen to them, discuss tasks or anything else they might need, and you’re as transparent with them as possible. So your mission here is to master communication skills and organize the interaction with employees so they would want to hear from you.

Whether online or offline in the office, communication on argumentative topics helps employees feel comfortable with their manager. It builds trust, motivates them to work better, and allows them to feel the involvement in projects. On behalf of managers, it’s a way to understand the team’s mood and thoughts on what they do.


The constant feedback from managers on their employees’ work is crucial for maintaining positive employee relations. Constructive criticism and advice on where and how they can improve skills is what employees need for better engagement.

So please do your best to provide your team with feedback, tips, and guidelines they need. It may be a general chat room for common questions or weekly/monthly one-on-one communication with each team member on their personal results.

Also, feel free to use TeamBuzz to motivate employees to share ideas and suggestions with you using a “suggestion box” feature.


For positive employee relations, a company needs to show that it cares about them as people, not as 9-to-5 workers only. Invest in both professional and personal growth of your team members, and you’ll see their engagement and productivity boost.

Gym membership, remote work whenever appropriate, health care, online courses, paid time off to participate in volunteer projects, and other perks like these might be a great start.


Around 70% of employees need credit from managers to feed their motivation. Indeed, appreciation or even a mere “thank you” means a lot for nurturing employee relations. So make sure you show recognition and praise your team for inspiring them and cultivating a culture of appreciation in the company.

Why Employee Relations are Crucial for Business Success

People spend most of their time at work, with tasks, reports, co-workers, and meetings. Disputes happen, and every employee needs someone to go for advice, help to resolve conflicts, or assist with business processes. Employee relations is what creates and maintains a productive workspace, providing your team with all the resources they need for better results.

Employee relations is one of the top priorities for business today, and many companies even establish separate departments that would be responsible for providing employees with all the necessary support.

Why is it so crucial for business success?

  • Employee relations is about engagement and happiness at work, and they help to increase it. Engaged employees outperform their peers, influencing the overall profit of their companies. High employee engagement brings 21% more benefit to a business.

  • Employee relations save money on hiring and onboarding new talents. A business loses over $5,000 each time an employee leaves, so it’s better to work on employee engagement and building positive relations in the company than spend costs on hunting and teaching new workers each time the experienced ones leave you.

  • Employee relations influence the overall mood and productivity of your staff. It improves morale, reduces absenteeism, boosts motivation to work for better results, etc.

Long story short, happy and engaged employees deliver success to all business aspects: branding, marketing, sales, customer service, and more.

Challenges You Might Face in Employee Relations

Employee relations is not just about good fellowship between workers and managers. It also refers to work well-being and an employer’s efforts to create and maintain a positive work culture in the organization. Companies invest in engagement programs, retention plans, and other perks to keep their employees loyal at work.

But there’s a catch:

Every employee is an individual with his or her traits, psychological peculiarities, communication skills, and ambitions. All that makes employee relations challenging to keep on track. To succeed, make sure to manage the following challenges:

  1. Working hours and salaries. According to studies, payment is the #1 area where workers seek changes. Wages, holiday pays, overtime payments — HR departments should be ready for such questions and able to resolve all blind spots.

  2. Conflicts. Disputes happen and are inevitable among employees or between an employee and a manager. A challenge here is to manage and fairly resolve them. To minimize gossip and misunderstanding, you need to encourage open communication in the team and provide them with a channel to express all concerns.

  3. Safety at work. Accidents happen, so employees need to know what to do in case of force majeures. You need to provide them with safe equipment and safety guidelines, as well as test their knowledge regularly.

  4. Leave disputes. Employees come and go, and positive employee relations help to minimize staff turnover. But it would help if you had policies about leaves anyway: From application to disputes, make sure to organize the process correctly.

5 Tactics to Support Employee Relations in Your Company

It’s not only HR specialists who are responsible for employee relations in your company. Top managers and team leaders should also work on preventing and resolving conflicts in the workplace. Encouraging productive relationships among employees, every person in your organization helps to make it successful and profitable on the market.

Your role here is to implement some tactics that would support positive employee relations in your company. Here’s what you can do:

Promote open communication

As already stated above, communication is the key to positive employee relations. It helps to avoid confusion and stress, set clear goals, and decrease friction and misunderstanding. Communication is what helps employees understand the expectations, ask questions, clarify ideas, and know what’s going on in the company.

For better results, communication needs to come in both oral and written forms. Emails are fine, but they are quite inefficient and impersonal: Two-way communication is what works best. Regular meetings, involving employees in goal-setting, transparency — all they are must-haves for successful employee relations.

Provide positive feedback, inspire and reward employees

Feedback matters. It helps employees understand what they do and how they can improve it to do it even better. They need to hear about how well they work, as it motivates and makes them feel valued.

Say thank you, listen to their ideas and suggestions, and encourage them. Those employees who feel they have a supportive manager are 67% more engaged in work, and they are more likely to stay with you. Also, recognize and reward employees for their accomplishments: Not only it motivates them but also inspires others to work harder.

Here’s how you can easily provide feedback to your colleagues using TeamBuzz:

Focus on missions and values

Employees don’t come to your company just for salary and 9-to-5 work. Most of them want to be socially responsible, part of something bigger, and to benefit the world. So share the mission and values of your business, help employees understand that you are not about “make money and go,” and let them see a reason for why they do this job.

Sharing your goals and dreams, employees get engaged in work and feel more loyal to the organization with high aspirations.

Offer professional growth

Employee engagement and results depend on growth prospects they see in working with you. So consider the career path for all, even lower-level positions in your organization: Take advantage of employee skills and hidden talents, helping to develop them.

Offer professional training, mentorship programs, and other opportunities for employees to grow their knowledge and skills. Think of roles and positions they can take to advance in their career goals. Assisting employees with their professional development, you make them better-trained, more flexible, and more loyal to your organization.

Help them feel happy

Happy employees are more productive at work. The secret is in how our brain works: When we are in a good mood, it performs better and provides us with more creative solutions to tasks and problems.

What you can do for employees to feel happy:

  • Assign roles and tasks they do best, as no person will feel satisfied and successful when doing a job that doesn’t fit their talents.

  • Let them know you sincerely care about their well-being.

  • Make sure they do meaningful work. Nothing can disappoint a person and eliminate their motivation to complete tasks more than understanding those tasks’ pointlessness.


Happy and engaged employees are fundamental for your business success. For them to be so, you need to work on building and maintaining positive employee relations in the organization. We hope this article has helped to get a general idea about what it is and what you can do next to implement it.

Improve communication, provide positive feedback, help your employees grow professionally, share your values, inspire them… But whatever steps you choose to build employee relations, make sure you can measure their engagement and see what you can improve for better results.

By Lesley Vos, a professional copywriter and guest contributor, currently blogging at Bid4Papers, a platform that helps students and authors with writing solutions. Specializing in data research, web text writing, and content promotion, she is in love with words, non-fiction literature, and jazz.