improve employee relations

4 steps to improve employee relations

Aiming to improve employee relations by giving employee well-being the importance it deserves is fundamental to building high-performance teams. Improving relations means aligning employee expectations with corporate objectives and providing companies with the tools to attract and retain talent by offering expert advice on employee benefits.

Improve employee relations as part of the commitment

It is perhaps challenging to expect people in our team to perform to their full potential at all times. However, improving working relationships among colleagues and between employees and the company means helping them get closer to this goal. 

It is a vision that is inevitably inspiring, in which a company’s employees feel good about themselves, each other, and the company. This enables them to give the best of their abilities to the project and encourages them to stay with the company long-term.

This is related to one key element: the relationship between the person and the organization and the bond between the employee and the company. This cannot be achieved without a balanced commitment to all those involved. 

improve employee relations

“People come first”

Many of us have heard this phrase from one of our bosses at some point. Although it seems to be taken from one of those magazines that you read on airplanes and that seem to be designed especially for managers searching for inspiration, it is not a bad phrase. However, how many of those who utter it have stopped to think about its true meaning?

We think of companies as more or less abstract entities made up of objectives, capital, headquarters, materials, a logo, a brand… This is true. But what we often forget is that companies are made up of people. 

Companies are all the things we have mentioned (a brand, a strategy, a mission), but, above all, they are the people who make them up. Unfortunately, while we repeatedly hear (or say) that the most important thing in a company is the people, it often happens that what we give most importance to is everything but the people. 

This has consequences: when we forget about people and do not put them at the forefront, it is impossible to improve employee relations because we forget the importance of team members’ well-being for the company’s success. In other words, we do not fulfill our responsibility to implement a specific strategy for caring for people, such as the emotional well-being plans for companies like the one designed by ifeel

This has severe consequences for the organization’s results. After all, employees’ physical and psychological well-being is the fundamental tool a company has to make the difference between poor productivity, good productivity, and excellent productivity. 

It can be enhanced by providing employees with different tools to take care of their emotional health, for example, by facilitating access to an online therapy service and providing HR managers with personalized advice on how best to take care of their human capital. 

Aiming to improve employee relations means making life easier for employees, not complicating it without thinking about the consequences for the company. 

What does it mean to put people first?

To improve employee relations by putting people at the forefront means considering the influence of the psychological processes that all workers have on performance and, therefore, on the progress of the company we work for. 

In other words, it means taking into account that people have thoughts, emotions, bodies, beliefs, sensations, aspirations, interests, needs, flaws, virtues… In addition, people relate to each other. But not only face to face, but we also form groups. And, above all, remember that each person establishes a special relationship with their company

The relationship between an employee and their company 

It is impossible to improve employee relations if we do not understand how they work. First of all, the relationship between an employee and their company has a process, like all relationships: we get to know each other, we flirt, we fall in love (or not), we promise each other things (more or less impossible), we commit to each other (we will have to see with what balance), we argue, we get angry, we reconcile (really or pretending). With a bit of luck, we listen to each other, take into account our needs, and take care of each other. Or, at least, we should. 

But of course, we have agreed that a company is the people who make it up. So if we talk about the relationship between an employee and their company, we are talking about the relationship between different people working together to achieve a common goal. They can work well together or make each other’s lives miserable. 

Types of work environment

Talking about the relationship between the employee and the company often leads to a topic you may be familiar with: types of the work environment. Typically we talk about the authoritarian, paternalistic, consultative, or participative environment. It depends on the amount of control and influence the employee has over their work and the company’s strategy. This dramatically influences their psychological well-being. 

However, we can get even more psychological and propose another, more straightforward classification, which also has to do with how the company makes the employee feel and, therefore, how to improve working relationships. 

This classification would divide the work environment into secure or insecure, depending on whether the employee’s bond with their company is based on security and predictability or mistrust, ambivalence or chaos. In other words, companies are concerned with fostering the psychological well-being of their employees, and companies that do not.   

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Requirements to improve employee relations

Given what we have just explained, we’ve highlighted 4 aspects that must define the relationship between employees and the company to foster the psychological well-being of the former. 

1. Provide reliability

To improve the working relationships established between a company and its employees, these relationships must be a safe and trusting space. Security comes from loyalty, coherence, and honesty, not lying to each other.

2. Enabling growth for all

The relationship between the employee and the company must be a space that allows both parties to grow. The company should not stagnate the employee but train them, provide them with the means they need to become the best possible employee, and offer them the means to care for their well-being. 

3. Structuring in a balanced way

It is impossible to improve employee relations if they are not built on fair and equitable terms. Employees and the company must give and take in a balanced way, not exploit, abuse, or force the other party’s trust. 

4. Have a good gesture

The relationship between the company and its employees must be a space of care. The essential aspects of affection are fundamental, but also the “details”: giving a little more affection than is expected, than what is expected.

improve employee relations

Creating security to improve employee relations

Of course, if the work environment is safe, the relationship between the employee and the company is where the employee wants to be, stay, and be involved. If the work environment is insecure, the employee will want to leave and be involved just about enough. 

The 4 guidelines to enhance the employee’s secure attachment to the company and therefore improve employee relations are to:

  • Take them into account: giving importance to their influence within the corporate processes
  • Validate them: receiving concrete feedback that highlights their achievements in an honest and timely manner
  • Their tasks should be meaningful: or at least in an orderly and coherent manner with job enrichment
  • To perceive work as something positive for their well-being: not as a threat to their physical and psychological vulnerability

Emotional well-being for companies

Companies that want to improve employee relations must take care of their employees’ psychological well-being, nurturing their relationship with them, giving them security, and the desire to continue growing together. If they do not know how to improve working relationships in this way, professionals in mental health in the workplace are here to help them. 

With ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies, designed by our team of expert psychologists in work well-being, each employee has a space to receive help individually. They do not receive standardized solution proposals that may not respond to their particular needs and characteristics. In addition, your HR managers will receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the mental health of their teams. That’s why it works and why they notice the change. 

Try our program now to see how it could help you. You can also visit our Resources section and browse through our podcasts, HR Guides, or Interviews with HR leaders. In addition, you can use the Psychosocial Risk Factors Template to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspection.  

If you liked this post about how to improve employee relations and you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it here, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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