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Building Employee Relations through Communication

  Mar 28, 2013

Effective communication is essential to effective management. Many organisations are yet to realize the power of communication when it comes to handling employee relations. Previously, employee relations had been viewed as a forte of human resources, but nowadays, the communication department is left to formulate and aid the HR department in executing strategic communication in relation to employees.

Organisations mostly communicate with their employees on news and information, policy, recruitment, staff development, conditions and other announcements. In the current competitive work place, employees play a bigger role than just working for the organisation. They are also key stakeholders of the organisation as they take up other roles such as customers, members of the local community and shareholders. Communication with employees has now evolved to play a more diverse role in fostering good relations to the point that it ceases to be a simple matter of communicating on work related issues.

Good communication lays a good foundation for the success of the organisation. Poor communication creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and vacillation in the workplace. By effecting strategic communication practices in place, employees feel more motivated and committed to the organisation. It is crucial to consider the message when formulating its content as employees are likely to be concerned with what affects them. The first step in enhancing employee relations is to conduct a communication audit to find out how the staff feels, how they perceive their organisation’s culture and the way it communicates. This aids in the formulation of effective and efficient communication strategies.

To maintain positive employee relations, organisations should employ an array of tactics for employees to communicate their suggestions and apprehensions to management. This helps employees to feel more engaged with the organisation and it minimizes the chances of issues developing into crises.

The management should strive to engage with employees by meeting and talking with them. This can be achieved by using a ‘management by walking around’ style whereby management walk around the entire organisation, talking to the employees, organising social events which helps create bonds and creating employee recognition and reward systems.

Important information and decisions should be circulated amongst all concerned employees to ensure that they are all in the know. This helps to strengthen management-employee relations. Create a systematic and transparent method of communicating with employees such as newsletters, emails, bulletins and intranet.

Finally, make information manageable and not overwhelming with too much unnecessary information.

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