A relationship is characterized by the way two individuals or groups of people view and behave toward each other. An employer/employee relationship, then, is the way an employer (either an individual or an entity) and employees view and treat one another in a work setting.
From the moment a person signs his or her employment contract, a relationship starts to develop between that employee and their employer. The nature of that relationship depends on many factors, which vary from organization to organization, including the work environment and the nature of the industry. Given the fact that employees spend so many of their waking hours at work, often in close proximity with each other and with their employer, relationships of one kind or another are bound to form.
The Importance of the Employer-Employee Relationship
The relationship between employer and employee is primarily determined by the actions and attitudes of the employer. For instance, the employer generally sets the tone for whether the climate in the work environment will be casual, professional, regimented, creative, etc. The atmosphere that the employer desires to create will, therefore, determine whether the employer/employee relationships are healthy and productive.
Whichever direction the employer chooses to take things, however, the importance of the employer-employee relationship cannot be overstated, as that relationship largely defines the organization and has far-reaching effects on company culture, employee satisfaction, and turnover rates.
According to Nesco Resource, “When employees have a strong, healthy relationship with their employers, the entire company benefits. Studies show that employees who have mutually respectful relationships with their employers are more likely to be happy, loyal, and productive in the long-run.”
6 Elements for Building A Strong Employer/Employee Relationship
1. Be Authentic
Be authentic and genuine. In other words, don’t pretend you mean something you say when you don’t. People are smart—they can see through employers who claim to care about their people but who provide unsafe or unpleasant working conditions or set unreasonable expectations.
Make sure your actions match your words. You’ll build the relationship between yourself as an employer and your employees on a solid foundation of trust if your teams know that you’re as good as your word.
2. Provide Adequate Training
Set your employees up to succeed. Most students remember at least one situation when they were given a test that they could swear included material which was never covered. That experience likely didn’t sit well with the student.
That is precisely how your employees feel if they’re thrown into a new job (or are assigned a new project) for which they don’t feel adequately prepared. It’s essential for the employer-employee relationship that you provide adequate training (both general and personalized) for your people, whether they’re just starting their employment with you or you’re giving them new instructions and responsibilities.
One way to ensure your company is ready to provide adequate training is to train yourselves thoroughly. Corporate training is available to unlock your team’s potential and navigate your unique digital transformation and skills gap.
3. Set Clear Expectations
Everyone functions better when they know what’s expected of them. From productivity to the office dress code, to the rules governing workplace romances, make sure your people understand the expectations, and they’ll be more apt to deliver. This will only enhance the employer/employee relationship in both directions.
Set clear expectations with thorough and personalized training. You should ensure that you have a well-written and comprehensive employee handbook that’s consistently reviewed.
4. Be Flexible
One of the most essential elements for a good relationship between employers and employees is flexibility. A healthy work/life balance is essential to achieve employee satisfaction and retention. Helping your people achieve that balance will almost certainly require flexibility on your part regarding things such as hours, shifts, time off, remote work, and adapting to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.
Perhaps nothing else will bring home to your people the importance you place on the employer-employee relationship as much as your ability to adjust, adapt, and work with them to find the best ways to meet both of your needs.
5. Be Consistent
Whatever boundaries you set, policies you adopt, and rules you enforce, always be consistent. All people value equity in life, and they certainly expect it in their business dealings.
Everyone needs to be aware of and abide by the same policies and procedures, and therefore should know that they’re all being held to the same standards at every level in the company, from interns to the CEO. Consistency is pivotal in the employer/employee relationship because it builds confidence and trust.
6. Reach the Millennial Generation
Today, more than ever, it’s critical to engage with and retain Millennials. How do you do that?
It’s important to understand the engagement drivers within your organization, and appropriate targets and goals for the engagement strategy should be carefully designed.
Regular employee satisfaction monitoring, understanding the effectiveness of your engagement efforts, and open and transparent communication will help win over this generation. Millennials believe in continuous learning and self-development, so you should offer them opportunities to reskill and upskill whenever possible.
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