Employee relations studies reveal that employees are much more satisfied when they feel their ideas for improvement are considered and even expected.

Most large companies claim to bred innovation and foster creativity. According to business authors Richard Florida and Jim Goodnight writing in the Harvard Business Review, the truth is that most ideas actually come from the top and filter downward.

light beam
light beam
Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash

The authors argue, however, that great companies work hard to invert the “innovation pyramid.” …


Too many companies craft a mission statement or repeat their “core values” with strong language that often goes, “Employees are our greatest asset.”

Unfortunately, in the world of stock buybacks and quarterly earnings fixations, employee relations suffers from a serious case of benign neglect.

business meeting with employees at a table working on note cards on a board.
business meeting with employees at a table working on note cards on a board.
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Study after study concludes that the companies that treat their employees with dignity, value their input and compensate all employees fairly reap the greatest financial rewards.

Let’s look today at a few tips for effective and earnest employee relations efforts, focusing on: discretionary effort, closing the employee satisfaction gap, anger management and building relationships.

Discretionary effort

Strong employee relations can mean improvement in discretionary effort — that is, employees’ willingness to exceed duty’s call. That greater effort produces, on average, a 20% individual performance improvement, according to the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC), which surveyed more than 50,000 employees in more than 59 organizations worldwide. …


According to Bob Nelson, who wrote 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, companies routinely mean well when trying to recognize employees, but all too often turn recognition into a negative experience.

four female employees smiling and looking at a laptop while all at a table.
four female employees smiling and looking at a laptop while all at a table.
Photo by Kylie Haulk on Unsplash

Some common recognition mistakes:

  • Not customizing recognition to the individual employee — Employees have different recognition needs. Not everyone wants a cake, a plaque and a speech. Some people want recognition that is more private and one-to-one.
  • Using public recognition to compensate for a poor relationship with an employee — Some managers and supervisors believe that recognition can solve all relationship ills. …

About

Frank Racioppi

Author of the book Stop For My School Bus…Or Else. Writes Health News In Five Minutes, Make A Connection, Podcast Reports and Podcast Previews on Medium.

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