During the current financial climate, motivated staff are those that trust their organization to see them through the storm and therefore employee manager relations are more important than ever. If your human resources department is not proactively promoting positive feelings in this area, you will witness low employee morale and corresponding declines in both productivity and profits. There have been entire books written on exactly how to promote employee/employer relations and yet there are still some mistakes that a great number of organizations continue to make which I will now outline.
The original plan was a power point presentation, but then I decided against it due to the explanations required.
Many managers are of the belief that if level three workers are not doing their jobs properly, the answer is to create level four and onwards to infinity. Each level added puts an additional barrier between those at the bottom and those at the top and the further those at the bottom feel they are from the top the less incentive they have to trust them. It also greatly increases the difficulty involved in getting any form of communication between both parties including innovation which is likely to be stamped out at some level
Requests for input that are never put to use
I have already written in another post on this site just how important it is to involve employees in decisions. It not only leads to morale improvement but can also lead to a surprising amount of employee generated process innovations. What does not however lead to employee morale improving is creating a big song and dance about asking for their opinion and then not using any of the suggestions made.
Poor Conflict Management
There are two variations upon this mistake and each are just as damaging to employee morale. The first is obviously when conflicts are ignored in the belief that they will just go away on their own. Conflicts need to be handled and they especially need to be handled when one of the parties involved makes a complaint. Some company’s take a “boys will be boys” attitude to conflict and the result is a tense workplace and simmering resentments that go on indefinitely. An equally bad approach however is referring every single dispute. Some conflicts are born simply out of employees speaking their mind and having differing opinions. Organizations in which the slightest conflict is immediately mediated results in a significant drop in both morale and innovation. The point is that large conflicts cannot be ignored whereas smaller constructive conflicts need to be allowed to take place. Finding this balance is essential.
Poor or No Performance Management
The performance of each employee working for you must be monitored and subsequently rewarded in a consistent and documented manor. If an organization does not have a performance management system that offers explanation as to why some employees are promoted and others are not, problems will be encountered in the long term. Consider that a single employee out of a group of five in the same position is chosen for promotion. If you do not have a performance management system that is understood by all, the first problem is that morale will go down as no explanation is offered to the other four employees as to why the first employee was promoted and not them. This is a large problem in itself but when one employee begins to use the word discrimination as the unknown motive, you really will have a problem. An effective performance management system rules out the possibility of such a potentially damaging system.
Treat everything like it’s a priority/emergency
You really would be surprised just how common this sort of attitude is. The general idea is that everything that needs to be done is urgent and of grave importance. Every deadline must be met, each report hand delivered. Some managers actually believe that such behavior leads to increased productivity. Its fact however is the complete opposite as it generally just leads to employees believing that there are no real priorities, not bothering to work harder when there actually is an emergency and slowly adopting the view that management generally cannot be trusted.
In conclusion, these are the five most common mistakes that are made by management when it comes to employee/employer relations. These are frequently made in both small and large companies and they offer no advantage to either the workforce or management. Should your company be exhibiting even two of them, you may have a lot of thinking to do.