Employee relations refers to the management of employees in an organisation. Good employee relations is important to any business; this article looks at management’s responsibilities to workers.
As a business grows, so will the need for various skilled personnels. It will therefore become necessary to hire, fire and deal with employees.
In many instances the employee / employer relationship is affected by the structure of the organisation. However, whatever structure or leadership prevails, for the business to succeed there must exist good employer / employee relationship. The following should be taken into consideration:
The business owner must be aware of the various laws governing employment of workers within the industry in which they operate, and also other relevant laws that exist within the country.
Compensation and taxes
Knowledge must be acquired having to do with calculating, deducting and paying over to government the various taxes that employers’ must be paid on employees’ behalf. You should be aware of the minimum wage that prevails, as it is illegal to pay employees below this level.
Remember that employees receive benefits from having paid taxes, such as assistance in owning a home, tax credits and tax payback. Taxes deducted from workers salaries/wages must be paid over to the relevant authorities, it is not yours to keep!
Motivation is the will to work. The employer should help to motivate the employee. A well-motivated work force can provide the following advantages:
- Better productivity – This can lead to lower unit cost of production and so enable a firm to sell its product at a lower price
- Lower levels of absenteeism as the employees are content with their working lives
- Lower levels of staff turnover – This can lower training and recruitment costs
- Improved industrial relations with trade unions
Contented workers can help to give the firm a good reputation, making it easier to recruit the best workers in the market. Motivated employees are likely to improve product quality and consumer service associated with a product.
Communication is key. Clear two-way communication should exist between employer and employees. A well-organised business will have good communication between management and workers.
Responsibilities to employees
The employees are the ones who produce the company’s products for sale or are the source of its services. The owner and managers must show respect to workers. If employees are not satisfied in their jobs then they will soon leave to seek satisfaction elsewhere.
- Salaries and wages should be commensurate with productivity, taking into consideration cost of living, inflation and other expenses such as transportation costs.
- Wage negotiations with trade unions should be a matter of give and take and decisions from management side should be carefully considered before given to trade unions.
- Rest-room facilities should be available to employees, and where feasible medical and canteen facilities.
- Adequate working conditions must be provided, for example enough ground space should be allowed between two workers so that they can work comfortably or machines placed reasonably apart.
- Employees should be properly safe-guarded against any likely industrial injuries, which would be detrimental to them.
- In order to improve performance, the immediate work environment should be kept sanitary and safe.
- Stick to agreements or verbal promises, employees will view it as unreliable if you break promises. If you can not keep an agreement, inform them and give a plausible explanation.