“We developed our business ideas in the belief that our priority should be the people who work for the companies. If staff are motivated, then customers will be happy and stakeholders benefit through the company’s success.” –Richard Branson
Good employee relations is a significant requirement for achieving teamwork and overall corporate goals. Without it, no organization can thrive or even survive.
Since every organization is made up of people who work together to perform tasks and meet objectives, the collective behavior, efforts and accomplishments of all the individuals determine the organization’s position. Therefore, what the employees of an organization achieve is equal to what the organization achieves and vice versa.
When good relations is lacking among the employees of an organization, for instance between the managers and the people they are managing, inefficiency sets in. Managers find it difficult to drive their subordinates towards set goals, good efforts are generally wasted and progress rate is reduced. This leads to overall inefficiency and jeopardizes the organization’s ability to meets some of its timely goals. In addition to the usual constraints of cost, time, quality and scope, the organization’s projects face prolonged storming of human resources due to the new constraint of employee relations.
There is a need for managers to balance the interests of their subordinates with management demands using the organization’s values, culture and policies as their model. They must truly understand the values and culture-template of the organization and demonstrate obvious commitment by practicing them. They should stand as corporate ambassadors and hold senior and executive management accountable in this regard.
When subordinates lose confidence in their managers, it is usually because they feel betrayed. In this wise, some employees suppose or even see evidences that their bosses are self-seeking, deceptive, unethical or exhibiting eye-service. They are either not convinced that their interests are respected or do not see traits of sacrificial, committed and exemplary leadership in them.
Perhaps, this is because while management thinks in terms of figures (i.e. financial implication, cost-cutting possibilities and profit projections), other employees think about general welfare, income increment and promotion. Yet, all other factors being equal, the gap between set goals and present situation can only be bridged by motivated employees. Therefore, there is a need to continuously strike an unequal but realistic balance between the two sides.
In a business environment like Nigeria’s, where the government is still struggling to fight the problems of poor infrastructure, unreliable power supply, insecurity, unstandardized transportation networks and inadequate financial support, business development is a difficult task. This is not unconnected to why business owners and management executives in Nigeria tend to place strong emphasis on prevalent cost-cutting even when it undermines employee welfare and safety.
To promote good relations between managers and their subordinates, teams must be able to have confidence in their managers. Where necessary, employees should be helped to understand the importance of their minor roles in achieving major strategic objectives. Also, managers should champion good relations and help their subordinates see the connection between teamwork and the unit’s productivity.
In the end, if the organization’s growth continues to reflect in the lives of its employees, everyone would be eager to work together to make things better. That’s good employee relations.