Employee relations issues: A make-or-break for employee experience
Est. Read Time: 3 min.
Most of us now know that the employee experience is more than just benefits, vacation policies and catered lunches. It’s about putting your people first and providing great service to them when it matters most. But those moments aren’t only the happy work life events, such as onboarding, having a baby, or an internal transfer or promotion. It’s equally as important to support employees and managers through the (hopefully) rare occasions that require disciplinary action or Employee Relations (ER) involvement.
Below, we’ll discuss how technology can ease these delicate situations that require ER intervention, whether it be a conflict management issue, hour and wage issue, or even a sexual harassment complaint.
Give options for communicating employee relations issues
A lot of factors influence how employees around the world prefer to raise a potential ER issue with HR. These factors include employee personality, the type and severity of issue, cultural norms, and whether they have access to an on-site HR representative. That’s why it’s important to provide your entire workforce with the ability to communicate with HR through their channel of choice.
The idea of meeting your employees where they are—whether that be in person, through a kiosk on a manufacturing floor, in an email, over the phone, or through a case management solution—empowers your employees to connect with you in the way that's most comfortable to them. Offering employees a variety of communication channels increases the chance that they raise potentially serious issues in the first place.
Ensure that HR can take swift action
Though it’s a start, just giving your employees the means to contact you isn’t enough. They need to feel assured that their case will be taken seriously. We know many HR requests and questions cannot be immediately resolved. They often require multiple stakeholders, research, documentation, and a lot of other work behind the scenes. Employee relations issues are certainly no exception. But, automating your processes so that employees are immediately notified that their case has been routed to a special ER team can make a huge difference in ensuring your employees feel heard and confident that their case is in the right hands.
Use data to get in front of potential issues
It’s important to effectively manage ER issues when they come in, but it’s even more important to stop them in their tracks before they happen. You don’t want an outdated, manual disciplinary action process to cost you the culture you worked so hard to build and promote.
By leveraging data to understand which articles in your knowledge base employees are viewing and what requests are coming in, you can start to spot recurring problems and try to get in front of them. You can then use that information to promote specific learning or cultural initiatives to improve the overall employee experience and reduce the number of ER issues.
And don’t forget about compliance! An audit trail of the full case history will help you meet external requirements to prove compliance and properly defend your employees in case of litigation.
Find out how technology can help HR effectively manage employee relations issues along with other critical HR processes in your organization. Check out the eBook, The Key to Strategic HR: Process Automation.
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About Shane McCarthy
Shane McCarthy is a global Product Marketer at PeopleDoc, Inc. He writes and speaks about HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Shane worked as a marketing strategist for a leading maritime software company. Shane holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. He loves his New York sports teams, even if they don't love him back most of the time.