What Is Employee Relationship Management?

Some feel that managing employee relationships is a process in which owners and managers make decisions and place people so that the resulting work atmosphere is efficient and profitable.
The result of successful employee relationship management should be, by traditional measures, a productive and profitable business with reasonably satisfied employees.

Beyond the goal of profitability and worker satisfaction, however, there is another level that may be reached with proper employee relationship management. This level involves employees who truly function as a team, a team that has the feeling of connection to the larger goals of the company. If employees feel they are little more than a small and rather unimportant piece in a huge puzzle, profitability may be possible in the short term. But two things often happen in this atmosphere – either the employee leaves and a new worker must be trained, or the employee is unhappy but stays. The potential for quality-control problems in this latter case should be a concern for everyone connected with the business.

One of the issues with a disconnected workforce is the lack of opportunity for creativity and innovation. Going through a day with little or no passion for the work is a sure way for employees to become disengaged from their company and the product or service.

Difficulty often arises when employees in a large corporation get no feedback from management about the workforce contribution to company goals. Even with a profitable corporation, continued disconnection from the decision-making and rewards of success leads to disengaged employees.
The mistake made by some managers at this point is one of taking a one-size-fits-all solution and placing it on the organization. But with this type of remedy employees continue to feel as if they are outside the organization, not contributing to it.

Enter the missing ingredient- enjoyment. In this case, enjoyment is a process and a result. If employees are engaged, if they are involved, they are more likely to want to come to work. Not every individual will fit into this scenario, but most will because they will want to contribute and do their work well. It doesn’t have to be a perfect world for this to happen.


The simplest way for management to accomplish this might be to lead by declaring objectives, but involving the workers in getting to that objective. It may also be good to ask for assistance in setting those objectives, before placing them on the table. Putting faith in the resource that is human talent and ability may indeed be the answer. Doing so could give a company a distinct advantage.

But why, some may ask?
 While employee relationship management looked at in this way might seem like some brand new strategy, the truth is it’s as old as just working together. This means everyone, from management down to the maintenance man who really keeps the factory or office humming. After all, properly managing the relationship of an employee to the company and to other employees may be the only way to reach the gold ring of a stress-free and profitable workplace.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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