Employee Opinion Surveys
- Workplace surveys help employee relations specialists identify changes in the employee population that affect job satisfaction, motivation levels and employee morale. Employee surveys can address one or two topics when there are indications of specific workforce concerns. Extensive surveys elicit information about a variety of workplace topics, such as compensation and benefits, working conditions and effective leadership. Employee relations procedures include designing survey questions and administering the survey to ensure confidentiality and anonymity. Analyzing survey results is another function of employee relations.
- Most employers have guidelines for reporting employee complaints. The employee relations section of the human resources department is typically responsible for handling workplace investigations and dispute resolution. Employee relations specialists are trained to gather information from employees and interview witnesses who may have knowledge of the allegations. Allegations reported to human resources range from unfair employment practices to prohibited workplace conduct or complaints about working conditions. When workplace issues become formal matters handled by legal counsel, an employee relations specialist is usually the company representative who works most closely with attorneys.
Employee Recognition and Reward
- Developing recognition programs and employee rewards and incentives falls under the purview of employee relations. Monetary and performance-based rewards require collaborative work with compensation specialists, however. Employee recognition programs involve planning for award dinners, employee outings and appreciation events. Although some employee relations specialists may feel event planning is outside their area of expertise, the responsibility of creating programs that demonstrate company appreciation is an essential component of organizational success.
- Employee relations specialists play a role in developing and implementing the company's performance management system. When supervisors and managers need coaching on matters involving employee performance, an employee relations specialist is designated as the go-to person for leadership training. Supervisors and managers who encounter challenges with performance appraisals and disciplinary action consult the human resources staff member who is capable of advising them on performance issues.
- Employee relations specialists work together with human resources training staff to construct new-hire orientation. Specific portions of new-hire orientation for which an employee relations staff member is responsible are guidelines for reporting complaints, employee performance standards, discipline and attendance. In addition, many employee relations specialists lead new employee orientation sessions on workplace policies such as anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity policies, as well as such as appearance, dress code and employee conduct.