S01E26 - 10 Tips for Organizing Employee Relations Functions

Welcome to the Wild Side, a podcast that discusses the world of modern employee relations ten minutes at a time. This podcast is the last in the series curriculum for managing employee relations in global and millennial times. In this episode, host Alan Wild discusses how companies structure and manage the functions of Employee Relations. Alan is the Global Affairs Director of the HR Policy Association, the leading voice of chief human resources offices today.

With the increase in offshoring to new parts of the world, the emergence of corporate campaigns and work of the UN, NGOs, and global trade unions, the European model of employee relations went global. More and more companies started to wonder how the role should be organized and how much they should spend on the function. We began to put together advice on structuring and managing the function, irrespective of budgets, or reporting requirements. These are the top tips we have crafted for the role of Employee Relations Professionals. Remember, the ability to pick up issues and resolve them before they escalate is the true name of the employee relations game today.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Tip #1 — Visibility: Demonstrating the business impact of employee relations. [2:03]
  • Tip #2 — Trust: Developing trust between HR, the Finance Department, and the country’s General Manager are essential. [4:24]
  • Tip #3 — Annual Risk Profile: The ability to identify, explain, and quantify employee relations risk to the business in a credible way. [4:54]
  • Tip #4 — Employee Relations Plan: Plans, priorities, and anticipation of fixing problems. [7:54]
  • Tip #5 — Have an expert network. [8:51]
  • Tip #6 — Be invested personally and keep abreast of current events and company developments. [10:53]
  • Tip #7 — Have a plan based on people’s roles, needs, and expectations. [13:29]
  • Tip #8 — Communications: Sharing information with traditional as well as non-traditional workers i.e. supply chain, and gig workers. [14:29]
  • Tip #9 — Listen and respond to employees. [15:08]
  • Tip #10 — Awareness: Dealing with emerging issues early, means offering professional support, not criticism, and blame. [16:04]