In simple terms, Employee Relations is managing the engagement, attitude, and rapport between the organisation and its staff. Sometimes, this involves dealing with issues that arise when things go wrong. Other times it's about putting policies, procedures, and practices in place to help ensure problems don't occur in the first place.
Employee Relations is an essential part of the HR function. Done well it can make a big difference in helping managers get the best from staff. It can also help get the best from your managers too.
Part of the role within Employee Relations is managing unionised workers. If you have unions, then you should make sure that you have an HR team that is practiced at working with unions and handling matters involving labour-management issues, such as; union contract negotiations, grievances, arbitration, work stoppages, and strikes.
If you feel that perhaps your organisation could do better by engaging your staff. Maybe you are looking to increase staff productivity or have an issue with some behaviours? Do talk to us about our experience and how we might help you.