The Employee and Labour Relations function of the Human Resources Department is commonly associated with matters such as investigations, counselling and disciplinary actions, but that certainly is not its primary mission. This critical HR component operates between staff and management, bridging gaps that oftentimes seem inseparable to either party. Through various forms of intervention, including problem-solving, mediation, training and counselling, Labour Relations offers balanced advocacy to management and individual employees to protect their respective rights and facilitate a more harmonious work environment.
Employee relations programs are part of a human resource strategy designed to ensure the most effective use of people to accomplish the organization's mission. Employee relations programs focus on issues affecting employees, such as pay and benefits, supporting work-life balance, and safe working conditions.
One of the most effective ways for a company to ensure good employee relations is to adopt a human resource strategy that places a high value on employees as stakeholders in the business. Stakeholders are people who are committed, financially or otherwise, to a company and are affected by its success or failure. When employees are treated as more than just paid laborers, but as actual stakeholders with the power to affect outcomes, they feel more valued for the job they do.
Think about the last job you truly loved. Was it because you were treated like an important part of the team? You probably had an interest in seeing the business succeed, like a stakeholder.