5 Employee Relations Issues And How To Handle Them

Employee relations are all workplace aspects involving how an employer or manager relates to their employees. Looking at things logically, a regular employee usually spends so much time at work on top of the average a 40-hour workweek. Therefore, for an organization to succeed there needs to be harmony between its employees and management personnel. 

Employee relations aim at strengthening the company’s relationship with each employee as well as the entire team collectively. Instead of an organization viewing employees as mere laborers who offer services for money, they should view them as contributors. However, they’re people who dedicate their time, effort, and energy to make an organization reach its goals.

Though management may do their best to keep the peace and order in the workplace, organizations may still face different employee relation issues from time to time. Look at five of some of the most common conflicts to know how an organization can handle them effectively.

1. Effective Conflict Management 

Regardless of the industry you belong to, conflicts are bound to happen as long as there’s more than one person involved. They can arise between managers and team members or amongst colleagues. Sometimes, employees could be having problems with some of the company’s culture. Either way, the organization should have a way to manage these conflicts.

Among the things the management could do is having a written handbook that employees can refer to when they don’t know how to act during a given situation. When you have everyone following the same guidelines, conflicts may be reduced. On many occasions, conflicts usually arise when some employees don’t seem to follow the rules, especially if they haven’t been spelled out openly prior.

Also, create an environment where employees can speak freely about their concerns without fear of judgment or discrimination. If the latter happens, click hereOpens in a new tab. to find out who your company lawyers could be fighting in an employment discrimination lawsuit. Open communication can help make everything clearer that’d eventually lead to reduced misunderstandings and bad workplace politics.

This helps the management know exactly what difficulties employees may face that can arise to conflicts. They can then manage the situation before the issue gets out of hand.

2. Time And Attendance Concerns

Employees may sometimes have issues with the amount of time they work, while some could be perpetual latecomers and absentee workers. Employee attendance goes hand in hand with their productivity and performance. When one person is always tardy, other employees need to work more to cover for the other’s lapses. This can leave them demoralized if they feel that the company isn’t taking any steps to remedy the situation.

Here, strict attendance policies need to be set and enforced company-wide to improve efficiency and productivity. The company can invest in clocking in devices or time tracking software programs to ensure punctuality and productivity. This gives the human resource and management teams to have verifiable information on employee attendance and hours worked.

3. Adequate Safety At Work

Accidents can occur anytime, but employers should ensure they’ve taken preventive measures to mitigate the risks present. Promoting safety for employees at work should be a priority in every organization. Have signs and labels for directions and warnings. Ensure that all safety equipment such as fire extinguishers is put in place. Undertake regular training on safety and bring professionals to educate employees and share safety tips that may help them be safe at work.

Create and enforce a safety policy that includes overtime rules so that some employees don’t overwork themselves making them fatigued and prone to accidents at work. It also helps to give employees small breaks within the shift to re-energize and help them to stay focused.

If your employees feel unsafe at work, they can hate their work or absconding duties altogether. But, if an employee suffers an injury at the work premises, the organization will have to compensate the employee for it. So, keeping the workplace safe is a win-win for each party.

4. Wages, Pay Raises, And Benefits Issues

The reason people work is to get paid. But that’s not all; they always want to feel adequately compensated. Employees often compare their pay with team members who are on the same level as they are. They want to know why one employee received a pay raise and not them. They also analyze holiday and overtime payments to check for underpayment.

Failing to address compensation package issues can lead to disputes with employees. Worse still, others may sue the company for unequal pay. The first thing is to ensure that each employee’s pay grade aligns with their job. Ensure that the company has a compensation policy and pay guidelines for each level of employee. Everyone on the same level should earn the same basic salary or wage. Also, have a procedure for a periodic employee evaluation reviewOpens in a new tab. to know when one stands a chance for a possible salary increase.

This issue should be sorted right at the employee onboarding stage when you can let the employee know what and how you arrived at that amount. It gives an employee a clear understanding of what they should expect as compensation for their services. Without this, you can expect low employee retention rates.

5. Annual Leave Disputes

Each employee is entitled to annual leave, which is important for employees to recharge their energies. However, each company has its guidelines, but they should be in line with the federal and state labor laws.  Be transparent about the leave entitlement and the application process.

Some employees may feel victimized if they’re denied leave, while others take their days off without any issues. This can create tension, a sense of unfairness, divisions, and conflict at the workplace.

There are different leave attendance software programs that can help schedule employee annual leave to avoid overlaps and manage the leave calendar. Mangers should stick to the policy when approving annual leave and apply the rules consistently across the board.

Benefits Of Good Employee Relations

When an organization cultivates good employee relations, there are great benefits for the company and employeesOpens in a new tab. alike. Here are some of them:

• Employee loyalty

An employee who feels like part of the company is loyal and is bound to stay longer. Dissatisfied employees never think twice about leaving the company. A high employee turnover can be costly besides wasting time and resources hiring and training new staff regularly.

• Fewer workplace conflicts

Creating a good relationship with your employees is crucial to ensuring that employees are focused on their work and make impartial decisions regarding the workplace. This keeps the chances of conflicts low.

• Employee motivation

Good relations with your employees motivate them to be better employees in terms of productivity. Recognize when they give their best and reward them accordingly.

• Employee advocacy

As an employer, you want to improve your brand awareness and visibility. When you have good employee relations, you can easily tap into their social connections to advocate for your brand, products, and services. You’ll need to make your employees feel like part of the brand.


Ultimately, employees want to be seen and heard, and the most crucial part in resolving employee relation issues lies in engaging in effective communication. There should be procedures and processes in place to tackle the common issues. Ensure to have a written policy that every employee is aware of and be consistent when enforcing it. Be transparent when dealing with employee issues so that no one feels sidelined.

Besides, relating well with your employees benefits both parties. The employee is happy, satisfied, and motivated while the employer minimizes employee issues and benefits from employee productivity and loyalty.

Steve Todd

Steve Todd, founder of Open Sourced Workplace and is a recognized thought leader in workplace strategy and the future of work. With a passion for work from anywhere, Steve has successfully implemented transformative strategies that enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Through Open Sourced Workplace, he fosters collaboration among HR, facilities management, technology, and real estate professionals, providing valuable insights and resources. As a speaker and contributor to various publications, Steve remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of workplace innovation, helping organizations thrive in today's dynamic work environment.

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