Employees are the driving force of any company, with their well-being directly impacting the performance of their employer. The 2017 Job Happiness Index reports that Filipinos are less satisfied with their working conditions than previously recorded, making it crucial for businesses to put employee relations at the top of their priorities.
Employee relations encompasses all interactions between employees of a company, building clear communication, trust, and transparency with the workforce and managers. This is a similar yet separate concept from employee engagement, which is the extent to which employees are passionate about their jobs and committed to their organization.
With Cebu being one of the top business hubs in the country, and hiring professionals in the region must now improve employee relations in their respective companies and foster an even better employee environment. Here are five tips to help them do just that.
1. Establish rules about company leaves
Cebuanos are proud and driven workers who enjoy having fun now and then, so they value both their time at work and out of it. Now, imagine if their leaves were denied with no explanation, or their carefully-saved leaves would not be converted to cash as promised. This can be frustrating and discouraging for employees, leading to ill feelings towards the management.
Making your leave policies clear to employees can improve relations in two ways: Firstly, this gives both workers and managers a better understanding of the system in place. Secondly, this makes leave approval and conversion processes more transparent.
Employees are better informed of what to expect and can hold their superiors accountable for not following these policies.
2. Prioritize payroll
Payday can mean many things to your Cebuano employees: money for bills, tuition for the kids, or even a treat to a good meal for themselves.
Delays or errors in the payroll can make workers feel like their hard work (and by extension, they themselves) aren’t valued by the management. These delays or errors can also make your employees question your company’s financial stability and put your business in a negative light.
To address this concern, prioritize payroll and have it done in advance to minimize any errors. Should there be any delays due to reasons beyond your control, you must inform your employees early on—provide a reason for the delay and the steps you’re taking to avoid this situation in the future.
3. Communicate openly
Whether they’re dealing with problems from within the company or struggling with personal issues, Cebuanos may not say things openly and maintain their warm nature. However, their discontent may be felt in their performance in the workplace. Gaining the trust of your employees begins at developing open communication with them.
Establishing honest communication, especially on issues that may impact their work, can make it easier for employees to be more honest. Having safe spaces where they can share their problems or workplace concerns can help with this.
It’s also crucial for managers and HR officers to work around indirect communication by watching out for cues and asking respectful yet more specific questions to prompt clear answers.
4. Provide good benefits
Most, if not all, employees work to support themselves and their families. As businesses continue to boom in Cebu, your employees may consider other job opportunities if they feel like their hard work and dedication to their current jobs aren’t being adequately rewarded.
An excellent benefits package that encompasses both needs and wants shows how your company values its talents. Education packages that cover additional certifications or offer financial support for their immediate family can be a worthwhile investment.
In addition to this, travel packages for qualified employees promote a better work-life balance while encouraging growth within the company. Subsidizing necessary expenses like meals and transportation can help ease some financial burden from your employees, allowing them to focus better on their jobs.
5. Give out bonuses and set up profit-sharing
Another way for companies to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their employees is through rewards and even profit sharing. While Cebuanos do work hard, additional incentives can make them more loyal and increase their productivity.
Profit-sharing not only serves as extra money for employees but also makes them directly feel the impact of their work for the company.
Setting up a bonus system can range from being performance-based to an all-around equal payout. Careful planning alongside your finance department is needed to make this bonus system viable. When preparing, take into consideration your employees’ needs and thoughts to gauge their needs better.
Improving the Workplace with Better Employee Relations
At the core of employee relations is creating a better understanding of their needs and how best to fulfill them. By nature, Cebuanos are known to be hospitable and friendly, and being just as warm and considerate of their needs can improve the overall working environment.