The Great Resignation is waning – good news statistically, but little consolation for businesses still fighting tooth and nail to attract and keep talent on today’s cutthroat hiring landscape.
Maybe you’re one of them.
Maybe you’ve taken employee benefits as far as they can go (most businesses have expanded non-traditional benefits since 2020 to include the likes of summer Fridays and remote work) but still struggle to recruit top candidates and keep the ones you have from leaving.
If so, it might be time to consider a common denominator among businesses coming out ahead in the red-hot hiring game:
Outsourced employee relations.
What is employee relations exactly?
A subfunction of human resources, employee relations is the professional function responsible for maintaining a positive relationship between an employer and employees (and, by extension, between employees and each other).
Forbes describes its benefits best: “Companies want to keep experienced, productive and valuable employees for as long as possible…To do this, employees must be happy enough that they will not – or at least will remain less likely to – leave the organization. Enter employee relations.”
Employee relations implements strategies and policies touching on everything from contractual to emotional matters. A trained employee relations specialist can help your company implement best practices for improving workplace communication, morale, goal-setting, and more.
The goal is to maximize employee satisfaction while of course protecting your business and advancing its larger objectives and goals. Right-fit outsourced employee relations experts do this by blending into your culture, getting to know your people and goals, and putting their expertise to work as a pillar of your enterprise.
How is employee relations helpful?
Employee relations’ positive impact can generally be boiled down to proactivity.
Businesses without employee relations – ie. without a designated, confidential, and neutral source where employees can bring concerns or questions – often don’t hear about workplace issues until an employee resigns (or some other point of no return).
Meanwhile, employees who work for companies with employee relations know that they can share an issue confidentially when needed. In these workplaces, issues are less likely to escalate, and employees are less likely to disengage or give notice.
Beyond fielding employee issues, employee relations works on a rolling basis to proactively foster an engaged and healthy working environment– the true key to increased retention, among other wins.
Who needs employee relations?
Every business or organization, without exception, can benefit from practices that support its people. But there are a few common scenarios where employee relations are especially beneficial, if not crucial:
Businesses with no internal HR. In these cases, executives are often bogged down with employee-related issues that they’re unqualified and/or uninterested in managing.
Family-owned businesses where HR is handled by a member of said family. For obvious reasons, this can impede neutrality and employee trust.
Businesses that handle HR tasks in-house, but don’t have the bandwidth or expertise for a specific employee relations function. A lot of businesses entrust HR to internal team members who aren’t necessarily formally educated in HR. Or they have an in-house HR professional, but that professional doesn’t have time for employee relations or lacks experience with it as a specialty. Our team at myHR Partner works hand-in-hand with many in-house HR resources on an ongoing basis to design and execute a right-fit employee relations plan that we work alongside them to manage moving forward.
Why outsource employee relations?
Many companies don’t even realize they can outsource employee relations to a third party – yet, in most cases, should. Arguably more than any other HR function, there are baked-in benefits to outsourcing employee relations instead of handling it internally:
Neutrality and confidentiality are central to successful employee relations. Your employees are more likely to trust a third party than an in-house alternative.
Outsourced employee relations offers objectivity, expertise, and an outside perspective that most company leaders find incredibly helpful in navigating delicate interpersonal scenarios.
Outsourced employee relations providers like those at myHR Partner are bona fide experts. HR is all we do – so your people are in the hands of the best. (One word of caution: If you’re outsourcing employee relations, make sure to choose a full-service outsourced HR firm like myHR Partner, not a PEO. Many PEOs will advise you on employee relations but won’t engage with your people, ie. you still need to implement employee relations yourself.)
It’s worth noting that companies who outsource employee relations almost always outsource two other related HR functions, as well:
Management support – guidance and recommendations to company leaders for successfully engaging with their employees.
Performance management – frameworks and processes for tracking and managing employee output, ie. the review process.
Especially when bundled, these functions have the power to make your people your greatest asset.
Of course, such returns are contingent on choosing the right partner. Vet prospective outsourced HR partners carefully. A reputable one like myHR Partner will work carefully to understand your business goals and the specifics of your culture, processes, and people, then will customize a plan specific to you – a far cry from a one-size-fits-all “experts” or call centers far less likely to benefit your business.
Ready to rethink employee relations – and reap the rewards?
Considering outsourced employee relations – and/or other HR functions? Download the Complete Guide to HR Outsourcing to learn more about how the outsourcing of HR can free up your people and position you for greater success.