HR Glossary

Employee Relations

How do you set up an Employee Relations function?

There is no one formula for how to set up an Employee Relations (ER) function, as the structure and role of the function will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization, the type of industry, and the country in which the company is located. However, there are some general steps that can be followed in order to establish an effective ER function.

The first step is to appoint a senior manager to head up the ER function. This individual should have a good understanding of employment law and be able to navigate the complex legal landscape in order to provide sound legal advice to the organization. They should also have experience in employee relations and be able to build positive relationships with the workforce.

The next step is to create a team of specialists who can support the ER manager in carrying out their duties. This team may include lawyers, HR professionals, and experts in labor relations. Each member of the team should have a good understanding of the company’s business and the specific challenges that it faces.

The ER function should then be integrated into the overall HR strategy of the company. It should work in partnership with other HR teams, such as recruitment, training and development, and compensation, in order to provide a holistic approach to employee relations.

Finally, the ER function should be properly resourced in order to carry out its duties effectively. This may include funding for training and development, legal support, and HR staff.

What do you want the Employee Relations function to do?

The Employee Relations function is responsible for maintaining positive relationships between the employer and employees. This includes handling employee complaints, mediating disputes, and providing training and support to help employees understand and comply with the company’s policies. Employee Relations also develops and maintains positive communication with employees, ensuring that they feel heard and valued. Ultimately, the goal of the Employee Relations function is to create a productive, positive work environment for all employees.

What do you need to be most aware of when setting up an Employee Relations function?

When setting up an Employee Relations (ER) function, employers need to be aware of a variety of factors. ER encompasses a broad range of activities, from preventing and resolving employee grievances to defending the company in court. In order to create an effective ER program, employers should consider the following:

  1. The type of business and its unique needs. Every company is different and will have different needs when it comes to ER. For example, a manufacturing company will likely have different needs than a technology company.
  2. The size and structure of the company. A company with only a few employees will have different needs than a company with thousands of employees. Additionally, a company with multiple locations will have different needs than a company with a single location.
  3. The state and federal laws that apply to the company. There are a variety of laws that govern ER, such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is important for employers to familiarize themselves with these laws and ensure their ER program is in compliance.
  4. The company’s culture and values. The company’s culture and values will likely dictate the type of ER program it adopts. For example, a company that values teamwork and communication will likely have a different ER program than a company that values individualism.
  5. The company’s history of labor disputes. If the company has a history of labor disputes, it will need a different ER program than a company that does not.
  6. The company’s resources. Employers need to be aware of the resources they have available to them when creating an ER program. For example, if the company does not have its own legal department, it will need to hire outside counsel to help with ER.

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