As a company, Twitter excels at employee relations and remains a leader in
workplace culture. In fact, a former manager provided this on Glassdoor
about working for the social media empire: "[It was] a company with great
people, culture and transparency," he wrote.
Significantly, this comment was not just about the leadership at Twitter;
it reflected the dynamics of the positive employer-employee relations
Twitter offers. And the comment wasn't unique. Stated another former
employee: "[Twitter supported] working hard, having ideas translated to
building new things and [it] offered promotions."
It’s no secret that a company cannot operate successfully without
productive employees: Leading industry experts identify bad managers, lack
of flexibility and lack of honesty as major contributing factors to damaged
Yet companies often fall short of showing this valuable asset—their
employees—how their contributions are important. Here is a breakdown of
three of the biggest factors damaging employer-employee relations and the
repercussions they may have:
1. Bad managers destroy great employees.
Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager report found that 50 percent of
the professionals who responded said that at some point they had quit a job
to “get away from their boss.”
A company that neglects to properly train its managers in task/people
balance is setting them up for failure. Donna Rogers, founder of Rogers HR
Consulting, said to me, "If someone is very task-driven [and] without
people skills, they can drive turnover up and cause a toxic relationship
with the team they are managing."
Great employee relations is a result of actively engaging employees. David
Zinger, founder of the Employee Engagement Network, said: "'Engagement'
sounds like a noun, but it is actually a verb. There is no way to
'engagement'; to engage is the [only] way."
Added Zinger: "Engagement is about working on the ABC's of work: Achieve
results, build relationships, cultivate well-being. Damage is caused when
we fail to follow this dictum, from a field called positive deviancy: Never
do anything about me without me."
[EVENT: Corporate Communicators Conference]
Assess bad managers early on. Write down values the company needs in its
leaders. Then allow employees to hand out recognitions to managers who
follow this "leadership values" statement. Doing so will allow everyone to
feel that their contributions matter.
2. Zero flexibility destroys employee relations.
Employees value a company that offers a flexible schedule to accommodate
their busy lives. Work cannot be a number one priority if a company wants
to grow long-term employees.
Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources, said he believes that,
"Most organizations are stuck in the 1980s version of performance
management, which directly impacts their ability to offer employees
flexibility in how and when they do their job.”
“Employees want 'schedule flexibility,'" Sackett said, "but if you manage
performance by counting the minutes an employee has their butt in their
seat, you have no way to offer this."
Our changing world has added to the pressure for change in the workplace
and how it contributes to employee relations. This is true especially
because technology has made work accessible from any location.
Said Jennifer McClure, president of Unbridled Talent and CEO of Disrupt HR:
"We know that people have tremendous control over what they do and don’t do
in their lives; and with technology, they expect to be able to gain instant
access to information and resources.
"Employees will no longer accept 'that’s the way we’ve always done it,'"
McClure continued. "They know that things can be changed—and improved—if
leadership is willing."
Set goals for work-life balance by encouraging employees to create an
action plan for both their professional and personal goals. If your company
doesn't offer flexible work hours, at least have employees think about how
they can overcome obstacles to reach their goals.
One way to do this is to have staff write down something they have been
considering doing, but haven't had time for. Have them divide a piece of
paper into three columns and write down all the things that could go wrong
in the first column.
Then, in the second column, have them list all the things they could do to
solve those problems. In the third and final column, have them identify
what to do to get back to where they started if those obstacles are
3. Lack of honesty promotes mistrust.
As a 2015 Wrike study found, gaps in information, and unclear leadership,
are some of the top stressors at work. "Employees need to open up to
employers about needs and concerns they have," Rogers said. "They need to
build their own self-confidence to have an open dialogue with the
"It is a mutual relationship. It's not just about the employer."
Honesty is always the best policy, but it has to be promoted in a safe
environment. Many companies lack the intention of encouraging honest
feedback from employees.
Charlie Judy, CEO and founding partner of WorkXO, agreed. "At the root of
the frustrating relationship between employers and employees is a
fundamental lack of honesty," he said. "Employers really need to start
getting serious about workplace platitudes, like core values."
Give employees a place to share "values in action" stories about integrity.
Focus on when and how employees and leadership have been trusted with
something, and how they rose to exceed those expectations.
Use this strategy to encourage accountability, and recognize when values
are put into action—being careful not to overpromise and set people up for
disappointment. Trust will improve if everyone is holding themselves and
their co-workers accountable in the workplace.
In the end, great employer and employee relations can be attributed to
honesty and integrity in all facets of the workplace. That means valuing "a
job well done" and hearing concerns from both sides. Don't let bad
leadership or poor performance-management strategies overshadow and destroy
good contributions and workplace relations.
Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany. A version of this
article originally appeared on
Entrepreneur.com. Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.