The employee relations component of a human resources department is responsible for actions which affect the employer-employee relationship. Concerns about employee motivation, job satisfaction and performance can be effectively monitored using a variety of methods. While the employee relations specialist is responsible for coordinating efforts to raise morale and employee engagement, every supervisor and manager plays a role in communicating with employees on a daily basis. Directives from an employee relations specialist are designed to improve working conditions, as well as help improve the organisation's bottom line.
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Observe employees at their workstation throughout the week, particularly on Mondays and Fridays. Some employees consider it drudgery to return to work after the weekend; Fridays are also prone to be less productive days because employees look forward to weekends. Employees who are highly motivated perform their job duties consistently, regardless of the day of the week. Motivated employees are enthusiastic about beginning the workweek and their enthusiasm shows in the way they approach their responsibilities and how they interact with their co-workers. Charge your supervisors and managers with tracking productivity in their respective departments. Periodic checks to determine the level of employee engagement, quality and quantity of production are effective ways to monitor motivation. However, providing positive and constructive feedback is probably one of the best ways to monitor motivation. When supervisors and managers visit with employees---individually and collectively---they are essentially saying every employee is important to the department and the company overall.
Distribute employee opinion surveys once a year and invite employees to submit suggestions for improvement. These are two effective methods for monitoring job satisfaction. Employees want to be heard, and often want their concerns to be kept confidential. An employee opinion survey captures information your human resources department can use for resolving employee concerns. Employees understand every concern, issue or complaint can't be resolved according to their individual satisfaction; however, the company's distribution of an employee opinion survey illustrates the company's interest in employee voices. Follow up on the employee opinion surveys is the other integral part of monitoring job satisfaction. Without follow up on employee responses, administering an annual employee opinion survey is a meaningless exercise.
Conduct employee appraisal meetings on time and within the parameters of your company's performance management system. During new-hire orientation, job training and all-staff meetings, stress the importance of a performance management system that consists of much more than the yearly---and often nail-biting---experience where the only takeaway is the wage increase they hope to receive. Performance management starts on the employee's date of hire; it ends upon retirement or resignation. Supervisors and managers should receive training on how to provide regular, constructive feedback to employees. Regular can mean monthly or quarterly although some leaders prefer to interact with employees more frequently. Routine feedback corrects deficiencies and performance issues before they become larger problems.
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- University of California, San Francisco: Chapter 7: Performance Management
- Federal Daily: Archivist Apologizes for Poor Employee Satisfaction (Sept. 2010)
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Performance Management
- The University of Tennessee at Martin: The Importance of Pay in Employee Motivation: Discrepancies Between What People Say and What They Do (Rynes, S., et. al.)
- Motivating Employees: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Employee Motivation
- The National Workrights Institute: Electronic Monitoring: A Poor Solution to Management Problems