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Successful Employee Relations: A SMART Approach to Become The Employer of Choice

Employer of choice

Is one of your goals to have successful employee relations and become the employer of choice in your market? If not, perhaps it should be. High turnover rates, excessive absenteeism, inefficiency are all symptom of not having successful employee relations. It doesn’t matter if you are a team of 500, 50 or a team of 3, poor employee relations will negatively impact your business.

What are you doing to become the employer of choice? What current plans do you have in place? Are you consistently acting on these plans or is improving employee morale just an idea that you have yet to follow through on? How important is it to you to have successful employee relations? Glenn Kutler and I facilitated a seminar on these issues at a recent event sponsored by Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC.

Marc Furman, a partner with the firm and the host for the event, explained the essence of a process oriented approach. “’We are looking at and overlaying the process to get a better common place understanding of the employment issues at hand and how you can deal with them in a more proactive way. The process is the tool to help you identify what the real issues are, prioritize, and then focus your efforts and actions in the right area.”

Here’s a SMART approach you can adopt to start taking action today to become the employer of choice.

Set a goal

Whether you’ve tried to address this issue before without success or you’ve been meaning to but haven’t gotten around to it, doesn’t matter. What’s important is what actions you are going to take today to move forward. The first step is to set a goal. 

Is Your Goal Specific and Focused?

“I’m going to have successful employee relations and be the employer of choice.” Is this a good goal? Is this goal specific? I mean really specific? Or is this goal so general you cannot identify an area of focus?

Ask yourself this important question. “What does being the employer of choice mean to me?” In other words, what do you think of when you hear “employer of choice?” What images come to mind?

Seriously, try to visualize it. In three years, if your company is the employer of choice…

  • What would this look like?
  • What is your company doing?
  • What are you doing?
  • What do people say about your company, externally and internally?
  • What are your employees doing?

Your answers can pinpoint where your focus should be as you take action to develop successful employee relations and become the employer of choice.

Here are some ideas participants shared during the seminar.

  • Reduce turnover
  • Increase employee desire to move up the company ladder
  • Create an environment that encourages growth and development
  • Improve employee morale

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Is This Goal Measurable?

After identifying potential areas of focus (let’s say, reduce turnover and increase internal staff promotion), how would you measure whether or not you successfully met these goals? It is not enough to say you want to reduce staff turnover; you need to know by what percentage.  You must be able to measure your success.

Is This Goal Attainable but Also Challenging?

While it is important to have dreams that stretch far beyond imagination, when setting goals, it’s important to keep them realistic and attainable. Would you be motivated to work towards a goal you knew had no realistic chance of being achieved?

This is not to say your goal should not be challenging. A goal that is easily accomplished is not a good goal either. The goal you set should take you and your company to new heights.

By What Date Are You Going to Achieve This Goal?

Set a time period for when you expect and want your goal to be achieved. It’ll help you stay accountable and focused.

What employee issues are you dealing with right now? What’s on your mind? What do you want to improve going into 2014? How will becoming the employer of choice launch your business forward? What action are you going to take today? 

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