Become an employee relations specialist
Employee relations jobs are relatively new in the corporate world, but are becoming increasingly vital in many organizations—especially those that operate in high-stress conditions or in competitive industries. Employee relations professionals are trained to help companies ensure their employees are satisfied with their jobs and their working environment, while still ensuring company goals are being met.
Employee relations specialists are also critical for employee retention. Many executives struggle with keeping their teams fully staffed and grow frustrated when they lose employees to other companies for unknown reasons. Employee relations professionals can help find the root causes of employee dissatisfaction and can often suggest ways to reverse it.
Employee Relations Careers
There are basically two careers that fall under the umbrella of employee relations—an employee relations specialist and an employee relations manager. In smaller companies, it may be necessary to staff only one employee specialist, but in larger companies an entire employee relations team may be required, operating under the guidance of an employee relations manager. The duties of an employee relations specialist will vary, but will likely include all or some of the following tasks:
- Conducting employee surveys and external research
- Analyzing data and making recommendations to senior staff
- Meeting with employees regarding issues (though this may also fall to human resources professionals)
- Observing morale and the overall tone of the working environment
- Working to create policies and programs to help improve morale
Becoming an Employee Relations Professional
Employee relations specialists often come from a variety of backgrounds (such as communications, human resources and more), but typically a bachelor's degree is required to fill the position. Employee relations managers may also be required to have a master's degree, though work experience is also seen as an asset. Employee relations training courses are also available to complement a degree.
Along with academic requirements, a good employee relations specialist must also possess strong research and analytical skills, excellent written and oral presentation skills, and personality traits such as professionalism, intuition and sociability. As these professionals work as go-betweens between workers and executives, it's important that they're able to create trust on both sides.