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By Lucinda Alfonica, Commercial Manager for the Western Cape, Workforce Staffing

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of employee relations in the workplace, and it is more critical than ever to maintain clear communication between management and workers. A breakdown in employee relations can be detrimental to the organisation and business productivity. Using a temporary employment service (TES) provider can help businesses be flexible when external disruption has become the norm while ensuring positive employee relations and open communication channels.

Setting expectations

The relationship between an employer and employees sets the tone for the business and interactions.  All parties involved must understand expectations and obligations concerning their roles, as this is key in developing effective employee relations. Good relationships can smooth over many challenging elements in business. It is far easier to resolve challenges when communication is open and trust is involved. Good employee relations mean better employee satisfaction and higher morale, resulting in happier employees, cultivating a more productive and efficient workplace and workforce.

A breakdown in communications

Conversely, when employee relations are poor, business operations can be derailed, leading to decrease morale, miscommunication and a lack of focus, interest and commitment. This translates directly into poor performance, resulting in errors, delays and a general lack of efficiency. Industrial action may follow when employee relations break down entirely, which can grind a business to a complete standstill. When employees are involved in constant disputes, it spreads negativity among other employees and can turn into a culture of dissatisfaction and disruption.

TES providers can help

TES providers take over the entire administrative function of the staff they provide. This includes fostering good relations to develop a positive culture, which helps to ensure more committed employees, increasing overall productivity and output. However, it also reduces staff turnover, negatively impacting productivity and increasing operational costs. From training to human resources and industrial relations, employee benefits and wellness programmes to day-to-day operations, TES providers handle everything to ensure that employee relations remain sound and that communication channels remain open.

The industry experience of TES providers can prove invaluable to facilitating negotiations, especially when unions are involved. As a neutral middle ground with experience and existing relationships with unions, the TES provider can often strike a happy medium and ensure harmonious relationships. They are also up to speed on the latest labour laws and requirements to ensure employees can be managed efficiently and that grievances are treated appropriately.

Core business

Employee relations have always been essential, which is now more apparent than ever. Employees are stakeholders in a business, and they need to be treated as valued and integral. Employees with genuine bonds and open lines of communication will be happier, more motivated and more committed, which improves morale, fosters a more robust team atmosphere and enhances productivity. However, managing and maintaining these relationships can sometimes prove challenging, where a TES can help. Ultimately, employment is the core business of a TES provider, which frees up organisations to focus on their own core business rather than the admin of staffing.


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