3 tips to boost employee relations

Updated Sep 18, 2018

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For landscaping company owners and supervisors, managing a team can be tricky.

Often there’s a distinct separation between “in the field” and “in the office” – a situation that can create opportunities for miscommunication and a sense of isolation. This doesn’t mean you’re treating your employees poorly.

Even if you treat them quite well, keeping employee relations strong requires work.

Here are three tips to get you started:

Put the “human” back in human resources.

Some employees view HR as a person or group of people whose primary purpose is to keep the company from being sued. While your HR manager should certainly fulfill that role, they should also be viewed as an employee advocate who is there to act in everyone’s best interest.

Create a good employee relations program that ensures your HR person interacts regularly with the employees, and is available to them to offer advice and assistance on a consistent basis.

Have the data to back up your claims.

Do you tell new hires you pay competitive wages and have the best benefits around? Do you know this for sure, or are you assuming it because you want it to be true? Occasionally conduct salary and benefits surveys in your area.

Even if your numbers don’t align with the average, you’ll know how you compare and be able to adjust your compensation structure accordingly.

Adopt a modern approach.

Management strategies are always changing to accommodate the expectations of new entrants into the workforce, and it could be time to update yours. If your management style hasn’t changed over the years, it’s time to take a fresh look at the way you engage your employees.

Most workers prefer a certain amount of autonomy, as well as being treated as a partner, with the ability to give feedback and be heard. If you’re still looking over your employees’ shoulders, consider stepping back and seeing what they can do on their own. Put employees that you can trust in place and then let them shine.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Amy Materson is the managing editor for Randall-Reilly sister magazine, Equipment World.

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