Employee relations has replaced industrial relations as the term for defining the relationship between employers and employees. Today, employee relations is seen as focusing on both individual and collective relationships in the workplace, with an increasing emphasis on helping line managers establish trust-based relationships with employees. A positive climate of employee relations - with high levels of employee involvement, commitment and engagement - can improve business outcomes as well as contribute to employees' well-being.
This factsheet explores what employee relations means to employers and looks at the current state of the employment relationship. It briefly looks at key employee relations competencies, specifically in the areas of communication and conflict management. Finally, the factsheet considers the continuing value of positive employee relations for trade unions, employers, HR practitioners and line managers.