Employee Relations Playbook: People Leaders: The Critical Link to Great Employee Relations

Establishing a high-value Employee Relations (ER) function in your organization requires a strong partnership between the expertise contained within your ER team and your people leaders on the front line.

It’s no surprise that strong people leaders are critical to building a culture of trust and accountability, the kind of culture that naturally reduces employee issues and increases productivity. If employees feel that managers are fair, consistent, and honest in their feedback, they are far more engaged in the workplace. That engagement translates into a more productive workforce.

Unfortunately, there’s a pretty big gap between people leaders’ and ER professionals’ perceptions of how effectively issues are handled on the front line. According to HR Acuity’s 2021 research report, People Leaders and the Gap in Managing Employee Issues, 52% of people leaders report being very confident in their ability to manage people issues while only 2% of ER professionals would agree. While that 2% is troubling, 52% is not much to celebrate either. In both instances, we recognize an opportunity to educate and better support people leaders in their ability to effectively manage employee issues.