When was the last time you took a good look at your workforce? What did you see? You probably saw a rapidly changing group of employees that is getting more diverse by the day. The accelerated growth of diversity in the workforce over the past 20 years has spawned new developments in managing employee relations, making it one of the biggest challenges facing managers.
To meet this challenge, managers must improve skills such as active listening, adaptability and decision-making. These core skills can assist supervisors and managers in tackling difficult issues that may arise within their workforce.
However, while the skills mentioned above are key, this article focuses on the two most important skills for managing employee relations: interpersonal communications and conflict management.
The first skill for managers to understand and practice is interpersonal communications, because it is the foundation for all actions in the workplace and it allows the supervisor or manager an opportunity to build relationships with the overall workgroup without alienating anyone in the work environment. Working with diverse groups of people requires a tremendous amount of interaction. If these interactions are positive, they can help create the right workplace climate, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.