The era of thinking of HR as exclusively meaning “Human Resources” is over. Today, smart companies know that fostering the “other kind” of HR – human relations – paves the way for corporate health and growth.
Human relations between colleagues, between employees and management, and between the workforce and customers, are essential for effective collaboration within and without your workplace. Encouraging people to form strong bonds can put an end to the kind of unhealthy competition that pits worker against worker, prioritizing instead the performance of the group as a whole.
The world-renowned Four Seasons Hotel and Resort Group has even made human relations part of its philosophy: they insist that there are two types of customers: the paying kind – and colleagues. Founder and Chairman Isadore Sharp believes Four Seasons distinguishes itself “by hiring more for attitude than experience, by establishing career paths and promotion from within, by paying as much attention to employee complaints as guest complaints…”
This is the sort of attitude that will make top talent want to work with your company: knowing that they’re just as important to the success of your business as customers are.
The Effect of Human Relations on Your Business
A company’s people and their interpersonal relations are a major force for driving business success.
By encouraging people at all levels of a company to engage in open, transparent conversations and to share knowledge freely, they’re better able to collaborate on projects, discuss ideas, and motivate each other to do the best possible job.
An inviting workplace culture, where your people can take the pulse of your organization and feel they’re part of what makes it work, is vital. Companies with desirable cultures, where human relations are a priority, will find themselves more able to attract and retain qualified employees, grow customer loyalty, and better adapt to the needs of a changing marketplace.
Companies with a “chilly” workplace culture will soon discover that the lack of human relations directly affects worker performance. This can result in employee management problems – and can even affect the quality of your company’s end product. Difficulties may also arise due to miscommunication or poor interaction between workers, as unhappy employees who feel alone and unappreciated are more likely to miss work days, be less efficient, and show poor overall work quality.
How to Build a Better Work Environment
Everybody knows that a happy worker is a productive worker. And it’s clear that healthy human relations make for happier employees.
Says Matt Petryni of Demand Media, “Workplace relationships provide a source of employee motivation, which is important to maintaining productivity. Employees who are interested in their work and in the well-being of other employees tend to be more productive than those who are not. This productivity pays obvious financial dividends to the company, as it can get more done in less time with fewer costs. Building relationships, by both recognizing an employee’s value to the company and showing concern for their needs, often goes a long way.”
The bottom line? With strong relationships to support them, your employees will work harder, be more dynamic, feel comfortable coming to your with their problems, and, above all, be more likely to stay and grow with you.