Monday, March 16, 2009

Better Employee Relations: A Sure Thing

I have preached (and will continue to preach) employee involvement in community and charity as a way for employers to credibly connect with their employees. Indeed, in tough times it is the best way to illustrate that our individual difficulties pale in comparison to many others -- to help put our lives into context.

One client involved their employees in a battered women's shelter -- donated a thousand dollars and had a group of employees buy what the shelter needed and delivered it. It began as a single opportunity to serve and ended as an "adoption" of the charity by an employer and its employees. The dynamic of giving together has brought this employer and its employees closer together.

Recently, employees from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Steubenville, Ohio, walked into the YWCA for a day of painting and minor cleanup work, but they soon knew they had found an adoption. In an old building, the YWCA didn't have the funds available for the remodeling work so the local Wal-Mart and its employees essentially adopted the organization and the building. The volunteers put in nearly 400 hours while Wal-Mart donated $5,000 to the effort.

Do you want better employee relations? If you are ready to do more than talk about it, or lament the economy and what it has done to relationships inside your workplace, do something.

This is a good place to begin.