EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Employee relations is the process of managing the relationship between employees and the organisation as well as the relationship among employees. in order for employees to be productive and perform at their best, the need to have a safe and conducive environment. A key aspect of this conducive work environment is the relationship the employees have with each other. When employees have a good working relationship, they are more productive as this promotes communication, collaboration and cooperation among them. In today’s article we’ll look at why employee relations are important in the workplace.

  • HAPPY EMPLOYEES MAKE A HAPPY ORGANISATION

The happier your employees are, the more productive they will be. It has been proven that the most successful companies know how to manage their employee relationships in order to maximise on their satisfaction and ensure employee retention. When employees are happy in their workplace, they work harder to ensure the company as a whole succeeds. There are a number of ways an organisation can ensure that their employees are happy. Employers can show their appreciation work well done and rewording exceptional performance. The company can also organise team building trips to build and improve the relationships among employees.

  • DISCOURAGE CONFLICT

In most cases, conflict is something we all try to avoid especially so in the workplace. It is important to note however that sometimes disagreements may arise due to the presence of diverse individual opinions and work strategies. Sometimes, this conflict may be productive as it may lead to new ideas effective problem solving skills and also provides an opportunity to explore and expand their creativity. Employees who relate well with each other are able to explore their opposing ideas in a civil manner which in turn fosters innovation.

  • EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT

The positive relations among employees provides a great social circle and also opens up avenues for the company’s success. When employees are able to openly connect with each other and network, they are able to grow separately from the company and this may then provide them with the tools they need to venture into new individual projects. When employees know that they can count on the support of their colleagues, they are more likely to work towards the success of the company because it ensures that everyone will succeed. companies can also empower their employees by allowing them to take part in certain decisions that affect them and providing learning opportunities that will enable them to achieve their career goals.

  • REDUCES THE WORKLOAD

Research has shown that one of the leading causes of burnout is work overload and many employees experience this at least once over the course of their careers. A company with positive employee relations is able to identify the top performers and split different workloads among them. When everyone is on the same page, and working together to achieve a common goal, tasks become manageable and less daunting.

  • REDUCED EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

Employee turnover refers to the gradual loss of talented employees in a company. High employee turnover rates can negatively impact an organisation as it puts a strain on the company’s resources and remaining employees as the increased workload fall on them. When employees feel valued, they will utilise their skills to ensure the success of the company. a company with good employee relations will have attractive benefits and wages that encourage employees to stay on. Employees who are satisfied with their work environment are less likely to quit.

https://www.managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-employee-relations.htm
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-employee-relations-important-organization-sampurna-majumder
DISMANTLING THE GLASS CEILING

The concept of the ‘Glass Ceiling’ refers to the socially constructed barrier that aims at preventing women and people from minority groups from advancing in their professional lives. The term was first coined in the 1980s when women pushed for equal pay and opportunity in the work place in a bid to fight gender based discrimination. Although we have come a relatively long way in the pursuit of gender equality, in the workplace there’s still need for improvement. The glass ceiling has various negative effects such as gender role stereotyping where women are not considered for leadership positions due to overly traditional ideas on strength and ability. Further, the glass ceiling often leads to sexual harassment, gender bias and serious psychological conditions for its victims . In this article we’ll look at some of the ways you can begin dismantling the glass ceiling in your workplace.

  1. RECRUITING & HIRING BASED ON MERIT

Those in charge of hiring as well as key decision makers must make an effort to ensure that they hire employees based on their talent and merit rather than their own personal bias. This means that they must level the playing field and broaden their viewpoints in order to make accurate hiring decisions. In this way, the company also excels as the best employees are using their skills to ensure success.

  1. ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICIES

Ensure that all employees are treated equally and that all rules and regulations are applied equally. The Constitution of Kenya prohibits discrimination either directly or indirectly against any person on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth. There should be no room for bigotry and discrimination in the workplace as this would be in direct contravention of the Constitution which is an offence.

  1. DISCUSS GENDER ISSUES IN THE WORKPLACE

Working in a diverse workplace also means that there are members from different generations working together. Generational gaps sometimes prove difficult when navigating sensitive issues like gender discrimination. Provide room for your employees to discuss topics such as consent, sexual discrimination and harassment as well as other gender related topics. Creating awareness about these issues is the best way to involve everyone in the discussion and to find workable solutions for your company. This can also help reduce gender based discrimination and to promote collaboration and equity among employees.

  1. TAKE REPORTS SERIOUSLY.

Many times victims of gender based violence and discrimination in the workplace rarely come forward and when they do, they face increased harassment and in some instances lose their jobs. Employers and HR managers must investigate every report received with critical consideration and awareness on how these issues typically manifest and escalate. It is important to handle these issues tactfully and with the utmost professionalism in order to ensure that victims feel safe to come forward. Hold those responsible accountable and weed out predators and disruptive employees from the company.

  1. KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE

As an employee, sometimes you can only do so much. Should you find yourself in a situation where your voice is not being heard and the company refuses to take action; take the reins and find career opportunities elsewhere. Find job opportunities that align with your values and career goals and move on. Seek help and support from like-minded individuals and network in order to support each other’s professional goals.

IMPROVING YOUR EMPLOYER BRANDING

The term ‘employer brand’ refers to an organization’s reputation as an employer, how it presents itself to potential employees and employees as well. Employer brand differs from the general corporate brand reputation that is often targeted towards customers. Employer branding deals with the attraction, retention and engagement strategies that enhance a company’s appeal to employees. Simply put, employer brand management addresses the reality of the employment experience. This enables companies to find the best talent in order to achieve their goals and effectively engage these employees to maximise their retention. In this article we’ll look at some employer branding strategies that you can use to boost your company’s reputation.

  1. DEFINE COMPANY GOALS & OBJECTIVES

Organizational goals inform employees the direction in which the organisation is headed and how it will get there. Employees can then assess whether these goals align with their career development and if they would want to work for your company. Employees are more enthusiastic when they know exactly what is required of them and the rewards available for meeting and/ exceeding the company’s expectations. This also makes it easier for employees to contribute to company growth and for managers to do their jobs effectively in order to improve productivity. Objectives are also key in establishing standards of employee evaluation as they act as yard sticks to identify the success and failures of the organisation and its employees.

  1. HIGHLIGHT YOUR EVP

Whether you’re hiring one employee or 100, you have to be able to answer the question, “why should I work for you?” An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is essentially the “why” around your organisation. It is what attracts and attracts your top talent and what you as an organisation promise to your employees. Your EVP outlines how your company sets itself apart from competitors. Many top ranking companies take time to come up with the best EVPs because this is the foundation of a company’s employer branding and attracts the best talent.

  1. BUILD YOUR MARKETING GAME

Jeff Bezos, founder and executive manager of Amazon once said that “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.” And this sentiment is entirely true because a business is only as good as its reputation. It is therefore important to get the word out about your company as this helps to build and maintain your company’s reputation. Marketing will provide insight about your company that will attract potential employees. Invest in a good marketing team that will enable you to reach your target audience and inform potential employees on the benefits of working for your company.

  1. DEVELOP A RECRUITMENT PLAN

Your employees can either make or break your company and this is why it is important to hire the best. Knowing your company needs, will enable you to conduct proper interviews and find the right people for the job. Begin by defining the role these employees will play in your company and what your expectations are as well as the ideal person for this role. A good recruitment plan will result in a successful hiring process.

  1. WORK ON YOUR EMPLOYEE RETENTION

Companies that are known for having high employee retention often attract the best talent. Having a high retention rate means that a company is able to keep its employees long-term. This results in less time and resources spent on recruiting and training new employees. Employees that have had a long working relationship with their company are more loyal and committed. Retaining valuable employees is important because vital company knowledge that would otherwise be lost to competitors is maintained. Find ways to keep valuable employees happy through company rewards and benefits and recognition and appreciation for work well done.

https://builtin.com/employer-branding/employer-branding-strategy

https://blog.smarp.com/employer-branding-9-steps-to-build-successful-strategy

https://beamery.com/resources/blogs/employer-branding-definition-process-strategy-and-resources

Navigating office politics
NAVIGATING OFFICE POLITICS

In as much we like to believe that office politics do not exist in our work place; they do and can be a nightmare to deal with especially if you don’t know how to negotiate them.  Too many ambitious professionals try to navigate office politics by pretending corporate politics don’t exist and end up buckling under the pressure and hostility.  Once you know how to navigate through the office politics arena, your work life should improve. In this article we’ll be looking at some of the ways in which you can deal with office politics.

YOU CAN’T AVOID OFFICE POLITICS

It is important to face reality and know that we cannot avoid office politics. Granted, when we first set foot in to the job market, we all have a vision of a corporate meritocracy where everyone does their absolute best at their job and promotions are awarded to those most hardworking, diligent employees but this is sadly not the case. That being said it is therefore possible to use office politics to your advantage. Put yourself out there and engage with individuals you are more likely to gain success from.

RETHINK OFFICE POLITICS 

For the most part, office politics are viewed negatively and most people do not want to get involved. This primarily due to the fact that the individuals involved are mean spirited and will stop at nothing to climb the corporate ladder. This doesn’t have to be the case. When used effectively and for good, office politics can be an extremely powerful and effective tool to advance your career goals. Seek out more positive interactions with your colleagues and discuss ways in which you can all succeed. Look for like-minded individuals and form strong alliances with them.

DEVELOP A STRONG PERSONAL BRAND   

A great way to set yourself apart and avoid the drama is to develop your personal brand. Do this by demonstrating high quality work daily. If you are known to be someone who is consistent and diligent at their job and produces quality work, then you are more likely to be trusted by your seniors. This will in turn lead to more independence and autonomy because you can be trusted to do your job well. This will likely lead to you getting more responsibility in the workplace.

PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY   

If you truly want to be someone who can demonstrate your value, influence and level of importance in the workplace, then you cannot afford to keep your head down and ignore all the emerging issues in an effort to stay neutral and avoid discourse. There are two types of conflict that may arise in the work place i.e. professional conflict and personal conflict. By all means avoid all personal conflict in the workplace, however, do not shy away from professional conflict that directly affects you or the company. These can include conflicts relating to work quality, company time and resources as well as various issues that may be hindering you from doing your job well. Engage in important conflicts and avoid the petty ones.

BE FRIENDLY, GRACEFUL AND COURTEOUS

The workplace environment is made up of people from various cultures, socio-economic backgrounds etc. Each of these individuals have their own sets of beliefs and views on various issues. Sometimes it will be difficult to get along with everyone you work with, however at the end of the day you must remain professional in order to achieve your own career goals as well as the company goals. In this regard, try to be civil as you engage with your colleagues and feel free to distance yourself from individuals you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with while still maintaining professionalism. Remember, you don’t want to come off as rude and unapproachable.

KNOW WHEN TO LET GO

Even though this article makes it seem simple to navigate intricacies of office politics, it has been vastly oversimplified. If you’re struggling to stay above the unproductive fray of un-useful politics and personal babble between your colleagues and/or superiors consider finding a more conducive work place. If these tips aren’t helpful, perform a cost-benefit analysis on your work life to get perspective on your next steps. They are plenty of workplaces that match your personality and work ethic, so don’t ‘stick’ it out when you’re unhappy. Remember to approach your HR department when you’re uncomfortable or feel targeted by politics – see how they can help.

https://www.livecareer.com/resources/careers/planning/dealing-with-office-politics

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2017/04/04/what-i-learned-about-office-politics-that-changed-my-career/?sh=16e89a7a6168

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/7-habits-to-win-in-office-politics.html

IMPORTANCE OF A CORPORATE LAWYER
WHY YOU NEED A CORPORATE LAWYER

Corporate lawyers, also known as business lawyers provide a broad range of legal services for businesses and companies. A corporate lawyer represents the corporate entity. This is because in company law, companies are viewed as a legal person capable of suing and being sued in their own name. Running a business often involves various legal situations such as lawsuits as well as the various laws regulating the type of business being conducted. A corporate lawyer ensures the protection of those involved and invested in a business/ company by giving legal advice on various issues relating to company law. In this article, we’ll look at some of the reasons why your company should hire a corporate lawyer.

  1. LEGAL DRAFTING

Every company needs a lawyer to aid in the drafting of legal documents such as contracts. All business documents, whether for employees, customers or vendors should be reviewed by a company lawyer to ensure all the appropriate formalities are captured. Experienced lawyers help make the process of drafting corporate documents more efficient. Documents drafted by a skilled lawyer can also help to ensure that the paperwork is enforceable by law, legally binding and well suited to your company and its needs.

  1. PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Intellectual property is the term used for a set of intangible assets or assets that are not physical in nature. It is any product developed from human intellect that the law protects from unauthorised use, theft of plagiarism by others. If your business is in the field of media, design or any other creative field, consider hiring an intellectual property lawyer. This lawyer will help you register your products and services for state trademark and copyrights protection.

  1. PREVENTING LAWSUITS

One of the biggest challenges most companies face is employment lawsuits. This is usually brought about by a breach in employee rights and various labour laws. A common rule of thumb is that ignorance of the law is not a defence. This means that everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the law and ignorance of this fact is not a reasonable defence in case of a lawsuit. Hiring a company lawyer is one way to prevent these issues down the road as they are well versed on these laws and are able to spot any possible issues that may arise.

  1. AID IN CHOOSING THE APPROPRIATE BUSINESS FORM

Corporate lawyers also deal with various business entities in the forms of partnerships, limited companies, limited liability companies and business trusts. Each business form has its own set of legal rights and responsibilities, organisational structure and tax burdens. Corporate lawyers help clients with businesses to decide which of these legal forms is best suited for the business they want to run. Choosing the appropriate business structure for your business is important because if you do not structure properly from the get-go, you may find yourself with unnecessary legal issues down the road.

  1. NON-DISCLOSURE AND CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS

In the course of running a business, there is some information that a company may not want revealed to people outside of the business or even outside of the managerial circle. There are various reasons why a business may want information to remain confidential. Confidentiality agreements can be written to protect the details of a new invention, new product or service ideas or a business partnership. For instance, some organisational information also known as trade secrets give a business a competitive edge in the market and the disclosure of this information may give competitors an upper hand.  A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract drafted by a corporate lawyer that offers protection to parties that will be disclosing confidential information. Corporate lawyers also provide legal counsel in case of a breach in this contract.

Mshimba Michelle

3 changes to company law in kenya
3 MUST KNOW CHANGES TO COMPANY LAW IN KENYA

Like most institutions in this country and the world over, there are laws set up by the government to ensure legality as well as the promotion and protection of individuals rights in these institutions. These laws also serve to ensure the efficient functioning of these institutions. There are various laws that govern how business is conducted in this country as well as how companies are to conduct their dealings. In this article we’ll look at some of the new laws and amendments to these laws.

  1. BUSINESS REGISTRATION SERVICE ACT

The Business Registration Service Act of 2015 establishes the Business Registration Service as the body in charge of administering laws relating to the incorporation, registration, operation and management of companies, partnerships and firms.

This Act will be responsible for matters relating to business registration. This body will also take over the existing company law functions of the State Law office. The Business Registration Service Act, 2015 will become operational on a date to be set by the Cabinet Secretary by notice in the Kenya Gazette. 

  1. COMPANIES ACT

The Companies Act of 2015 is one of the laws intended to streamline the manner in which business is conducted in Kenya. The intention behind this is that the new provisions will be more flexible, in line with modern business practices and will in turn lead to growth and innovation in various commercial transactions in Kenya. Among the many significant changes, the Act now has provisions that allow companies to have a single shareholder as well as provisions that require a company to have at least one natural director except for in cases where the company’s sole director is a corporation.  

Previously, financial assistance was prohibited except in a limited number of cases. This is no longer the case as companies are now able to buy back their own shares in order to create treasury shares which may then be re-issued. 

  1. INSOLVENCY ACT

To begin with, insolvency occurs when a company is unable to pay its debts. The Insolvency Act of 2015 contains laws relating to matters of insolvency for both individuals and companies which were previously contained in the Bankruptcy Act. The Insolvency Act provides debtors with an alternative to bankruptcy. It creates the legal framework that enables companies to be put into administration which is an alternative to liquidation under the supervision of an insolvency lawyer.

In Kenya, our laws are constantly changing and various amendments are done to ensure that the laws serve the Kenyan people accordingly. It is important to keep up-to-date with these changes.

 Kindly visit http://kenyalaw.org/kl/ to find out more about our laws.

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