Three ways being an employer is like being in a relationship

As the song goes ‘love is in the air’ – it’s February, the high streets are decked out with Valentine’s day gifts and businesses are being encouraged to ‘love their employees’.  

We also often hear the phrase ‘employer / employee relationship’ in HR publications and promotions. It’s true though, having employees is a lot like having a personal relationship so we’ve put together our take on the similarities and what employers can learn from the world of romance.

1. Recruitment is like dating

 These days, many people take to the internet to find their next potential partner. But which site do you use? Do you want a short term fling, or a long term relationship? There are so many options.

The same can be said for recruitment – there are a multitude of options available to employers to advertise their jobs – is it a permanent role, a temporary position, or does it require a niche set of skills?

Once your advert is placed, you have to interview your candidates, assess their aptitude with the help of psychometric tests and carry out background screening for the role sometimes too. It’s a lot like going on dates to test whether you’re compatible with your potential new partner!

 

2. You need to communicate

As anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows, communication is key. Talking to each other, understanding how each other is feeling and adapting your behaviour accordingly is the foundation of a successful relationship.

The same is true between employers and employees – you need regular 1:1’s with staff so you can check in with each other, celebrate successes and share any concerns. The appraisal and performance review process allows for open and honest conversations between managers and employees and a forum to address any concerns before they become relationship-ending.

Sitting alongside the formal performance review process though, you need to take time to check in with how your employees are feeling, provide opportunities for them to give suggestions and ensure they are happy and engaged with work. A simple employee engagement survey tool (such as OfficeVibe), lets you know how your employees are feeling, and enables you to take action to ensure they are happy and motivated to stay with you for the long-term.

3. Breaking up is hard

No one starts a relationship wanting it to end – and no-one starts a new job expecting things to go badly.

However, things may change, and or you may need to end your employment relationship for a variety of reasons – redundancy or restructuring, performance issues, or the employee might leave for another job elsewhere.

Whatever the reason, and just like in a divorce, it’s best to agree the terms of the breakup. You might have thought ahead and made a pre-nuptial agreement before you marry your partner. Likewise with an employment relationship you should have thought about restrictive covenants in your employment contracts for key employees. It’s always easier to agree these things before the relationship sours. 

If your employment relationship hits a rocky patch, you’re not on your own. Just like couples turn to relationship counselling to work through issues, you can turn to the Loch Associates Group to help with your employment issues.

We can be your matchmaker, helping you find that special someone for your latest vacancy with our recruitment and retention services, be your relationship counsellors to help you get the most out of your relationships with your employees, and your legal experts fighting your corner if the relationship breaks down!

So, if you think your employee relationships could do with a bit of TLC this Valentine’s Day, why not get in touch with us!