Industrial Relations vs Employee Relations
Most of us think we know what industrial relations are. The study of employment and labor market is what makes the subject matter of this vast area of research. It is a field that analyzes the factors that affect the workplace. However, it is the workplace that directly affects our style of living and even our culture in a lot of ways. There is another related concept called employee relations that confuses many because of its similarities with industrial relations. It is a fact that looking at a workplace from the perspective of workers unions is no longer relevant in these times. Let us see if there is any difference between these two related concepts.
The field of study that covers employment relationships in their entirety is called industrial relations. In general, it is believed to be the study of relations between the employees and employers. There are a multitude of factors at play at the workplace that shape up the relations between workers, employers, and the government. The field of industrial relations came into existence with the advent of the industrial revolution as an important tool to understand the complex relations between employers and employees. There are many different ways to look at industrial relations as there are the perspectives of workers, employers, government, and the perspective of the society. If you are a worker, you would obviously associate industrial relations with better wages, safety at workplace, job security, and training at workplace. On the other hand, industrial relations for an employer are all about productivity, conflict resolution and employment laws.
‘Employee relations’ is a concept that is being preferred over the older industrial relations because of the realization that there is much more at the workplace than industrial relations could look or cover. In general, employee relations can be considered to be a study of relations between employees as well as employer and employees so as to find ways of resolving conflicts and to help in improving productivity of the organization by increasing motivation and morale of the workers. The field is concerned with providing information to employees regarding the goals of the organization so that they have a better understanding of the aims and policies of the management. Employees are also informed about their poor performances and ways and means to correct performance. Employee relations also take care of grievances and the problems of the employees and let them know all about their rights and what to do in case of discrimination.
What is the difference between Industrial Relations and Employee Relations?
• Though it was industrial relations that came into existence earlier, it is employee relations that is increasingly being used to refer to workplace relations these days.
• Falling union memberships around the world have made people realize that relations between employers and employees are more important than the focus given to these relations by industrial relations.
• It is human beings called employees that form the backbone of all operations in an organization and the study of relations between employees and employees and employers are more important than the laws and institutions that govern relations at the workplace.