Top Skills Needed for an Effective Employment Relations Strategy

Employment Relations

by Ben Davern, Research & Insights at Irish Management Institute

In the ever-changing landscape of employment relations, it’s vital that individuals and organisations can understand the intricacies of employee negotiations, legal developments, and internal investigations. In collaboration with Stratis Consulting, IMI has conducted a piece of research that aims to provide valuable insights and knowledge around the top skills required for an effective employment relations strategy, which will allow individuals and organisations to navigate the challenges of the workplace.

Effective Conflict Resolution

There are many reasons why a conflict may arise in the workplace, such as disagreements around leadership style, poor coordination between groups or individuals, conflicting work styles and even cultural differences. However, without effective conflict resolution the dispute may grow to where it disrupts organisational harmony. Individuals must be equipped with principles for effective problem-solving and dispute resolution to address and resolve conflicts efficiently. Inadequate conflict resolution can lead to employee dissatisfaction and decreased productivity, so it’s vital that individuals can handle conflicts proactively and effectively.

Strategic Negotiation

Negotiation is often the linchpin of successful employee relations. Indeed, the importance of negotiation can’t be overstated. Negotiation holds the key to getting ahead in the workplace, resolving conflicts, and creating value in contracts. Individuals must gain the ability to develop negotiation strategies and tactical plans for handling complex workplace negotiations.


The ever-evolving legal landscape requires individuals and organisations to adapt swiftly. Individuals must be able to understand and adapt to the key changes in employment law and case law, ensuring that HR policies and procedures remain compliant. Even beyond the legal landscape, being adaptable is important because it showcases an individual’s ability to be resourceful while displaying their leadership skills and determination.


Staying updated on employment law and best practices is crucial to maintain compliance. Individuals must arm themselves with insights into legal obligations and practices, reducing the risk of legal disputes. Organisations often struggle with legal uncertainty, thus why its critical individuals remain deeply informed, thereby reducing legal risks.

Cultural Harmony

The Impact of Obligations Under Dignity at Work Legislation on Workplace Culture is profound. Organisations must understand these obligations to foster a culture of respect and dignity. However, fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace culture can be challenging, so it’s critical that organisations are equipped with the knowledge and tools to overcome these challenges.

Efficient Operations

Managing internal investigations, hearings, and appeals efficiently is vital. Yet many organisations struggle with the efficiency of their ER processes. It’s critical that organisations can streamline investigations and appeals by equipping individuals with enhanced project management skills, ensuring fair and consistent processes within organisations.

In today’s context, where remote work, diverse teams, and shifting workplace dynamics are the norm, this research should offer valuable insights into employee relations, empowering individuals and organisations to navigate the intricate web of negotiations, legal obligations, and internal investigations effectively. Whether you’re an HR professional seeking to enhance your expertise or an organisation aiming to build a resilient ER strategy, it’s vital to build a foundation for success in the complex world of employment relations.