This area of human resources deals exclusively with the maintenance of employee relations and how those relations impact productivity, motivation, and morale. The main purpose of employee relations is simple: prevent or resolve issues among employees that either impact, or were brought about as a result of, work. Doing so ensures that the company continues to function correctly.
Duties of the Employee Relations Manager
Employee relations managers are responsible for such vital functions as grievance handling, performance evaluations, standards of conduct, and policy administration. Also, in contrast to employee relations senior analysts, these human resources professionals often also oversee policies related to EEO/AA or benefits/transactions. Additional responsibilities may include identifying collective bargaining issues, negotiating union contracts, and conducting employee training or development programs.
Overseeing employee behavior, in particular, is vitally important. Employee relations managers provide recommendations regarding how employee performance can be improved and how misconduct can be prevented. This human resources job also entails ensuring that employees are aware of what is expected of them, and what the consequences will be if they fail to live up to those expectations.
What Is Needed to Become an Employee Relations Manager?
This particular human resources job often requires that candidates possess a four-year college degree in either business or personnel administration, along with several years of professional experience. Ideally, this experience will include labor relations experience. Employee relations manager prospects should be familiar with merit systems, compensation plans, collective bargaining agreements, and contract administration.
Overall, human resources professionals must demonstrate their knowledge of employment and labor policies, as well as their ability to diffuse volatile situations between employees. While working in the HR field, you will be part administrator, part legal advocate, part mediator, part arbiter, and all company cheerleader.