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Employee Relations Manager Duties and Responsibilities

While an employee relations manager's day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Employee Relations Program Design To keep a business running smoothly, a company needs to balance employee and manager relationships. Employee relations managers design programs to ensure the fair treatment of employees and effective communication between employees and managers.

Implement Policies and Procedures Company policies determine the way employees conduct themselves in the workplace and address issues like drug and alcohol use, sexual harassment, and privacy. The employee relations manager is responsible for creating and enforcing these policies.

Resolve Workplace Conflicts Situations between employees and management arise in any workplace environment. Employee relations managers address these conflicts and strive to resolve them in a positive manner that benefits all parties and facilitates healthy work relationships.

Address Employee Concerns Employee relations managers listen to and address employee concerns to encourage a supportive atmosphere in the workplace. They resolve employee issues and handle complaints to protect the interests of all parties involved.

Advise Managers It's important for managers to have the skills to handle employees in all potential work scenarios. Employee relations managers provide advice on how to effectively deal with employees, especially in difficult situations.

Lead Negotiations Negotiations are another key duty. Employees often sign contracts that outline salaries and benefits, and employee relations managers facilitate the negotiation of these contracts between employees and management to come up with terms that please both sides.


Employee Relations Manager Skills and Qualifications

Employee relations managers should have a passion for working with diverse groups of people and a knack for problem-solving. Required education and experience vary depending on the industry, but a bachelor's degree and prior experience in the HR sector are typically sought out. Employers also prefer candidates with the following skills:
  • Interpersonal skills - the employee relations manager often plays the role of counselor, mediator, and connector between the workforce and management, so strong interpersonal skills are essential to identify the needs of employees and management
  • Problem-solving skills - it's up to the employee relations manager to devise solutions to issues that arise in the workplace
  • Negotiation - employee relations managers present information and bargain with managers and employees to reach contract terms that please both sides
  • Communication skills - healthy employee relations depend on the flow of information through the company. The ability to listen and understand people's concerns is important for this position, as is the ability to provide answers to complex workplace questions
  • Analytical skills - as the link between employees and managers, employee relations managers need strong analytical skills to assess situations and make accurate observations in the workplace

Employee Relations Manager Education and Training

A bachelor's degree in human resources or business is generally required for this position. Previous experience in employee relations or HR management is usually required as well. Leadership and industry certifications can give job candidates an edge over the competition.

Employee Relations Manager Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for employee relations managers is $102,469, with a usual range of $90,934 to $119,850 that varies widely based on industry and location. Employee relations managers in the 10th percentile earn $80,432 a year, while the highest-paid managers make $134,977 a year, according to Salary.com. Employee relations managers usually receive full benefits packages that include healthcare, retirement options, and paid time off.

Helpful Resources

Are you interested in using your people skills to become an employee relations manager? We've searched the internet and gathered a list of great resources to help you along your way:

"How Do You Become an Employee Relations Specialist?" - this outstanding article by the Business Research Guide contains information about the degrees and certifications necessary to work in the HR management field

The National Human Resource Association - the NHRA offers a national connection service for professionals in human resources, as well as information on training, networking, jobs, and career development

Unwritten HR Rules: 21 Secrets for Attaining Awesome Career Success in Human Resources - author Alan Collins shares strategies for advancing your career in the HR field, including 21 secrets to landing an awesome job

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