What Is An HR Employee Relations Manager?

The Human Resources (HR) department is crucial within any organisation, encompassing various roles to form a cohesive team. Among these essential roles lies that of an employee relations manager, contributing significantly to the overarching functions of HR.

To understand this role, it’s crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the everyday responsibilities of an employee relations manager, the role it plays within the workplace dynamic, and how it differs from other HR managerial positions.

Companies that offer effective human resources software include:

  1. Rippling
  2. Deel
  3. BrightHR

What Is The Role Of An Employee Relations Manager?

To begin with, let’s explore the role of an HR employee relations manager. In other words, at its core, what does an HR employee relations manager do?

These professionals, also referred to as employee relations specialists or supervisors, are tasked with managing and overseeing the relationship between employees and the organisation they work for. Their primary focus is on promoting positive relationships, resolving conflicts, and ensuring compliance with employment laws and company policies.

In essence, this means that HR employee relations managers are pivotal in nurturing workplace morale. Not only can they ensure employees enjoy a favourable quality of work life, but also that productivity levels are maintained, as disgruntled employees can disrupt workflow and thus hinder workplace operations.

What Is The Difference Between An HR Manager And Employee Relations Manager?

Before delving into the specific daily duties of an employee relations manager, it’s important to understand the necessity of this role within the HR department.

After all, there are already HR managers, so how does the employee relations manager differ? Don’t HR managers handle HR employee relations?

Of course, not all organisations will require a vast HR department including both HR managers and specific employee relations managers. In smaller organisations and startups, a smaller HR department or even a single HR individual will take on all general HR responsibilities.

However, within organisations that do encompass both, there are some differences between these roles.

While both HR managers and employee relations managers operate within the HR department, HR managers have a broader scope of responsibilities covering various HR functions, whereas employee relations managers specialise in managing employee relations and fostering a positive work culture.

For example, HR managers may oversee responsibilities such as recruitment, addressing HR development and growth, and handling employee compensation and benefits. As such responsibilities do not relate to managing the relationship between employees and the organisation they work for, employee relations managers can fill this gap and can concentrate their efforts on enhancing employee well-being.

What Are The Responsibilities Of An Employee Relations Manager?

Now we’ve got a specific idea of what employee relations managers are, let’s delve a little deeper into their everyday responsibilities:

  • Conflict Resolution: These managers will address and aim to resolve workplace conflicts between employees to reach a conclusion that suits all involved.
  • Employee Counseling and Support: The workplace can be a difficult and stressful environment. As such, employee relations managers can provide guidance and support to employees facing work-related issues, including performance concerns, interpersonal conflicts, or other difficulties and grievances.
  • Accommodation Requests: Within the workplace, it may be necessary for employee relations managers to implement requests regarding, for example, religion or disability.
  • Policy Development and Implementation: It is always important for the HR team within any organisation to keep improving to best serve employees. As such, employee relations managers can help to develop and update HR policies to ensure improvements and consistency are kept across the organisation.
  • Conduct investigations: If there are any more serious issues within the workplace, employee relations managers may need to lead investigations into complaints of harassment, discrimination, or other violations of company policies or employment laws.
  • Employee Engagement: Along with leading employee well-being will come the responsibility to develop strategies to promote employee engagement and satisfaction, especially if employees are struggling.
  • Training and Development: Training will be an essential part of employee development and well-being. As such, employee relations managers will need to develop training on topics related to employee relations, conflict resolution, and communication skills.

Each of these responsibilities contributes to building a trusted, safe, and productive work environment for all employees. This highlights the importance of employee relations managers in enhancing employee performance and workplace productivity.