Head of Employee Relations

Head of Employee Relations Jobs

As companies get larger, the workforce can become a powerful group. Industrial disputes are a reality of running a company, and managed badly they can reduce productivity, worry investors and hand advantages to competitors. That’s why many companies employ a head of employee relations. This role has the task of liaising with the workforce’s representatives, be they employees, shop stewards or third party union reps, to ensure relations between them and the senior management are optimal to the success and productivity of the company.

The head of employee relations is called upon to settle grievances and deal with disciplinary proceedings in a way that is seen to be fair, balanced and consistent. There are also health and safety considerations to contend with, and other aspects of employment law that affect the sector. Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of the employment picture, the head may also be asked to create a team of employee relations staff who oversee certain areas of the business.

The skills required

The overriding skill for this job is a demonstrable ability to deal with the reasonable demands of employees in a way that keeps them satisfied while maintaining maximum profitability and stability for the company. This can be a tough job, although expectations can be managed by ensuring employees’ rights and the company’s expectations of them are communicated to them at the contract stage.

Experience of dealing with unions is a bonus that will stand you in good stead in certain industries. An ability to foster relationships where employees can recognize the benefits of a harmonious atmosphere will be a valuable asset in the role. Avoiding disputes by constant communication with employees and/or their representatives and the board, plus any HR managers and directors, is key, so a CV that shows you have maintained good relations between employees and management will be useful.

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