Job Listings

Manager, Employee Relations

Western Governors University
Job Location:
Salt Lake City, Utah
Human Resources

Job Type: Full time

Job Number: JR-012308

Location: Salt Lake City Office - Flex/Remote

If you're passionate about building a better future for individuals, communities, and our country-and you're committed to working hard to play your part in building that future-consider WGU as the next step in your career.

Driven by a mission to expand access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs, WGU is also committed to being a great place to work for a diverse workforce of student-focused professionals. The university has pioneered a new way to learn in the 21st century, one that has received praise from academic, industry, government, and media leaders. Whatever your role, working for WGU gives you a part to play in helping students graduate, creating a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Leads the Employee Relations team to ensure effective execution of all employee relations matters.
  • Coaches, develops, and provides actionable feedback to drive optimum performance and ongoing development.
  • Leads investigations and mentors, coaches, and advises People & Talent partners who lead investigations.
  • Represents employee relations at all levels of the university.
  • Effectively translates WGU leadership principles, cultural beliefs, and policy/best practices to each specific situation and provides recommendations.
  • Manages and resolves a broad spectrum of complex workplace concerns.
  • Conducts effective, thorough, and objective investigations on allegations of wrongdoing, violations of policy, Title IX and Title VII.
  • Proactively responds to and/or ensures leader and employee inquiries (e.g., Speak Up WGU, hotline calls, formal complaints, etc.) are brought to a timely resolution.
  • Anticipates the unintended consequences and broader impact of employee relations recommendations.
  • Provides regular and consistent ER reporting that delivers meaningful information to People & Talent partners and key business stakeholders to effectively evaluate current state of the workforce.
  • Regularly monitors exit interview and attrition data to prepare insightful recommendations to leaders and P&T Business Partners on identified trends and/or preventative measures within their client groups. Provides recommendations, support, and leadership training as needed.
  • Ensures employee relations processes related to regulations, law, and policy are consistently implemented through collaborative oversight and support of P&T Business Partners, Generalists, and leaders.
  • Work cross functionally with P&T and Leaders to lead employee relations processes related to investigations, education, training, prevention strategies and areas of risk.
  • Develops best practice methodologies to conduct fact finding investigations in a way to uncover root cause(s) and surfaces solutions to bring resolution.
  • Provides strategic direction for employee relations including evaluation of external and internal factors that impact the work environment, and the development of appropriate strategies and tactics to sustain or drive positive change.
  • Proactively engages with employees and leaders across WGU to minimize employee relations issues.
  • Provides consultation and guidance to P&T BPs and Leaders on addressing employee behavior and performance concerns; assists with the development of feedback or corrective actions.
  • Reviews and approves recommendations that involuntarily terminates an employee's employment.
  • Acts as a credible, trusted advisor to senior HR and business leaders by leveraging experience, expertise, organizational awareness, business acumen, a pragmatic mindset, and the ability to effectively partner with and influence others.
  • Develop processes that allow the employee relations function to improve productivity and scale according to future business needs; champion continuous improvement and quality control efforts and identify opportunities to improve efficiency, accuracy, and standardization
  • Develops and maintains positive professional relationships with stakeholders by ensuring employee relations matters are addressed in a comprehensive and collaborative manner

Knowledge, Skill and Abilities:

  • Ability to maintain neutrality and calm in intense, emotionally charged situations.
  • Must have advanced knowledge of employment laws and regulations.
  • Proven experience conducting internal HR investigations at all levels of the organization, in-person and via video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom, etc.)
  • Effective in exercising good judgement, and articulating rationale for recommendations to leaders and P&T Business Partners.
  • Ability to interact with a variety of different individuals demonstrating sound interpersonal skills and business judgment.
  • Interpersonal and communication experience, and experience building relationships at all levels of the organizations.
  • Ability to think strategically and translate plans into efficient processes, systems, and practices.
  • Strong presentation and facilitation skills with experience in presenting ideas and influencing at a senior level in the organization.
  • Strong analytics, attention to detail and financial acumen.
  • Ability to drive continuous improvement within the employee relations function.


Organizational Impact: 

  • Plans and establishes goals and objectives for employees in job area, with direct impact on the immediate, or short-term results of the department, function, or office. 
  • Typically, does not have budget accountability but may manage day-to-day elements of the budget and assist in compiling data to prepare annual budgets.  

Leadership and Talent Management: 

  • Supervises a team consisting of support employees. Coordinates, supervises, and reviews the work of team members.
  • Guides and provides on-the-job training to direct reports. Monitors performance, coaches employees, and helps draft performance reviews with input from manager. May recommend hiring, firing, promotion, performance, and rewards decisions. 

Problem Solving and Decision Making: 

  • Identifies, recommends, and implements ways to improve services and/or job area efficiency. 
  • Responsible for input to and application of job area policies. 

Communication and Influence: 

  • Communicates within the job area to direct reports and collaborates with Leaders across the organization. 
  • Requires the ability to communicate effectively with staff and leadership in written and verbal formats. 
  • Explains policies, practices and procedures of the job area to others within the University. May work cross-functionally to justify and gain cooperation of other parties on practices, policies, and procedures. 

Job Qualifications:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or related field OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • 5+ years of human resources experience in two or more key HR disciplines which includes 3+ years of employee relations experience in a scaled (5,000 FTE's +) matrixed, complex organization. .
  • 2+ years of people leader experience preferably in the Employee Relations or HR function
  • Prior experience overseeing and executing employee relations duties including investigations, corrective actions, and supporting regulatory elements such as ADA
  • Prior experience building the Employee Relations function/office, processes, procedures, and team with a scaled/matrixed employer, preferably a large higher education institution.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or related field
  • SHRM and/or HRCI certification desired
  • Experience with employment laws and regulations from multiple States; experience conducting employee relations at a scaled, national-level organization
  • Formalized training and instruction in Title IX, Title VII, and conducting investigations in a scaled, complex higher education institution

As an equal opportunity employer, WGU recognizes that our strength lies in our people. We are committed to diversity.

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