Recently, we wrote about what you can do with a Master’s in Human Resource Management, and here, we’ll explain how you can use your degree to get one of the best jobs in HR, the role of employee relations manager.

This is a fantastic job that allows you to oversee employee relations, ensuring that all employees are maintaining positive relationships with each other and with the organization’s management. 

This post will explore why you should consider getting into this line of work, what you’d be asked to do on the job, what you’ll need to do to prepare for the role, and how you can increase your chances of landing this competitive position.

After you’ve read about how to become an employee relations manager, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our online Master’s Degree in HR Management, which can help put you on the path towards achieving your career aspirations! 

If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.

Is Employee Relations Really a Good Career Field?

Yes, employee relations is an excellent field to specialize in, as these professionals are responsible for some of the most important aspects of any organization, playing a role in critical HR processes like employee retention, compliance with employment laws, and creating a productive work environment. 

Due to the fact that virtually every organization needs HR assistance, you may also be able to find many opportunities for growth and advancement after specializing in this field.

There are three main reasons to consider becoming an employee relations manager, including:

  • Demand for qualified human resources managers (a role quite similar to employee relations managers) is projected to increase, with BLS estimating employment for this role will rise 7% between 2021 and 2031.
  • Employee relations managers get to play an absolutely essential role in modern organizations, being responsible for overseeing the relationship between employees and the company’s leadership, making them extremely high-valued assets in nearly every industry.
  • This tends to be a well-paid position, with BLS reporting that human resource managers earned an annual average salary of $126,230 as of May 2021.

If you’d like a career where you get to work with people and have a significant impact on organizational success, then you may want to consider pursuing a job in employee relations.

What Are Some Common Job Titles for Employee Relations Managers?

Like many other modern, complex roles, there are all sorts of different job titles that are similar to that of “Employee Relations Manager,” and you can find HR professionals providing similar functions as this role, but holding various job titles, like:

  • Talent acquisition manager: This position is responsible for finding and hiring the best talent for the company.
  • Human resources manager: This position coordinates all aspects of human resources within a company, including recruiting, hiring, training, and firing employees.
  • Compensation and benefits manager: This position is responsible for developing and administering employee benefits programs.
  • Learning and development manager: This position is responsible for designing and delivering training programs that help employees grow and develop their skills.
  • Organizational development manager: This position is responsible for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization by developing and implementing change management strategies.
  • Personnel manager: This position is responsible for overseeing the hiring, firing, and training of employees.
  • Recruiter: This position is responsible for finding and hiring qualified employees for a company.
  • Labor relations manager: This position is responsible for maintaining positive relationships between employees and management and resolving disputes.

These other job titles don’t overlap perfectly with the role of employee relations manager, but they tend to share a lot of the same responsibilities, skills, and knowledge requirements.

As a result, preparing to become an employee relations manager may open up paths to pursue these other roles should you choose to head in a different professional direction.

What Do Employee Relations Managers Actually Do?

Employee relations managers are primarily in charge of creating employee relations policies and procedures, training staff on these topics, and overseeing the relationship between the company and its employees.

To accomplish these goals, typical daily tasks may include things like:

  • Hiring and firing employees.
  • Training and developing employees.
  • Managing employee benefits and compensation.
  • Addressing complaints or concerns from employees.
  • Investigating employee complaints and determining an appropriate course of action.
  • Implementing disciplinary procedures, as needed.
  • Mediating disputes between employees or groups of employees.
  • Developing policies and procedures related to employee relations.
  • Conducting training on employee relations topics for managers and employees.

This is clearly a critical role, since these professionals handle important responsibilities like employee complaints, investigating potential wrongdoing, and working to resolve conflicts, so if you’re looking to play an important role in driving organizational success, it could be the perfect field for you.

Breaking into a career as an employee relations manager can be difficult. However, if you have the right skills and are willing to put in the hard work, it can be a very rewarding career. 

What Skills & Abilities Are Needed to Become a Successful Employee Relations Manager?

Employee relations managers need to develop an extremely complicated set of people-oriented and relationship-focused skills and abilities.

To prepare for a career in this field, you’ll want to work on developing several critical hard skills, including: 

  • Strong communication skills: You’ll need to be able to communicate with employees, managers, and HR professionals effectively calmly, and in a way that helps build trust and improve performance.
  • Conflict resolution skills: It’s likely that you’ll find yourself responsible for resolving disputes between employees, so you need to be good at diffusing tension and finding common ground.
  • Knowledge of employment law: You need to be up-to-date on the latest employment laws and regulations so that you can advise employees and employers on their rights and obligations.

In addition to those hard skills listed above, you should also develop a number of soft skills, like:

  • Strong interpersonal skills: You need to be able to build positive relationships with employees and resolve any conflicts that may arise.
  • Organizational skills: You may need to juggle a number of different tasks at once, so you should be good at staying organized and keeping on top of things.
  • Problem-solving skills: Since you’ll be responsible for handling disputes between employees, and because they can often be complex and challenging to resolve, you need to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions quickly.
  • Negotiation skills: You may need to negotiate settlements between employees and their employers, or between employees and each other, so succeeding in this role could require an ability to negotiate and achieve fair compromises.

The most effective way to learn and develop these skills is to complete a degree focused on human resources, like CSU Global’s Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management.

Our 100% online program will ensure that you’re fully prepared to deliver real HR value to any organization from your first day on the job.

Do I Really Need a Degree to Become an Employee Relations Manager?

Not necessarily, but the BLS does report that the typical education requirement for a human resources manager is a bachelor’s degree.

To help gain a competitive edge against other applicants for available employee relations management roles, you should consider completing a Master’s Degree in HR Management.

Alternatively, if you haven’t yet completed a bachelor’s degree, then you should think about obtaining our Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management, which is the perfect way to break into the HR industry if you don’t already have any experience in the field.

The reason it’s so important to get your degree in HR before attempting to get hired as an employee relations manager is that anyone looking to hire for this important role is going to want an expert with the skills and academic credentials to prove that they’re capable of handling this complex work.

How Will CSU Global’s M.S. in HR Management Help Prepare me for a Career as an Employee Relations Manager?

Our online Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management will allow you to develop the knowledge, skills, abilities, and practical experience that you need to provide effective HR leadership.

In this program, you’ll study critical HR subjects, including talent development, human resource leadership, and maximizing human capital so that you can leverage modern HR theories, programs, and best practices.

Furthermore, you’ll develop absolutely critical skills and foundational knowledge needed to succeed in the modern HR arena, including: 

  • How to apply HR best practices, theories, and models to achieve optimal organizational performance.
  • How to utilize relationships with employees and management to advance the organization’s strategic objectives.
  • How to leverage modern management strategies to improve organizational effectiveness.
  • How to create an innovative, inspiring, and organizational culture that maximizes an organization’s human assets.
  • How to evaluate HR-related legal, ethical, and corporate social responsibilities.
  • How to use HR metrics and systems to develop personnel and advance organizational growth.

By building these foundational skills, you’ll graduate fully prepared to tackle the challenges and responsibilities needed to serve as an effective employee relations manager.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?

Completing a degree in HR management is the best and most efficient way to prepare yourself for a career as an employee relations manager, but there are other things you can do to help improve your chances of success.

One opportunity you should consider is completing an HR certification program, or several of them, which may help refine specific HR skills, while also adding to your academic credentials to improve your marketability with potential hiring managers.

According to Payscale, you may want to consider the following HR certifications:

  • SHRM’s Certified Professional certificate (SHRM-CP).
  • SHRM’s Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).
  • HRCI’s Professional in Human Resources certificate (PHR).
  • HRCI’s Senior Professional in Human Resources certificate (SPHR).
  • HRCI’s Associate Professional in Human Resources certificate (aPHR).

Completing one or more of these certifications is likely to help improve your ability to compete for the most sought-after positions in employee relations, while also giving you a chance to add to your skills and knowledge of HR best practices. 

To be clear, you don't necessarily need to complete an HR Master’s Degree or a certification program to become an employee relations manager, but if your goal is to increase the odds of landing one of the best jobs in the industry, then these are steps you will want to consider taking.

Should I Get My HR Management Degree Online? 

Yes, no matter which higher education path you choose to pursue, we suggest getting your degree and certification online instead of in person.

Studying online will provide many benefits compared to in-person learning, but the most important one is that it offers you much more flexibility and freedom, since you can learn anytime, and from anywhere that you’ve got a solid internet connection.

Choosing to study with CSU Global confers a whole host of other advantages, including: 

  • No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
  • Monthly class starts.
  • Accelerated courses.

Our students report that these benefits make it easier for them to complete their programs without interrupting other important responsibilities.

If you’re already got family and work responsibilities that you’ll need to continue delivering while pursuing new academic credentials, then you should seriously consider getting your degree online with us.

Why Should I Choose CSU Global?

Our online Master’s Degree in HR Management is the perfect way to develop everything you need to become a professional employee relations manager.

This program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the program curriculum is aligned with the SHRM HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.

You can count on this degree to help you develop a successful HR career, as it currently holds the #2 ranking for Best Online Master’s in Human Resources by Online Course Report.

Furthermore, our alumni’s experience in the job market proves that this program delivers excellent results, as their top three reported job titles are HR Director, Corporate Recruiter, and Employee Relations Manager.

CSU Global is also widely regarded as an industry leader in higher education, and currently holds several important rankings, including:

  • A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges

Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates and a Tuition Guarantee to ensure that your affordable tuition rate won’t rise as long as you remain enrolled as a student, which protects you from the tuition rate hikes that are common at other schools.

To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.

Ready to get started today? Apply now!