Employee Relations Manager

Mars   •  

Kansas City, MO

Industry: Accounting, Finance & Insurance


5 - 7 years

Posted 36 days ago

This job is no longer available.

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet. What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Employee (Associate) Relations Manager

Topeka, Kansas (preferred location)/Kansas City, MO

Job Purpose/Overview:

The Employee/Associate Relations (AR) Manager will serve as the point of contact for associate relations issues and inquires within an identified cross-segment, cross-functional client group. Responsibilities include building trust, credibility and collaborative relationships with line managers and associates. Apply expertise and sound judgement when managing inquiries, mitigating risk and minimizing adverse impact to the organization through application of policies, practices and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Resolve issues and address client needs to ensure situations are resolved fairly, objectively, and in a manner that aligns with our Five Principles and the Associate Concept.

Key Responsibilities:

Issue Resolution

  • Responsible for evaluating and managing site/function Associate Relations issues and concerns
  • Conduct timely, thorough, and effective investigations relating to company policy, employment law, and other regulations.
  • Investigate and/or provide support in response to agency claims.
  • Identify complex and high risk situations, providing assessment and recommendation to Sr. AR Manager.
  • Collaborate with legal counsel as needed regarding separations, severance/redundancy and transition assistance.
  • Coach line managers on performance management, appropriate documentation and communicating effectively to drive improvement and/or mitigate risk.
  • Resolve disputes and conflicts through fact finding, mediation and education.
  • Ensure proper documentation to:
    • Provide clarity for associates.
    • Minimize risk in legal, governmental or union challenges.

Relationship Management

  • Build sustainable relationships with key stakeholders (Line Managers, Human Resources, Legal, site leadership, global security).
  • Manage the “day to day” interaction with the site leadership.

Organization Change Support

  • Consult and provide guidance to Business Partners to ensure org initiatives and associate impacts comply with policies, practices and employment law.
  • Support organizational change initiatives by:
    • Coaching and training line mangers for discussions.
    • Partner with legal regarding separation agreements and assessment of business risk.
    • Initiate the required actions to comply with separation agreement (severance, COBRA, outplacement, etc.)
    • Assess site safety and security risks when implementing change.

Capability & Insights

  • Deliver and ensure compliance to Associate Relations capability building programs.
  • Coach and advise line managers, associates and Human Resources partners in matters related to associate relations.
  • Create recommendations for site leadership teams leveraging AR data & analytics.
  • Leverage best practices, trends and regulatory developments to identify continuous improvement opportunities.

Job Qualifications:


  • University degree or equivalent experience in Human Resources, Labor/Industrial Relations, Legal


  • Minimum five years of experience working in Human Resources/Labor Relations
  • Strong communication, written and interpersonal skills; ability to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals across all levels of the organization
  • Deep knowledge in applicable employment and labor relations regulations
  • Ability to rapidly mobilize and manage internal and external resources to mitigate risks to the Mars business and reputation
  • Ability to handle and maintain confidential and sensitive information
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong conflict management skills
  • Ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines, and work effectively while managing competing projects and/or demanding clients

Travel Requirements

  • Around 30% of the time will be spent traveling