The bank for a changing world

Employee Relations Manager, Vice President




United States-California-San Francisco

Job function

Human Resources



Employee Relations Manager, Vice President


Company:                   Bank of the West

Location:                    San Francisco, CA or San Ramon, CA (San Francisco Bay)

Reports to:                 Senior HR Business Partner, Senior Vice President, HR Administration


Our Brand

At Bank of the West, we believe the West is more than a place; it’s a state of mind.  It’s a spirit that says there’s opportunity out here for anyone with the courage and drive to reach out and grab it.  We believe the customer is at the core of everything we do, and we take a real and human approach to banking.  Our brand personality is reflective of modern Western values:  open, straightforward, entrepreneurial, optimistic and innovative. What sets Bank of the West apart from other banks is our team members - we seek to create a corporate culture that fosters and rewards excellence, encourages creative thinking and respects diversity.


Position Summary

The Employee Relations Manager- VP will manage Employee Relations for Bank of the West. This person will design and administer human resources policies and procedures. Responsible for coordinating and directing the Employee Relations  programs and functions bank-wide. This individual will lead the Human Resources Team that consults with and provides counsel and recommendations to business leaders, in order to resolve issues and complaints. Will oversee various internal and external investigation and reporting issues which result from team member complaints. Will ensure compliance with employment policies, procedures, local, state and federal laws and regulations. Must demonstrate up-to-date expertise in Employee Relations and apply this to the development, execution and improvement of action plans. Will lead efforts to enhance the work environment and morale of staff.  Will lead, and participate in, enterprise-wide projects.   


Position Accountabilities

·         Counsel and guide Bank managers and employees in all areas of human resources policies (i.e., personnel administration, policy interpretation, employee complaints/grievances, corrective action procedures, etc.) directly and through oversight of Employee Relations Officers and other direct reports.

·         Provide leadership, counsel and guidance in the resolution of employee relations issues.  Investigate and offer recommendations/solutions to employee complaints and concerns.  Advise managers in: employee coaching, counseling, performance monitoring and evaluation, employment laws and Bank policies.  

·         Identify employee needs with regard to performance problems, training options and career pathing. Make recommendations accordingly.

·         Develop and implement potential enhancements to current HR policies/practices. Manage the on-line Team Member Handbook to ensure compliance with state, federal and local employment laws.

·         Plan, recommend, track and implement reductions in workforce. Provide outplacement counseling to displaced employees.

·         Recommend ideas and programs to enhance the employee experience.

·         Work with managers and employees as needed to resolve communication issues or resolve employee grievances (including those related to discrimination or harassment as directed by the Sr. ER and Compliance Manager).

·         Manage HR Consultants and HR Advisors, including selection, development, performance review, etc.

·         Oversee the administration of employee climate surveys and work closely with business managers to develop solutions in order to resolve identified issues.

·         Ensure compliance with legal/regulatory requirements for poster and information display.

·         Plan, conduct and supervise Employee Relations/ Human Resource projects of a complex scope.  Has direct responsibility for multiple concurrent projects.

·         Prepare proposals for senior/executive management review/approval.

·         Manage outside vendors as directed by the Sr. ER and Compliance Manager.

·         Employee Relations Lead for sensitive bank-wide projects.   



Job Specifications

Required Education or Equivalent Experience

·    Ideally Master’s, minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Organizational Development, Human Resources or a related field is required


Required Experience

·    Minimum of 7+ years of proven employee relations leadership / management experience within financial services industry, or a similarly complex corporate and professional environment (such as professional services, life sciences, or other large corporations).

·    Minimum of 8+ years of progressive Human Resources Management and employee relations experience, including legal and regulatory issues. 

·    Demonstrated ability to reconcile complex employee relations issues.

·    Experience in developing HR guidelines and procedures in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. 

·    Able to interact with all employee levels effectively. 

·    Demonstrated ability to lead others and work independently to complete projects in a timely manner.

·    Extensive experience in Employee Relations with experience directly managing a team of 10 people.

·    World-class communicator.  Excellent presentation and written communication skills.

·    Track record of direct leadership, as well as success within matrixed organizations.

·    Exceptional relationship skills; takes a collaborative approach in working with colleagues across different functions and across lines of business.

·    Analytical, with a research orientation. Attentive to detail.

·     Experience developing programs which drive successful organizational change.

·    Demonstrated management/leadership experience.  Able to manage relationships with staff, colleagues and external vendors.

·    Able to develop office procedures.

·    Exceptionally strong written and verbal communication skills.

·    Able to travel occasionally for work (up to 10-15%)


Technical and Administrative Skills

·    Subject matter expert in Employee Relations

·    Able to distill complex information into transparent communications, plans and strategies

·    Skillful at managing through change; comfortable with ambiguity

·    Understands how to use business technology such as PC with Microsoft Office software


Leadership Competencies/Personal Attributes:

·    Empathetic and diplomatic

·    Ability to effectively advise and communicate.

·    Displays high intellectual capacity, sound professional judgment and discretion to lead in complex, changing, and ambiguous environments. Innovative.

·    Communicates effectively with diverse groups and individuals - clearly conveys information and ideas and listens and responds appropriately to external vendors and individuals throughout the Bank including senior and executive management

·    Experience within a highly matrixed, collaborative environment is essential. Develops open, considerate, effective and productive working relationships.

·    Displays advanced decision making and analysis skills - draws information and broad knowledge to make timely and logical decisions to provide practical solutions. Strong presentation and problem solving skills

·    Adaptable - responds appropriately and competently to work challenges when confronted with change, ambiguity, adversity, and other pressures.

·    Strong results-orientation and Personal Ownership -  Assumes responsibility for effectively meeting objectives, motivates self to get the job done, performs job duties in an organized, accurate and productive fashion, seeks out and is open to knowledge, ideas and feedback to improve effectiveness, and holds self-accountable for following policies, guidelines, and procedures.

·    Effective negotiation skills

·    Highest standards of ethics and personal integrity   


Level Supervised

·    Manage a team of approximately 10 people


Physical Requirements

* Sedentary Work: lifting a maximum of 30 pounds, occasional standing/walking


Bank of the West is an Equal Opportunity employer and proud to provide equal employment opportunity to all job seekers without regard to any status protected by applicable law.   Bank of the West is also an Affirmative Action employer - Minority / Female / Disabled / Veteran.


Bank of the West will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance subject to the requirements of all state and federal laws and regulations.