AVP, Employee Relations

Unum | Portland, ME, United States

Posted Date 9/07/2023
Description Job Posting End Date: September 30

When you join the team at Unum, you become part of an organization committed to helping you thrive.

Here, we work to provide the employee benefits and service solutions that enable employees at our client companies to thrive throughout life’s moments. And this starts with ensuring that every one of our team members enjoys opportunities to succeed both professionally and personally. To enable this, we provide:

  • Award-winning culture
  • Inclusion and diversity as a priority
  • Performance Based Incentive Plans
  • Competitive benefits package that includes: Health, Vision, Dental, Short & Long-Term Disability
  • Generous PTO (including paid time to volunteer!)
  • Up to 9.5% 401(k) employer contribution
  • Mental health support
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Student loan repayment options
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Flexible work environments

*All the benefits listed above are subject to the terms of their individual Plans.

And that’s just the beginning…

With 10,000 employees helping more than 39 million people worldwide, every role at Unum is meaningful and impacts the lives of our customers. Whether you’re directly supporting a growing family, or developing online tools to help navigate a difficult loss, customers are counting on the combined talents of our entire team. Help us help others, and join Team Unum today!

General Summary:

Reporting to the Vice President of Global Talent Management (VP, GTM), the AVP, Employee Relations (ER) is responsible to develop and implement overall strategy of the ER team. The incumbent will own driving change, improving processes, and defining the operating model for the ERC team. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for the development, implementation, and reporting related to employee relations strategies, approaches, and programs in support of positive, high performing, and highly ethical work environment and practices in the US.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the strategy, design, implementation of Employee Relations practices in support of achieving business goals, a positive work environment, and in line with laws and highly ethical approaches.
  • Responsible for ensuring that managers and employees have the support needed to work through varying degrees of performance related issues, balancing the needs of the business with the needs of the employee.
  • Drive change and improvement processes and define operating model for ER team.
  • Attract, develop, and retain a talented and high performing staff that is seen as experts in their field, influential, proactive and very business focused.
  • Ensure managers and employees have the tools and support to effectively work through varying degrees of performance and behavioral issues.
  • Develop, implement and rollout new policies and procedures in line with external best practice.
  • Partner with broader GTM organization to provide insight into areas of focus in up skilling managers and improving the employee experience across the employee lifecycle.
  • Maintain close partnerships between ER, legal, IT, Finance, and HR COEs, and the business to ensure appropriate expertise is brought to the table to resolve and proactively avoid issues.
  • Partner with stakeholders in P&C and Risk to ensure employee relations processes and policies support Unum’s Future of Work strategy.
  • Owner of all employee relations policies and responsible for updating them per the Compliance team’s bi-annual schedule.
  • Implement best in class systems and controls for ER team to proactively track, monitor and analyze data to identify trends in the work environment across the enterprise and develop recommendations that drive appropriate actions in partnership with HR COE partners and key stakeholders.
  • Prepare EVP, People, Communications, Brand and Community Relations and General Counsel for Board reporting in partnership with legal partners. Present to the Board as needed.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor processes in partnership with VP, HR Business Partners that enable business areas to implement major organizational change and realignment/elimination of resources with a focus on mitigating risk and keeping employees engaged.
  • Ensure fair and objective investigative processes are in place to address code of conduct violations, unfair management practices, bullying, hostile work environment, harassment and discrimination issues and conducted in a way that effectively balances employee experience and business needs while mitigating risk.
  • Be an objective and trusted advisor for Executives, HRBPs, Senior ERCs, employees and all levels of leadership.
  • Demonstrate independent judgement and discretion and recognize when to escalate more complex matters to the VP, GTM, and other key stakeholders as appropriate.
  • May perform other duties as assigned.

Job Specifications

  • College degree required; graduate degree preferred.
  • 8 - 12 years of high-level management, HR and/or ER experience
  • Ability to quickly establish strong credibility at the executive level through demonstrated expertise, self-confidence, influencing skill and insight.
  • Must be able to address and resolve conflict at the executive level.
  • Demonstrated experience driving change and process improvement.
  • Ability to effectively delegate and accomplish work through others.
  • Ability to effectively handle and prioritize multiple competing responsibilities.
  • Solid understanding of ER practices, laws, impacts.
  • Strategic thinking skills: able to understand how individual situations impact the whole.
  • Strong workplace investigation skills.
  • Strong data analysis skills.
  • Tactical implementation/project management skills; detail orientation
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information appropriately.
  • Strong collaboration skills across business areas, corporate functions and within HR.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills with a disciplined approach to case documentation.
  • Proficient with technology such as HRIS systems, Microsoft Office software (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint), etc.
  • Ability to travel, on a limited basis, as needed.
  • Meets the standards for this position, as defined in the Talent Management framework.

Unum and Colonial Life are part of Unum Group, a Fortune 500 company and leading provider of employee benefits to companies worldwide. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, with international offices in Ireland, Poland and the UK, Unum also has significant operations in Portland, ME, and Baton Rouge, LA - plus over 35 US field offices. Colonial Life is headquartered in Columbia, SC, with over 40 field offices nationwide.

The base salary range for applicants for this position is listed below. Unless actual salary is indicated above in the job description, actual pay will be based on skill, geographical location and experience.


Additionally, Unum offers a portfolio of benefits and rewards that are competitive and comprehensive including healthcare benefits (health, vision, dental), insurance benefits (short & long-term disability), performance-based incentive plans, paid time off, and a 401(k) retirement plan with an employer match up to 5% and an additional 4.5% contribution whether you contribute to the plan or not. All benefits are subject to the terms and conditions of individual Plans.

Salary114,100.00 - 205,400.00 Annual
Job Type
Regular | Regular

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