Director of Employee Relations & Engagement

Alexandria, Virginia
Mar 16, 2022
May 25, 2022
Full Time
Job Description

The Director leads and manages the administration of employee engagement and employee relations for a workforce of approximately 2600 full-time and 1600 temporary, seasonal, and contractor employees. The Director is responsible for job onboarding, performance management, records management, employee investigations, workplace surveys, and the annual employee handbook. The Director promotes engagement initiatives to support the employee work lifecycle (e.g. job knowledge, wellness, and social-emotional supports) to instill professional behavior in the everyday work culture. This work includes proactive actions to investigate and resolve complaints and grievances. This office serves to promote a climate of positive employee-manager relationships for a multiethnic, multicultural, multigenerational workplace in teaching and learning public school environment. As a staff expert, the Director advises the senior staff, department supervisors, and school leaders on policies, procedures, and practices for employee engagement and relations.

This position reports to the Executive Director of Human Resources.


Education: Bachelor's degree in personnel management, business administration, or related fields. Master's degree or Juris Doctorate preferred. A combination of education, training, and experience may substitute for the educational requirements.

Certificates & Licenses: None required. Professional certification preferred (e.g. SHRM, HCI, IPMA-HR, AASPA, World at Work, ATD, etc.)

Experience: Five years of progressive experience in human resources administration, employee relations or labor relations required. Experience with direct-report supervision of five or more staff preferred. Experience with HCM/HRIS/HRMS software and applicant tracking systems.

Essential Functions

  1. Employee Engagement Functions
  • Implements formal and informal performance management programs for newly hired, tenured, and retiring employees
  • Oversees electronic personnel records and forms system to reduce paper and increase automated records accountability and document retrieval
  • Reviews and updates employee handbook to align with board policy (i.e. G-Series) and ensures digital signature.
  • Develops and provides oversight of the onboarding process to ensure new employees feel welcome and understand division values and culture. Conducts recognition of new staff and manages the annual retirement ceremony
  • Develops engagement strategy to align employee-supervisor relationships with Division five-year strategic plan.
  • Explore the use of digital and social technologies to enhance collaborative conversations between employee and supervisor
  • Participate in discussions to redesign and reduce work overload and mitigate burnout
  • Conduct cyclical workforce surveys to assess the employee-supervisor work relationship (e.g. listening sessions, exit interviews, stay interviews, climate surveys, customer service feedback forms, etc.).
  • Collaborates with the Department of Accountability and Office of Communications on content, promotion, and frequency of surveys.
  • Assist in reviewing and standardizing policies, implementing compliance initiatives, and managing HR-related case management.
  • In collaboration with senior leadership, create and manage dashboard, materials, and present training for supervisors and HR staff on employee and labor relations issues.
  • Implement and support performance management system to develop KPI dashboard for HR Department
  • Assist in the implementation of HRIS Integration and Automation of Processes and Workflows: Refine and implement workflows to allow current systems to maintain data reliability and communication between programs to support HR work
  1. Labor-Management Relations function
  • Conducts fact-finding investigations or mediated resolutions to incident reports, complaints, and grievances. Considers alternative dispute resolution practices in lieu of investigation to resolve complaints.
  • Provides vision, direction, and leadership regarding the implementation of the district's personnel policies and procedures related to federally protected classes
  • Uses case-management software (e.g. in-take interviews, collection of documentary evidence, timeline, prior-case history, employment history summary, etc.) to ensure investigations are recorded and completed in a timely manner.
  • Implements ongoing professional development to school building leaders and central office supervisory staff regarding civil rights compliance, proper investigative techniques and skills, and response to critical incidents.
  • Assist to train supervisors with the knowledge and best practice of how to confront real workplace issues and problem solve with peers and subordinates
  • Collaborates with General Counsel to provide a timely and effective response to reports of civil rights violations or employee misconduct and guidance for conducting investigations.
  • May serve as the District's designated compliance officer for civil rights and harassment/intimidation/bullying infractions and as the designated Title IX Coordinator
  • Collaborate with leaders to develop strategies for collective bargaining, shape labor policy recommendations, and support proposals that align with ACPS strategic priorities.
  • Participate as a member of the management bargaining team, to support and plan for negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Assist in the formulation of the HR strategy to coordinate resources to present ACPS's interest in labor negotiations, mediation, arbitration, grievances and grievance arbitration, unfair labor practices, administrative hearings, and legal proceedings as appropriate.
  • Assist in investigations and respond to union grievances and propose settlements to contract disputes and disciplinary actions.
  1. Other functions:
  • Facilitates communication and coordination among staff to implement the strategic plan
  • Develops, manages, and administers an office budget for personnel staffing and non-personnel supports and services
  • Collaborates with staff to prepare and recommend changes in personnel policies, procedures, position classification, pay plan, and respective practices
  • Stays current with civil rights laws, employment law (including employment discrimination law), and labor law (application of collective bargaining agreements).
  • Attends meetings, conferences, and seminars to understand current research, trends, and practices in the HR field
  • May perform other duties as assigned for the department and division
  • Designated primary vaccination coordinator responsible for overseeing the vaccination and testing mandate.
  • Develops and manages attestation dashboard for all staff

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Ability to be adaptive and responsive to evolving priorities
  • Ability to maintain discretion and confidentiality on all personnel matters
  • Ability to build quick credibility and ongoing trust with employees and supervisors
  • Exceptional verbal, listening, writing, time management, and problem-solving skills
  • A results-oriented individual with a collaborative and solutions-driven mindset
  • Ability to facilitate and drive discussions to deliver productive outcomes to diverse actors
  • Strong ability to organize information and provide succinct reports
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to coach employees and managers in conflict and issue resolution
  • Able to operate a vehicle to visit school sites and offices

  • Criminal Justice Fingerprint/Background Clearance.
  • Tuberculosis Skin Test.

Public Health Compliance
  • Proof of COVID vaccination. Exemptions for religious/medical will be reviewed.
  • Must follow safety and health protocols.


Primary Location:
Central Office
Salary Range:
$101,100.00 - $156,528.00 / Administrator SAS-12
Shift Type:

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