Senior Manager, Employee Relations & Workplace Conduct

Posted by
Human Rights Watch
Washington, DC

Human Rights Watch

Published 21 days ago

December 4, 2020


Senior Manager, Employee Relations & Workplace Conduct

Global Human Resources Department

Location: Berlin, London, Washington DC, Other Locations Considered

Application Deadline: December 4, 2020


The Global Human Resources Department of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Senior Manager to lead our employee relations and workplace conduct processes, which are in place to resolve staff concerns around respect and fairness and to build understanding, transparency, and trust across the organization. The Senior Manager will oversee and monitor our complaints systems, carry out dispute resolution and mediation, conduct internal investigations, manage policies related to personal conduct and employee relations, and educate managers and staff on these policies and procedures and managing difficult conversations.

The Senior Manager is the focal point for various accountability processes that straddle the human resources and legal functions at HRW. The Senior Manager will work with management to swiftly respond to personal conduct issues and encourage mutual respect across a globally dispersed and diverse organization. This role will coordinate the staff points of contact in the complaints systems (staff advisors and ombudspersons) and work with various internal groups on issues of stress and resilience, diversity and inclusion, and other workplace culture and professional conduct issues that arise.  

This position will preferably be based in one of HRW's offices in either Berlin, London, or Washington DC, with other locations including, but not limited to, New York, Los Angeles, or Nairobi may be considered. This position is part of the Global Human Resources team, reporting jointly to the Chief People Office (CPO) and HR Deputy Director, and will work in close collaboration with the General Counsel's office. 

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely in the interim. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position. We anticipate that the successful candidate will begin this position in early 2021.


1. Conduct complex investigations into unlawful workplace activity, perceived unfair treatment and violations of organizational policies and procedures, draft investigation reports, and produce actionable findings and recommendations in an efficient, thorough, timely and professional manner, in close consultation with the CPO team, the General Counsel's office and, as appropriate, with outside counsel;  

2. Monitor and oversee HRW's complaints mechanisms and processes, responding to internal complaints by conducting intake and dialogue with persons raising concerns, questions or complaints and recommending avenues towards solution in a timely manner;

3. Facilitate effective and approachable communications with all persons involved in complaints processes, providing progress updates, conducting mediation between parties as needed to resolve issues, and communicating outcomes in clear and timely manner to those involved;

4. Manage a caseload of matters and investigations, including creating and executing complaint management and investigation plans, reviewing and analyzing information, talking to all parties involved, conducting interviews, coordinating weekly HR/GC inter-departmental meetings and reporting on caseload progress, organizing responses and maintaining records and documents;

5. Advise and guide departmental leadership, managers, supervisors and staff through the complaints and investigation processes related to misconduct investigations, to proactively mitigate issues arising during and after the investigation;

6. Review, update, and develop policies and procedures related to personal conduct and employee relations. This includes but is not limited to the complaints, investigation, bullying/harassment, and non-retaliation policies and a code of conduct guide for the organization; identify and benchmark against external best practices and recommend appropriate changes to internal policies and practices;

7. Coordinate and train staff members who have taken on additional roles as staff advisors, ombudspersons;

8. Create and conduct comprehensive live and electronic training for managers, supervisors, and staff on HRW's procedures related to the complaints process and mechanisms, investigation processes, non-retaliation policies, and general trainings on negotiating conflicts and managing difficult conversations;

9. Conduct regular assessments to ensure consistency and quality of investigations and to identify the potential causes and general trends of misconduct and recommend areas to be reviewed to prevent/minimize similar instances from occurring again;

10. Partner with other members of the Global Human Resources Division and HRW's organizational taskforces on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Stress and Resilience, on organizational change and culture projects, as needed.

11. Maintain the strict confidentiality of sensitive information;

12. Travel to other HRW offices, as required, for investigations, meetings, trainings, etc.; 

13. Carry out other duties as required. 


Education: A bachelor's degree is required. 

Experience: A minimum of five years of relevant work experience, preferably with experience within a global setting in human resources, personnel investigations, employment law (preferably including anti-discrimination laws), and/or employee relations, is required. 

Related Skills and Knowledge: 

1. Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to listen, interact and communicate effectively and emphatically with all levels of diverse staff and other key stakeholders throughout the course of problem-solving and complaints resolution are required. 

2. Experience advising on a wide range of employee relations issues, including performance, interpersonal, and management issues is required.

3. Experience in the mediation of difficult conversations and disputes to work towards a common solution is highly desirable. 

4. A general understanding of employment law on a global scale, preferably including an understanding of anti-discrimination laws, is desirable.

5. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English is required; fluency in French or other languages is a plus. 

6. Demonstrated excellence in critical thinking and analytical ability is required.

7. Exceptional organizational skills and ability to manage demanding caseload and meet deadlines are required.

8. Facility in using and adapting technology and systems to assist in managing the considerable and sensitive records generated by caseload is required.

9. Commitment to diversity, multi-cultural experience, and sensitivity to issues of inclusion, marginalization, discrimination, harassment is required.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits including medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, and an outstanding retirement savings plan. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; people of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter and resume. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We do not discriminate in hiring practices and actively seek a diverse applicant pool. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and those with criminal records to apply. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.


Senior Manager, Employee Relations & Workplace Conduct

Global Human Resources Department

Location: Berlin, London, Washington DC, Other Locations Considered

Application Deadline: December 4, 2020


The Global…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Managerial


Washington, DC

How to Apply

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.