Director - Employee Relations

Facility:  Human Resource Management

Plainsboro, NJ, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                        

Imagine being a part of a team committed to helping people defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. Here at Novo Nordisk, we seek out opportunities to contribute to healthier communities and better lives for all people. And, that’s what you’ll gain by joining Novo Nordisk’s Human Resources team. Our HR team is passionate about their purpose – enabling business success the Novo Nordisk Way by turning the Company’s business strategy into an actionable workforce strategy. A strategy which captures the entire employee life-cycle. At Novo Nordisk, you will join an inclusive team of diverse talent and benefit from a range of possibilities for professional and personal development. Are you ready?


The Position

Serves in a leadership role within the Employee Relations function at Novo Nordisk Inc (NNI) and provides subject matter expertise and strategic guidance related to policy and process development, training and execution of performance management and employee discipline. Oversees the daily execution and operations of the ER team. Facilitates the achievement of business goals by ensuring consistent and thorough management of the performance management process and leverages advanced business and industry knowledge to make process enhancements on approach. Contributes to the creation and execution of Employee Relations business strategies. Independently identifies and resolves complex problems, displaying a high level of critical thinking skills. Develops and maintains open and positive communication with all internal and external contacts to assist in attaining departmental and company goals. Consistently promotes the fair and equitable treatment of employees involved in Human Resources related processes. Participates in other HR initiatives and may lead special projects on behalf of the team.



This position reports directly to the VP HR, CMR & Enterprise Functions, oversees the Employee Relationship function, partners closely with Human Resources Business Partners across various client areas, as well as with Legal, Ethics & Compliance and the Line of Business to design and develop ER programs and procedures to promote employee experience. Manages the daily operation of the team, accomplishing results through matrix leadership of HR professionals and managers. External relationships include vendors, HR organizations and other professional organizations/associations. This role directly supervises a team of employees.


Essential Functions

  • Shape Consistent Employee Experience and Enhance Organization Effectiveness
    • Oversee the creation of employee relations tools, programs and processes to mitigate the factors negatively impacting organizational performance
    • Drive ER strategic initiatives to support a broader people risk management agenda. Partner with Employee Experience team to develop programs to enhance management capabilities to mitigate future risks
    • Ensure that a consistent and equitable process had been applied, make recommendations and oversee implementation of decisions that lead to the fair and consistent resolution of claims related to discrimination, harassment, working conditions, disciplinary actions and employee and applicant appeals and grievances
    • Leverage metrics, tools and analytical findings to identify ER and organizational effectiveness trends, insights and proactive strategies that assist with increasing employee engagement and reducing company risks
    • Lead the development and implementation of a variety of qualitative and quantitative measures to track the effectiveness of Employee Relations processes. This may include NNI Information Systems
    • Responsible for effectively managing and developing the Employee Relations team
  • Key Stakeholders’ Management
    • Builds and maintains trusting, collaborative relationships and alliances with others inside and outside of the organization, which help accomplish key business objectives
    • Work with legal and external counsel to ensure compliance with all local legislation on topics such as conducting workplace investigations, performance management and recommendations for resolution
    • Liaise with stakeholders in the Legal and Ethics & Compliance departments at NNI to ensure holistic review of employment related matters
    • Effectively manager external vendors and internal key stakeholders
  • Consultation/Guidance on Employee Relations Matters and Case Management
    • Provide strategic and expert consultation and resolution on complex or high-risk employee relations matters
    • Provide guidance and insights on the development of strategies and programs that educate others to navigate employee relations issues and mitigate organizational risk
    • Advise on effective performance management and risk mitigation strategies in partnership with the line of business and HR Business Partners to improve performance and behavioral issues as well as supporting the implementation of disciplinary decisions
    • Oversee the development of guidelines, policies and procedures for the proper handling of employee relations issues in accordance with applicable employment and labor laws
    • Provide expertise on the investigation and successful resolution of ER issues and complaints. Ensure proper cascade complex employee cases and ensure key stakeholders’ alignment on decisions
  • Thought Leadership on HR Laws & Policy
    • Articulate implications of HR policies, laws and regulations to senior leadership and stakeholders related to business-unit or organizational-wide decisions, policies and processes
    • Demonstrate expert knowledge of the laws and policies that affect the HR processes, programs and/or strategies
    • Develop and implements strategies, procedures and/or policies that are aligned with local, state and federal laws, in partnership with legal counsel as appropriate, in unprecedented, ambiguous or highly complex situations
    • Lead the development and revisions to policies and procedures based on changes in laws and policies impacting HR practices
    • Counsel employees on concerns related to applicable Equal Employment Opportunity laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other similar federal and state laws in partnership with EEO


Physical Requirements

10-20% overnight travel required.


Development of People

Ensure that reporting personnel have individual development plans (IDP), with annual goals and measurements that are consistent with the priorities of the business, and that interim reviews are held so that their work is focused on those priorities, and they understand their level of accountability for results and the measurement process. Ensure that the IDP forms include completed learning and aspiration plans and are in place for all reporting personnel to enable the achievement of goals and capability to assume increased levels of responsibility. Manage the application and communication of all Novo Nordisk policies, procedures, and Novo Nordisk Way.



  • A Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree or PHR certification preferred
  • Requires a minimum of 10 years of progressively increasing HR experience with high amount of exposure to complex Employee Relations issues or a business facing consultative role
  • Minimum 2 years people management experience required. Proven track record to coach and lead team of direct reports
  • The ability to identify and define problems as well as develop and implement fact-based solutions. Ability to detect risk areas and red flags
  • Demonstrated strong business acumen required. Ideal candidate will possess experience across multiple business functions (i.e. research, development, marketing, sales, finance)
  • Strong HR generalist background and knowledge of HR processes strongly preferred
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Strong ability to communicate complex topics in a concise term and draft clear and effective reports
  • Maintains confidentiality as required; Demonstrates sound business and professional ethics
  • Must be able to handle highly sensitive information with confidentiality and professionalism
  • Must have a history of advising senior management on employee relations issues
  • Must have strong problem-solving and organizational skills, as well as a strong attention to detail and the ability to work in a team environment
  • Must have the ability to exercise considerable independent judgment and discretion with high level of accuracy
  • Solid working knowledge of Human Resources policies and procedures, state and federal employee relations laws and regulations and general Human Resources administration


We commit to an inclusive recruitment process and equality of opportunity for all our job applicants.


At Novo Nordisk we recognize that it is no longer good enough to aspire to be the best company in the world. We need to aspire to be the best company for the world and we know that this is only possible with talented employees with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive culture that celebrates the diversity of our employees, the patients we serve and communities we operate in. Together, we’re life changing.


Novo Nordisk is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal laws, rules or regulations.


Novo Nordisk requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Novo Nordisk will consider requests for reasonable accommodation.


If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.