News & Views

A blog for those interested in what affects, motivates and drives the New York City Nonprofit Sector — written by CRE’s crackerjack consulting team. We hope you use this space to share your thoughts, ask questions and engage in conversations about our city, social justice and the nonprofit sector.

HR Without HR, Part 4: Employing Fair, Consistent, and Rigorous Practices

By Pavitra Menon, Senior Consultant - Organizations must develop systems that promote fairness and consistency in all decisions related to people because without them productivity and morale will plummet. In addition, ensuring fair and consistent practices will most likely keep organizations from unintentionally breaking the law.

What gets in the way of being fair?

  • Managers tend to overrate themselves on treating people with dignity and respect.
  • Managers sometimes mistakenly assume that money or benefits are more meaningful than fair and decent treatment.
  • The benefits of fairness aren’t always obvious or tangible.
  • It often seems easier to avoid uncomfortable situations.
Ultimately, each employee decides for him- or herself whether a decision has been made fairly. But broadly speaking, there are three drivers of fair process (expanded to the right).
  1. Employee Perceptions
  2. Employee Input in Decision Making
  3. Leader Behaviors

A comprehensive personnel policy manual that is reviewed and updated as necessary on an annual basis is a must for every organization large or small. More importantly the policies in the manual must be strictly adhered to by all irrespective of title and level within the organization. Where appropriate, make very clear who the policy applies to and to whom it does not; for example, identify what level of staff are allowed to telecommute. The personnel manual MUST include these basic policies:
  1. EEO Policy
  2. Introductory Period
  3. Performance Evaluation 
  4. Timekeeping
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Employee Concerns
  7. Disciplinary Process
  8. Harassment and Sexual Harassment
  9. Employee Benefits (Vacation, Holidays, Pay Practices, Pay Dates)
Refer to CRE’s sample personnel manual for more information.

Another way to ensure fair process is to handle employee concerns and grievances in a timely and consistent manner. Here are some tips:
  • Encourage open communication 
  • Outline a process for resolving employee concerns in your manual and adhere to it
  • Be prompt, responsive and consistent
  • Train managers and supervisors on the process
  • Communicate the process to staff
  • Provide staff with an alternative contact to their direct supervisor 
  • Include a process for appealing disciplinary decisions
There is a moral imperative for organizations to practice fair process. It is, simply put, the right thing to do. As such, fair process is the responsibility of all managers, at all levels, and in all functions. A manager must minimize the costs of decisions that might threaten employees and maximize the benefits of decisions that may be sources of opportunity for them. In both instances, practicing fair process will help get you there.

Previous blog posts in the HR Without HR Series:
HR Without HR
HR Without HR, Part 2: Tips For Recruiting and Retaining Qualified Staff
HR Without HR, Part 3: Putting the Right People in the Right Place Doing the Right Things


For more information on CRE's Human Resources services, please follow this link.

Find us on:  CRE on Twitter CRE on Facebook  

News and Views

Tags

Pavitra Menon Peter Block What is Core? CRE Executive Search fundraising Coaching Governance as Leadership Harvard Kennedy School IT Barbara Blumenthal nonprofit start-ups internal controls nonprofit accountability nonprofit ownership HIV/AIDS services providers evaluation community handling the unexpected publications New York grantmakers for effective organizations accountability Alliance for Nonprofit Management postponed event Huffington Post RFP Bill Ryan rockaways Interns Ero Gray Valyrie Laedlein nonprofit management Nonprofit Sustainability Data Starved Nonprofit News I.T. without I.T. United Way of NYC Rashid Littlejohn New York Community Trust Stanford Social Innovation Review arts Featured Items nonprofit leaders case statement hard times Ximena Rua-Merkin National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy Philanthropic Collaborative Nonprofit Quarterly capacity building Maria Mottola jobs Fran's Corner leadership President Obama computers mergers Sector Research Nonprofit media civic engagement Mohan Sikka Board of Directors executive Jeff Ballow New York Times Government News foundations Mark Light Rona Taylor website, resources, announcements Michael Hickey New York Foundation Development Survey Daring to Lead MAC AIDS Fund CRE Tips Useful Links CRE POV Randall Quan executive transition Funding Updates Holly Delany Cole Albany Louisa Hackett strategic alliances NYCCCOC collaborations harvard business school board leadership Fran Barrett tips Beth Kobliner Hurricane Sandy Government Updates queens record keeping National and Community Service Neighborhood Based Capacity Building Initiative announcment CRE News Nonprofit Tools cre Barbara Turk New York City Government Advocacy Pamela Dicent Karen Erdos Needs Assessment HR Without HR board and staff relations 30th Anniversary House Party Client News proposal writing generative Volunteers nonprofit mergers Jean Lobell grantmakers bookkeeping NYS Budget government Data staff lower Manhattan guest blogger