Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA Module #10

Staffing and Supervision of Employees and Volunteers

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Much of this program is based on materials adapted from the Nonprofit Capacity Building Toolkit(SM) . This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about staffing and supervising employees and volunteers. Much of the content of this module was adapted from the guidebook, Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.

Sections of This Module Include the Following

Introduction
Outcomes
Materials for Review
Suggested Topics for Reflection and Discussion
Activities to Build Systems and Practices
Assessments
Tracking Open Action Items



INTRODUCTION

Staffing and supervision are two of the most critical functions of a manager. Each of the functions include various other activities, as well.

Basically, staffing is:
a) Deciding what human resources are needed, ideally in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities regarding specified roles, jobs and tasks (ideally these roles are determined on the basis of strategic planning and are defined in terms of competencies and/or on job descriptions)
b) Recruiting the necessary human resources (sourcing, placing ads, etc.)
c) Considering outsourcing to hire outside expertise
d) Screening job candidates (interviewing, testing, etc.)
e) Selecting candidates (via job offers)
f) Equipping new hires (via orienting, training, facilities, assignments, etc.)

Basically, supervising is overseeing the progress and productivity of direct reports, often by:
a) Mutually setting goals with direct reports
b) Supporting conditions for their motivation
c) Observing performance and giving feedback and other forms of guidance
d) Conducting regular performance appraisals/reviews
e) Addressing performance problems
f) Ensuring sufficient rewards

The activities of staffing and supervising are very similar when applied to employees and volunteers. Differences are pointed out in specific sections of the information below. In both cases (volunteers and employees), staffing and supervision should be carried out as part of an overall performance management system. Staffing and supervising should be carried out according to carefully designed and approved personnel policies in the workplace.

This module provides materials and guidelines to understand staffing and supervision, along with setting up basic systems and processes in the organization in order to carry out activities in a legal and effective manner.

NOTE ABOUT THE LARGE SIZE OF THIS MODULE: This module is one of the largest in the program. Learners who have very limited time schedules might first "pick and choose" which subtopics they want to review before they proceed through this module in its entirety. Learners are encouraged, though, to print out the entire Free Basic Guide to Leadership and Supervision for reference in the future. (NOTE: The guide is quite large, so wait up to a minute or so for it to load.)

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Board Personnel Committee [in the case of corporations!] to review and help guide implementation the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee's Committee Work Plan.



OUTCOMES

Supervising Staff, Including How to:

  1. Define New Job Roles
  2. Recruit Job Candidates
  3. Screen Applicants
  4. Orient New Employees
  5. Delegate to Employees
  6. Ensure Strong Performance
  7. Fire Employees
  8. Compile Personnel Policies and Samples
  9. Evaluate Your Supervisory Practices

Supervising Volunteers, Including How to:

  1. Design Your Volunteer Program
  2. Decide Where Volunteers Can Help
  3. Recruit and Screen Volunteers
  4. Ensure Strong Performance
  5. Recognize Common Risks and Liabilities
  6. Evaluate Your Volunteer Management Practices


MATERIALS FOR REVIEW

The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Basic Overview of Staffing and Supervision of Employees

Read Free Basic Guide to Leadership and Supervision -- particularly the sections:

Introduction to Management and Supervision

Read the following sections of the "Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision":
What is "Management"? What do Managers Do?
What is "Supervision"? What Do Supervisors Do?

Staffing

Read the following sections of the "Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision":
Defining a New Job Role
Hiring (Advertising, Screening and Selecting)
Building Teams

Employee Training

Read the following sections of the "Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision":
Orienting New Employees
Job Training

Employee Performance Management

Read the following sections of the "Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision":
Setting Goals
Supporting Employee Motivation
Observing and Giving Feedback
Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews
Addressing Performance Problems
Firing Employees

Personnel Policies

Read the following sections of the "Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision":
Developing Personnel Policies
Developing an Employee Manual
Sample List of Personnel Policies

Experience of a First-Time Supervisor

Read the following sections in the Free Management Library topic "Basic Overview of Supervision":
One Definition of Supervision
Typical Experience of a First-time Supervisor
Typical Responsibilities of a Supervisor
Typical Roles of a Supervisor

Staffing and Supervision of Volunteers

Read at least 2 articles in each of the following topics:

Considerations in Establishing or Modifying Volunteer Management Systems
Role of Volunteer Managers
Staffing Analysis (Deciding Whether Volunteers Are Needed)
Legal and Risk Considerations
Management
Policies
Volunteer Job/Task Descriptions
Volunteer Recruitment
Screening Volunteers
Selecting ("Hiring") Volunteers
Orienting and Training Volunteers
Supervising Volunteers
Volunteer and Staff Relations
Assessing Your Volunteer Management Practices



SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and staff, as appropriate.

Introduction to Role of Supervisor

(See What is "Supervision"? What Do Supervisors Do? and One Definition of Supervision.)
1. What is a supervisor? How does that role differ from the general role of management?

2. What are the typical activities carried out by a supervisor?

3. What are some of the unique struggles and stresses of a first-time supervisor?

4. What are some of the roles of a supervisor?

5. Does a supervisor oversee the progress and productivity only of entry-level workers only -- that is, can supervision occur at all levels of management?

Staffing
Defining Job Roles
(see Defining a New Job Role)
1. How should new job roles be defined? What is the relationship between results of strategic planning and staffing?

2. What is a job description? How should it be developed? What should be included in a job description?

3. What factors are considered when determining the cost of a new hire? What is fringe?

4. How is a job description kept up-to-date?

5. What are at least two primary uses of a job description?

6. What is the relationship between a job description and a performance review?

Hiring (see Hiring (Advertising, Screening and Selecting))
1. What should be looked for when screening resumes?

2. When interviewing, should you ask different question to each candidate? Should you ask open-ended or yes/no questions -- why?

3. What are some useful open-ended questions to ask?

4. What matters should be in an offer letter?

5. What is the purpose of a personnel file? What goes in it?

Building Teams (see Building Teams)
1. What is the importance of a team in the workplace -- particularly in the future workplace?

2. Name at least three of the four kinds of teams.

3. What are the five stages of team development? What are the characteristics of each?

4. What is the first guideline for building a team? (HINT: Think about "SMARTER".)

5. What are some considerations when determining the membership of a team?

6. What does the "structure" of a group mean?

7. What should be communicated to the group in its first meeting?

8. Name at least eight of the 12 guidelines for team building.

Employee Training
Orienting Employees
(see Orienting New Employees)
1. What should be communicated in a welcome letter (sent to the employee before they begin employment)?

2. What are some of the activities to conduct with the employee during the first meeting after they have started employment?

3. Name at least four practices to help new hires learn about the organization.

4. What should be done with the new hire regarding the employee manual?

5. How often should the supervisor meet with the new employee during the first six weeks or so?

Job Training (see Job Training)
1. Name at least four of the six different reasons/situations to conduct employee training.

2. What are the four basic types of employee training?

3. Coaching is a common type of employee training. The process can mean many things to many people (coaching has become a major service to organizations and includes a wide variety of approaches). What the four basic steps (outlined in the reading) for conducting employee coaching?

4. What are the four common pitfalls in employee training?

5. What is a training goal? Learning objective?

6. What are some methods to ensure that the design and implementation of employee training are highly effective?

Employee Performance Management
Setting Goals
(see Setting Goals)
1. What is one of the common problems that new supervisors experience regarding employee performance management?

2. What is the first step toward overcoming this problem?

3. Why do some people dislike the use of goals?

4. Name at least three of the four advantages of using goals.

5. What are the four types of gaps that goals can be used to address?

6. What is a performance gap? Growth gap? Opportunity gap? Training gap?

7. What can be done so that supervisors and employees have more "buy-in" to goals?

8. What does the acronym SMARTER mean -- that is, what does each letter stand for?

Supporting Employee Motivation (see Supporting Employee Motivation)
1. Name at least four of the six myths about motivating employees.

2. What is the first step in motivating employees? (HINT: think about yourself.)

3. What must be done regarding the goals of the organization and the goals of employees?

4. Is each employee motivated by the same thing(s) as other employees?

5. Name at least eight of the 14 steps that you can take to motivate employees.

Observing and Giving Feedback (see Observing and Giving Feedback)
1. When providing feedback, focus on the ____ rather than the person.

2. Own the feedback -- use __ statements.

3. Why should people be careful with giving advice?

4. Name at least six of the nine guidelines regarding observing employee behavior and giving advice.

Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews (see Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews )
1. What are some of the ill effects from not doing regular performance reviews?

2. What are some of the law-related requirements of performance reviews? (HINT: Think about the points made by Patricia King in Performance Planning and Appraisal -- these points were included in your reading for this learning module.)

3. What items of information should be included in the standard performance appraisal form?

4. When should performance reviews be conducted?

5. What is the relationship between the performance review and the job description?

6. What should not be discussed in the performance review and discussion?

7. Always address employee _____, not characteristics of their personalities.

8. What is the best guideline to ensure that the guideline in question 7 is always followed?

9. What are some guidelines for carrying out the performance appraisal meeting/discussion?

10. Nothing should be a surprise for the employee in the performance review meeting when discussing employee's performance. Why is this true?

Addressing Performance Problems (see Addressing Performance Problems)
1. When should the supervisor almost always convey to the employee that the employee's behavior is a problem in the workplace?

2. When determining if an employee has a performance problem, consider the employee's ____, not their ____.

3. When you first convey a performance problem to an employee, what two points should you convey at a minimum?

4. What might be some special circumstances to consider when addressing an employee's performance problem?

5. What should you do right after the first meeting about the employee's performance issue?

6. If a supervisor sees a performance problem soon after the first occurrence and reporting to the employee, what should the supervisor do? (HINT: Think about what should be said and what should be written down.)

7. What is the relevance of personnel policies when addressing performance problems?

Firing Employees (see Firing Employees )
1. What is the relevance of personnel policies when firing an employee?

2. You should consider firing an employee (for a performance problem) only if you have done at least four specific activities. What are they and in what sequence should they occur?

3. What should be included in a letter of termination to an employee?

4. What should be conveyed when meeting with the employee who is to be terminated?

5. What should be done right after the meeting with the employee?

Personnel Policies
Developing Personnel Policies
(see Developing Personnel Policies)
1. What is a personnel policy?

2. Why is it important to develop them?

3. Why is it important to always consult a lawyer (who is well versed in current employee laws) when developing personnel policies?

4. Note that if management's behaviors do not conform to the personnel policies, courts will
consider the related policies to be superseded by the behaviors. True?

5. How might an organization train employees about its personnel policies?

Developing an Employee Manual (see Developing an Employee Manual)
1. What is an employee manual (or personnel policies handbook)?

2. What is at least one use of this type of manual?

3. In the case of a corporation and its board of directors, what is the role of the board of directors regarding the personnel policies?

4. What points should be included in description of the manual to the employee, that is, what points might be included in the wording on the cover of the manual?

Sample List of Personnel Polices (see Sample List of Personnel Policies)
1. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding work schedules.

2. Name at least two of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding hiring practices.

3. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding compensation.

4. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding payroll information and timekeeping procedures

5. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding benefits.

6. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding compensation.

7. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding performance issues.


Staffing and Supervising Volunteers
Note that the vast majority of information about staffing and supervising employees is also relevant to staffing and supervising volunteers, other than matters of job offers, compensation and benefits, and personnel policies. Therefore, the learner who is most interested in staffing and supervising volunteers would benefit from also reading the about staffing and supervising employees in the above section "materials for review ".
1. What is a the legal definition of a "volunteer"? (See Considerations in Establishing or Modifying Volunteer Management Systems.)

2. What are the basic components of a volunteer program? What do you need to consider to set up a program? (See Considerations in Establishing or Modifying Volunteer Management Systems.)

3. What is the role of a volunteer program manager? What are some of their responsibilities? (See Role of Volunteer Managers.)

4. How is a staffing analysis conducted? What are some of the key considerations? (See Staffing Analysis (Deciding Whether Volunteers Are Needed).)

5. Name three of the legal and risk considerations that must be addressed when using volunteers in an organization. (See Legal and Risk Considerations.)

6. Name at least five areas/topics in which policies are typically developed when using volunteers. (See Policies and Procedures.)

7. Name at least three of the typical elements of a volunteer job description. (See Volunteer Job/Task Descriptions.)

8. Name at least two of the major activities that are involved in recruiting volunteers? (See Volunteer Recruitment.)

9. Name at least three of the major types activities that are involved in screening volunteers? (See Screening Volunteers.)

10. Name at least five of the kinds of activities that volunteers might be oriented and trained about. (See Orienting and Training Volunteers.)

11. Name at least four of the types of activities that are usually included in the overall activity of supervision. (See Supervising Volunteers.)

12. What are some ways to reward volunteers? (See Supervising Volunteers.)

13. Name at least two approaches that can be used to help avoid, or address, conflict between staff and employees. (See Volunteer and Staff Relations.)



ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate. As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

Staffing and Supervision of Employees

1. Do you have job descriptions for all employees? Do they include titles, qualifications, responsibilities and whom the role reports to? Dates on the forms?

2. Do you have a personnel policies handbook for all employees, and have all employees reviewed it and signed a form indicating they'll comply with the policies? Has the board approved the handbook with its policies?

3. How do you ensure adequate and fair compensation for each of the roles in your organization? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

4. How do you ensure your employees are oriented to your organization when they are hired? Are these practices described in your personnel policies?

5. How do you ensure that you're effectively delegating to employees?

6. Do you have a written policy about how you conduct regular, formal performance reviews? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

7. How do you ensure all management personnel are completely familiar with personnel policies? (It's critical that they be very familiar with the policies -- their behavior can be interpreted as the de facto policies of the organization.)

8. Do you have a policy about how employees are fired? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

9. Update your organization chart with all roles and their titles in the organization.

10. Make a list of any personnel policies your organization needs and write down what you'd generally like the policies to address and how. Discuss this with your board.

11. Provide your personnel handbook (and a list of any new policies you might need) to a professional for review, and arrange to have all appropriate changes made as soon as possible. Arrange board review and approval of the policies, and training to all employees about any changes to the policies.

12. Draft an action plan with specific goals needed to improve your supervisory skills. Add how you will accomplish each goal and when.

Staffing and Supervision of Volunteers

In many aspects, staffing and supervision of volunteers is similar to staffing and supervision of employees. Differences might be in matters of employee benefits and compensation, career planning and development, delegation versus work direction, and reward systems.
1. Do you have job descriptions for all volunteers? Do they include titles, qualifications, responsibilities and whom the role reports to? Dates on the forms?

2. Do you have a personnel policies handbook for all volunteers, and have all volunteers reviewed it and signed a form indicating they'll comply with the policies? Has the board approved the handbook with its policies?

3. How do you ensure legal and ethical treatment for each of the roles in your organization? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

4. How do you ensure your volunteers are oriented to your organization? Are these practices described in your personnel policies?

5. How do you ensure that you're effectively delegating to volunteers?

6. Do you have a written policy about how you conduct regular, formal performance reviews? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

7. How do you ensure all management personnel are completely familiar with personnel policies? (It's critical that they be very familiar with the policies -- their behavior can be interpreted as the de facto policies of the organization.)

8. Do you have a policy about how volunteers are fired? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

9. Update your organization chart with all roles and their titles in the organization.

10. Make a list of any personnel policies your organization needs and write down what you'd generally like the policies to address and how. Discuss this with your board.

11. Provide your personnel handbook (and a list of any new policies you might need) to a professional for review, and arrange to have all appropriate changes made as soon as possible. Arrange board review and approval of the policies, and training to all volunteer program managers and volunteers about any changes to the policies.

12. Draft an action plan with specific goals needed to improve your supervisory skills. Add how you will accomplish each goal and when.



ASSESSMENTS

1. Answer the questions about "Human Resource Indicators" in the Checklist of Nonprofit Indicators. List an action plan to complete items suggested by the audit, but not done by your organization.

2. Also see Assessing Your Volunteer Management Practices.



REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

1. Are you exchanging feedback with others about what you're learning in this program?

2. Are you sticking to your study schedule for this program?

3. Are you practicing your basic skills in management and leadership, including in problem solving and decision making, planning and meeting management?

4. Are you communicating throughout your organization by using your skills in internal communications?

5. Are you managing yourself? How many hours a week are you working? Are you noticing any signs of stress? If so, what are you doing about it?

6. One of the ways you might be able to tell if you're stressed out and/or losing perspective might be whether you're tracking details or not. Are you using the action item list referenced above?

7. Are you reflecting on learnings from past modules and how they build on the learning in this module? For example, are you seeing your organization from a systems view, as explained in the module "Starting and Understanding Your Nonprofit?"



TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization or a person is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, people only see and react to the latest "fires" in their workplaces or their lives. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items (identified while proceeding through this program) that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate peers, board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List. (At that Web address, a box might open, asking you which software application to open the document.)

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national, free, online discussion group HRNET, which is attended by many human resource and organization development experts.



(Learners in the nonprofit organization development program can return to the nonprofit organization development program.)


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For the Category of Supervision:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

General Information About Supervising Other Individuals

Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.
Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See

Human Resources -- Recommended Books

Leadership -- Recommended Books

Management -- Recommended Books

Personal Development -- Related Books

Training and Development -- Recommended Books

Facilitation and Teams -- Related Books






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