© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Note that matters of employee law and regulations apply the same to for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Sections of This Topic Include
About Personnel Policies
Sample List of Personnel Policies
Training on Policies
Various Perspectives on Personnel Policies
Related Library Topics
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These general guidelines are called personnel policies. Specific sequences of activities resulting from the guidelines are often called procedures.
Note the difference between operational policies and personnel policies. Operational policies are to guide how employees conduct the activities of the organization, ranging from how a client joins a program to making sure the coffee maker is unplugged at the end of the day. Operational policies are not about the nature of the relationship between the employee or volunteer and the organization.
Developing Personnel Policies
Each organization should carefully consider what policies it requires and how they should be worded. When developing policies, always consult an expert who is very knowledgeable about federal, state/provincial and local laws regarding employment practices. For example, in the USA, consider the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, and Occupational Safety and Health Acts. In Canada, some major employment laws are Employment Insurance Act, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security Act, Canada Labour Code, etc. Personnel policies might also be governed by union rules or other contractual agreements.
Many organizations develop their policies first by closely reviewing policies of organizations with similar programs and services. While that practice is a good start, you still should have an authority on employment practices review your policies. Finally, in the case of corporations, the Board should formally approve the policies and the approval should be documented in Board meeting minutes.
Sample List of Personnel Policies
The following is a sample list of policies. Consider the following list to get an impression of some of the major policies in an organization. This list is by no means definitive for every organization. The policies developed by an one organization depend on the nature and needs of the organization.
Work day hours
Leave of Absence
Americans With Disabilities Act
Interviewing job candidates
New Employee and Internal Orientation
New employee orientation -- general information
Agency-wide new employee orientation
New employee and internal orientation checklist
Overtime and compensation time
Classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt
Positioning pay within a salary range
Maintaining competitive salary information
Salary review policy
Withholding salary increase due to performance
Withholding salary increase due to leave of absence
Payroll Information & Timekeeping Procedures
Payroll information -- General
Payroll information -- Direct deposit procedures
Payroll information -- Required and voluntary payroll deductions...