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The Basics of Staff Management

Staff management is the management of the organization’s “human” resources. Proper staff management makes sure:

  • personnel policies are consistent, for a safe and fair work environment 
  • the organization is in compliance with local, state and federal laws 
  • employees who are hired support the organization’s mission 

Why is it necessary? 

In many cases, you will need solid staff in place to carry out programs and administrative functions. While volunteers are essential to an organization, depending on the size of your budget, future donors may expect paid staff to manage programming.  

Whose job is it?

In many larger agencies, there are 3 participants in staff management: the board, executive director and line managers. Line managers are managers who directly supervise the work of other staff.

In many smaller organizations, this responsibility will fall to the board and executive director. The role of the board is governance and the role of the executive director is management. Sometimes the roles can become blurred, but the board and the executive director must always keep in mind the board's legal responsibilities and liabilities as the employer.

What is involved in staff management?

Managing staff involves two critical functions: staffing and supervision.

Staffing includes:

  • determining necessary “human resources” to meet organizational goals
  • hiring (recruiting, screening and selecting) and terminating employees
  • equipping new hires (via orienting, training, etc.) 

Supervising is overseeing the progress and productivity of direct reports, often by:

  • setting goals
  • providing ongoing training
  • conducting regular performance reviews
  • ensuring sufficient rewards (compensation, benefits, etc.)