Staff Policies

Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to

Richard Branson

It has surely always been thus; that motivation is strongest when the workforce itself feels valued. And while many of us in the third sector have passion driving us forward, dedication taking us the extra mile and determination helping us leap seemingly impossible obstacles… we ought to be showing ourselves and those we work with the same levels of professional expectation around safe, happy, progressive and properly compensated working conditions as is (or should be) the case across the public and private sectors.

Across the vast majority of the third sector, there is an innate understanding around equality, opportunities and fair work. Leading by example and creating in-house policies that pave the way for ever improving working conditions is an area where the third sector can truly trailblaze. Organisations that are open minded, strong willed and striving for a more just society are inspiring in terms of working towards their day to day objectives for sure – but even more than this, they can be (consciously or not) inspiring as employers, demonstrating forward-thinking operational policies where their workforce and volunteers’ conditions are the best they can be.

“When people go to work,
they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”

Betty Bender

Being an employee is just one part of what makes us. We all have our mental and physical health. We all have personal events that we look forward to, or that come out of the blue. We may be carers, parents, friends, volunteers, hobbyists. There are aspects of ourselves that we will tend to keep separate from our professional lives – but recognising that everyone has different needs and personal priorities and offering an open dialogue (while respecting boundaries) can be a major player in terms of a team’s morale overall.

From Adoption Leave to Employee / Trustee Codes of Conduct, from Flexible Working to Retirement, there are a lot of staff policies that a good organisation will want to implement. These policies protect both the organisation and the employee – and they offer frameworks for some of the trickier conversations that arise from time to time, for example around grievances, dismissal and redundancy.

The good news is that the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has created templates for them all and so, regardless of the scale of your organisation, it will be more than possible to set up a bank of strong staff policies.

If you do not have full access to that area of SCVO’s website, contact your local Third Sector Support Advisor who will be able to help.