Human Resources

From Guidelines & Principles
Jump to: navigation, search

Effective management of human resources is essential for creating successful organizational results. Nonprofit organizations should exercise fair and equitable human resource practices that attract and retain qualified individuals. Nonprofits have an obligation to adhere to all legal employment requirements and to provide a safe work environment. Nonprofit organizations should establish specific policies and practices that promote mutual cooperation to advance the organization’s interests, and that reflect appropriate industry standards for remuneration.

Assessment Items


Legal Essential Recommended
We have a whistleblower policy with specific procedures for reporting violations of organizational policy or applicable laws and ensure that those making such reports are protected from repercussions. [Legal US] X
We have workers compensation insurance. [Legal NE, IA] X
We comply with all federal, state, and local employment laws in hiring and employing personnel. [Legal US, NE, IA] X
We clearly display required employment postings in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws. [Legal US, NE, IA] X
We have established and abide by broad and encompassing anti-harassment and nondiscrimination policies. [Legal US] X
We have established employee and volunteer record retention policies and procedures that are consistent with applicable laws and best industry practices. [Legal US] X
We have a personnel file(s) for each employee that includes all required federal and state documentation, as well as relevant employment, performance, disciplinary action and testing records with supporting documentation. This may be two separate files per employee; one accessible to direct supervisors and one held in confidence due to potential discriminatory information (i.e., health records, demographics, litigation, etc). [Legal US, NE] X
We employ staff and volunteers who reflect the diversity of the community and the constituents we serve and aspire to serve, as appropriate to advance program effectiveness. X

Hiring, Development & Retention

Legal Essential Recommended
We have a formal orientation program for new employees. X
We provide clear, equitable procedures for taking disciplinary action with staff. X
We employ individuals and volunteers who are suitable for their respective positions and committed to the mission, values and objectives of our organization. X
We work to retain quality employees by periodically assessing factors related to employee satisfaction, including fair compensation, training, and opportunity for advancement. X
We support the training and development of personnel and provide them with opportunities for growth and advancement. X
We encourage and provide opportunities for professional development training on cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion for staff, volunteers, board members, as well as provide mentoring that affirms individuality and manage towards inclusion. X

Performance & Compensation

Legal Essential Recommended
We provide staff and volunteers with clear, current job descriptions and the tools they need to produce quality work. [Legal] X
The board periodically reviews our organizations compensation structure (including benefits) using industry-based salary and benefit surveys. [Legal] X
All compensation paid is reasonable and substantiated. [Legal] X
A record of all performance evaluations, along with employee signature and comment, are kept in each employee’s personnel records, and used to help determine compensation. [Legal] X
We evaluate staff job performance annually. [Essential] X

Policies, Procedures & Plans

Legal Essential Recommended
When required, we conduct and use background checks for certain positions in compliance with state or federal law. [Legal] X
We have board-approved employee benefit policies, including medical insurance, retirement benefits, vacation and other paid time off, etc. X
We have a set of volunteer policies and procedures; all volunteers receive a copy and submit a signed acknowledgement of such. X
We have a set of personnel policies and procedures. All employees receive a copy and submit a signed acknowledgement of such. X
We have all appropriate documents for our independent contractors on file. X



403b plan documentation US
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967—with 20+ employees US
All state and federal employment laws US, NE, IA
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990—with 15+ employees US
Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA—with 50+ employees (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) US
Children under 16 posting (hours) (Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-310) NE
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009—employers with group health plans US
Civil Rights Act of 1964—with 15+ employees US
Compensation paid is reasonable & substantiated (Internal Revenue Code §501(c) (3); 990) US
Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988—federal contractors & grantees US
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974—with 20+ employees US
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 US
Fair Credit Reporting Act of 2010 US
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, including eligibility & classifications US
Federal WARN Act of 1988 Fact Sheet—with 100+ employees US
National Labor Relations Act of 1935—with 2+ employees US
Nursing mothers (Neb. L.B. 197; Iowa Code § 135.30A) NE, IA
Payroll—federal, state & local quarterly withholding/filings US, NE, IA
Privacy of Health Information—HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996) US
Recovery of overcompensation US
Sexual harassment training (with 15 employees) US
How to Mitigate Workplace Sex Discrimination and Harassment (Policies, Trainings & Reporting)
Whistleblower protection policy US

Required Employment Postings

EEOC, with ADA and GINA US, NE, IA
Emergency Phone Numbers NE
  • See Above
Employee Polygraph Protection Act Poster US
E-Verify poster (if participating in the program) US
Fair Labor Standards Act poster US, NE, IA
Family Medical Leave Act poster (with 50+ employees) US
OSHA poster US
Payday Notice NE
Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act poster US
Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Forms 300, 300A, 301 IA
Whistleblower’s Protection Act poster US
Form I-9 (required), filed separately from other HR documentation (recommended practice) US
Immigration & Naturalization Services (INS) documentation US
Tax forms W-4, annual W-2 US, NE


Code of ethics
Conflict of interest—including annual disclosure of relationships
Employee health care information (kept separately from personnel information)
Retain personnel files in accordance with Document Retention & Destruction Policy
Retirement policy
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
Succession plan
Time off—holidays, vacation, sick, etc.
Workers’ compensation & unemployment insurance

Best Practices


  • Be sure to use NAM resources to confirm which employment laws and postings are legally required for an organization of your size.
  • Regularly evaluate the organization’s capacity from a staff standpoint: are you able to advance upon your mission with the current structure? Do you need more or less staff? Are all employees in positions that maximize their talents and abilities?
  • Format position descriptions and evaluations to reflect individual contributions toward mission achievement.
  • Develop a formal recognition system to acknowledge and celebrate the work of both individuals and the collective team. Consider staff spotlights through newsletters or internal postings; be sure to communicate and celebrate wins when a new benchmark is reached or a project/program enjoys a particular success. Take time to say “thanks” and “you make a difference here.”
  • Regularly provide opportunities for staff to see their impact, for example, by sharing out consumer quotes and impact statistics or building in time to interact directly with consumers. Not only are these inspiring reminders of why we do what we do every day, but these interactions are also a tremendous motivator.
  • Display the organization’s mission prominently throughout the office - consider placing it in each office/work station; find creative ways to encourage staff to know the mission (i.e., conduct pop quizzes at staff meeting with small prizes for staff who can recite the mission); print the mission on the back of employee business cards; set screen savers with the mission statement; include the mission on company letterhead and all publications.
  • Frame staff meetings around the mission; end each planning session with “and this will bring us closer to achieving our mission by…”; plan a staff retreat with a specific mission focus – ensure that each staff member understands their individual role as well as the role of others."

Hiring, Development & Retention

  • When hiring staff, discuss the core values of the organization to ensure compatibility. You cannot dictate an employee’s lifestyle, but you can outline expectations for representing the organization and interacting with clients, constituents, and partner organizations.
  • Ensure that policies and procedures of human resource management (paid and volunteer staff) are within legal guidelines and address effective practices of risk management. Consider best industry practices as well as your own unique circumstances when establishing policies and procedures.
  • When hiring an executive, encourage the selection committee to consider the potential for leadership and motivation in addition to management skill. A successful executive is well rounded, allowing him/her to advance the mission in myriad ways.
  • The board should develop a strategy for annual evaluation of the executive. Determine the criteria for evaluation (progress toward mission achievement through what measures?); from whom feedback will be sought and in what format; and how the feedback will be compiled and presented.
  • While the executive is responsible for staffing and managing the organization on a day-to-day basis, professional development of staff, retention, and turnover as it relates to the organization’s ability to achieve mission should be discussed and monitored by the board. Estimates for replacing staff range anywhere from 25% to 200% of the annual salary for the position; investing in staff development through tuition reimbursement programs, conferences and trainings, and professional journals/publications has a significantly lighter impact on the bottom line and a conversely positive impact on mission achievement.
  • Provide resources and opportunities for cross-training and professional development of staff. This will minimize the impact of staff turnover and create more well-rounded employees.