Human Resource Management

Coordinating the human resources function in a cultural organization can be a challenge, but it is incredibly important to address this area professionally and proactively if you want to attract, retain and develop staff. Even if the organization is a one-person shop, the board should review the organization’s human resource practices to ensure fair and consistent treatment for its employees.

According to the Cultural Human Resource Council, “regardless of where they work or what their jobs are, people are motivated by the same things: stimulating work, fair compensation, good management, a supportive and friendly workplace, and open communications". Retaining good staff means ensuring a system is in place that addresses the needs of workers.

Staffing is a key component of Human Resource Management. Recruiting and hiring the right people for the job requires careful planning and preparation. Some organizations prepare talent profiles to help them make decisions on job descriptions, recruitment, screening and holding successful interviews. And, when things don’t go as planned, having termination policies and procedures in place can help provide mutually-beneficial transitions.

Filling positions in today’s competitive job market often includes providing attractive compensation and benefits packages. These packages need to be consistent with the organization’s goals and must take legal, regulatory, and taxation issues into consideration.

Once hired, staff members need to understand the organization’s expectations of them. A proper staff orientation is recommended to ensure new people understand the organization’s human resource policies, procedures and office philosophies. Most organizations, with more than four employees, will also provide a Human Resource Policy Manual, which outlines how human resource issues are consistently handled.

To ensure employees continue to meet the expectations of the organization, it is important to provide regular feedback. While feedback, including rewards and constructive criticism, is important, annual performance reviews are always recommended. In most non-profit organizations, the board will review the executive director performance, and in turn, the executive director will review each staff member. An annual performance appraisal is also very helpful in determining effective staff development opportunities.

Sometimes outsourcing and/or hiring contract workers is a means to fill in human resource gaps. It is important to develop a clear work agreement/contract for the work involved, including a list of deliverables, a project completion date, payment schedule, evaluation checkpoints, expense agreements, contact people and a termination clause.

Strategic HR planning may be part of an organization’s annual planning, or it may be done only when needed. Undertaking an assessment of the current state of human resource management in an organization, every five years or so, can also help measure employee morale, employee retention, effective operational practices, communication, productivity, equitable compensation, employee services, opportunities for growth, as well as ensuring the organization is meeting all standards outlined in the Saskatchewan Labour Standards Act, along with federal regulations.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act outlines regulations for the fair treatment of workers. Organizations must follow these standards, but can develop policies of their own to help them interpret standards in more detail. Organizations must also adhere to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and The Occupational Health and Safety Act that set standards for policies designed to help eliminate discrimination and harassment, and help ensure occupational health and safety in the workplace.

Other links:

Cultural Human Resources Management Tool Kit​, Cultural Human Resource Council.