Managing Staff and Volunteers

Managing club-based staff

Experience suggests that if you take care of your staff, your staff in turn will take care of you. A committed team of employees can provide loyalty, long term sustainability and program success – so it is worth investing in human resource management (HR)!

Not-for-profit organisations can invest in staff and secure long-term stability just as effectively as commercial businesses, and should show leadership in this area. Your club should consider the following activities as part of managing club staff:

  • Recruiting the best people for the organisation – interviewing, screening and selecting.
  • Training staff and volunteers – personal development and professional development.
  • Clarifying organisational roles.
  • Drawing up job descriptions.
  • Conducting staff evaluations and salary negotiation.
  • Handling staff conflict resolution and providing guidelines for the process.
  • Maintaining staff and volunteer personnel records in accordance with privacy laws.
  • Taking care of employee benefits including superannuation, leave, etc.
  • Looking after the wellbeing of personnel in line with occupational, health and safety guidelines.
  • Looking after general wellness of staff – creating a safe environment free of violence, discrimination or fear.
  • Matching, finding, and retaining personnel who can achieve the long-term organisational goals of the organisation.
  • Adhering to relevant workplace legislation (unfair dismissal laws, discrimination laws, etc.)
  • Ensuring the workload is shared and that people – particularly volunteers – aren’t overburdened.

Of course, once you have staff employed, this creates a whole new list of HR related policies and or guidelines that you will need to different degrees. Depending on the size of your club and the number of employees you have, the following list of items may be individual policies or topics combined into a broader HR manual:

Recruitment and Appointment (for volunteers or paid staff)

  • conditions of employment including continuing or fixed term appointments; casual or permanent; part-time or full-time; remuneration – salary scales, bonuses, superannuation
  • selection processes including: application requirements, selection methodology, interview procedures, decision procedures
  • advertising positions
  • appointment procedures

Induction, Probation, Confirmation and Termination

  • induction procedures
  • probation policy (continuing and fixed term staff)
  • confirmation of appointment approval procedures
  • termination provisions

Classification and Reclassification

  • job evaluation policy
  • position description responsibilities 

Performance Management, Development and Training

  • performance management program
  • staff development

Employee Relations

  • enterprise bargaining agreements 
  • access to flexible work conditions (working from home, etc)
  • general staff conditions of employment
  • workers’ compensation information

Absences and Leave

  • flexible leave system
  • special leave
  • cultural leave  
  • recreation leave  
  • sick leave
  • long service leave and leave without pay
  • personal and carer’s leave
  • jury service
  • examination leave

Equity, Equal Employment Opportunity and Conduct

  • workplace bullying
  • harassment: policy and procedures
  • political participation
  • protection of whistle-blowers
  • disability resources
  • student equity
  • code of conduct
  • communications policy
  • work experience policy

Managing staff and the law

Recruiting and engaging employees raises a number of important legal issues for organisations. Your club needs to bear in mind a number of different laws when it recruits employees. These include laws about equal opportunity and discrimination, the Australian Consumer Law, laws about screening potential candidates, and privacy laws. 

In line with best risk management practices, once recruited, an employee should be inducted, undergo appropriate training and provided with copies of all policies, procedures and other documents relevant to the role. Again, it is important that your club provides suitable job descriptions, work place policies and procedures, including employee code of conduct and conducts regular staff assessments and reviews all of which are covered under Human Resources.

Clubs WA provides resources outlining legal obligations in relation to recruiting employees, discrimination in recruitment and screening checks.  More information is available on the Industrial Relations page.

Managing Volunteers

Volunteers are vital to the success of every WA lawn bowling club. Underpinning this success is the commitment of the club board, management team and club-based staff to:

  • Gain support for a volunteer program
  • develop applicable policies and procedures
  • design and promote volunteer positions
  • educating others in the club about involving volunteers

1. Support and commitment from the club

Begin by holding discussions with the board and committee members to clarify the reasons you want volunteers. Are you looking for volunteers in order to enhance the services that you provide, to strengthen your community involvement, to recruit potential sponsors, to enrich your exposure to certain communities, or several of these things at once?

You may want to conduct a volunteer needs audit.  The results of such an audit will highlight the type and amount of work that needs to be done to enable paid staff to concentrate on other core activities. 

Develop volunteer management policies and guidelines that cover the whole volunteer cycle, and have them approved by the executive committee. The guidelines should head off any potential future misunderstandings between staff and volunteers by clarifying roles and responsibilities.

It’s important to acknowledge the role of the volunteer is to enhance and not replace paid staff work.

Go Volunteer has some great resources to help with creating a supportive volunteer culture at your club.

2. The volunteer coordinator

If your club is large enough, it’s a good idea to have one person who has responsibility for looking after volunteer activities. This person should work closely with club management to:

  • Assess and prioritise requests for volunteer assistance
  • Develop volunteer job descriptions
  • Advertise for volunteer roles 
  • Train volunteers
  • Ensure good communication between the club management and volunteers
  • Develop and review the club’s volunteer policies and procedures
  • Supervise and recognise volunteer contributions.

3. Volunteer Job Descriptions

Clear job descriptions for your club’s volunteer roles helps everyone to understand what is required of them and exactly who is doing what. This helps prevent miscommunication and creates a clear delineation of responsibilities. Well-crafted position descriptions for each approved job will assist the organisation to:

A good job description would include the following: 

  • A brief summary of the objectives and strategic direction of the club.
  • A description of the purpose and duties of the volunteer position, including the actual task/s that the volunteer is expected to perform.
  • Areas of accountability.
  • Any reporting requirements.
  • Duration of the position.
  • Expected time commitment each week/month etc.
  • Workplace location.
  • Skills required/preferred.

For more information you can refer to Bowls WA’s Volunteer Handbook  which was developed specially for WA lawn bowling clubs.