Personnel Policy

WOODSWORTH HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE, INC.

PERSONNEL POLICY

Passed at the February 17, 1992 AGM

1. Preamble

The success of Woodsworth Housing co-operative is dependent to a large degree on one of its important resources — its employees. This policy has been written to ensure that the rights, responsibilities and benefits of employees and that the rights of the employer's are clear and protected.

Woodsworth Housing Co-operative supports equality of opportunity of all aspects of employment and will undertake to identify and remove any employment and advancement barriers where they may exist. The co-op will abide by all pertinent legislation relating to employment such as The Occupational Health & Safety Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

All decisions about employment will be based on the essential skills, capability, knowledge and experience required to perform the job.

The application of the Personnel Policy shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors. All Directors are held accountable to ensure that their actions do not result in direct or indirect discrimination, as prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Policy may be amended only with the approval of the members.

The Board of Directors may:

(a) adopt and change personnel procedures as necessary;

(b) enter in contracts with employees of the Co-operative and must enter into contracts with permanent employees; and

(c) delegate any of its duties under this Policy to one or more persons.

2. Types of Employment

A permanent employee is a person hired or employed for full-time or part-time position which has an indefinite term. A temporary employee is a person hired or employed for a full-time or part-time position which has a specific term.

3. Working Conditions

The staff shall be governed by the following documents: the personnel policy, an employment contract signed by each individual permanent staff member, and all other co-op policies and procedures as may be applicable to staff from time to time not exceed 1 year and not to be extended without approval of GMM.

4. Authority to Hire

(a) The Co-ordinator is authorized to hire on-call employees/workers as required, provided there are funds in the budget to do so.

(b) Notice of all open temporary and on-call positions shall be circulated to every household in the Co-operative whenever practical.

(c) The creation of any new temporary position must be approved by the Board and reported to the members.

(d) Creation of any new permanent position must be approved by the members.

5. Eligibility of Members

Members may not be hired for permanent full-time or permanent part-time positions with the exception of on-call positions.

6. Hiring Committee

The Board shall appoint a Hiring Committee for the filling of any permanent position. The composition of the Hiring Committee may be: present staff; staff who are leaving the position; a Director; a Committee member; the staff liaison; any other person from within the Membership whom the Board appoints.

7. Evaluation of Staff

Evaluation of performance relies on goals that both the evaluator and evaluated person understand. A rating system for evaluation of performance in relation to goals is important. For that reason, levels of performance should be stated explicitly during the evaluation. Increases in salary will be tied to performance levels.

Appendix A attached is a description of the evaluation process. Appendix B attached is the approved evaluation form to be used during the evaluation process. Appendix C attached is the recommended "Guidelines for Evaluation of Staff".

8. Evaluation of Contract

The employment contract shall be reviewed every three years, or more often as the Board deems necessary, for good and progressive employment standards.

APPENDIX A

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

1. Performance evaluation shall be conducted prior to the end of the probation period and once annually thereafter, on the anniversary date of the employee's hiring in the position.

2. The performance evaluation shall be based on the responsibilities set out in the job description.

3. The performance evaluation shall be undertaken by an Evaluation Committee consisting of the Staff Liaison Officer and one other member of the Co-op appointed by the Board and agreed to by the employee who is knowledgeable about the affairs of the Co-op and the work of the employee.

4. The evaluation process shall have three stages:

(1) The Evaluation Committee shall prepare a report prioritizing the various areas of work performance described by the job description and indicating which of the duties it perceives to be most important to a satisfactory performance of the job requirements. This prioritized list shall be given to the employee at least three (3) days before the actual evaluation interview.

(2) The Committee shall meet with the employee and discuss the employee's work and then prepare a written evaluation. This evaluation shall be based on the interview and on an oral assessment of the employee obtained from the Board. The evaluation shall be written up on a form provided by the Co-op and a copy given to the employee, no more than one week following this meeting.

(3) Within one week of receiving the written evaluation, the employee shall meet with the committee to discuss the evaluation, any training the evaluation identifies as necessary or useful and any alteration in the duties or performance the evaluation indicates is needed. At this meeting the employee shall sign the evaluation and append any comments he or she wishes.

5. The signed performance evaluation shall be placed in the employee's personnel file.

6. The evaluation form referred to in this appendix shall be a form designed by the Co-op and may be amended by the Co-op as it deems necessary in consultation with the staff. A copy of the form (as Appendix B) is attached.

APPENDIX B

HOW TO DO AN ANNUAL EVALUATION

The evaluation process is described in Appendix A of the Personnel Policy. Appendix C — "Guidelines for Evaluation of Staff" — should be read by the evaluation team before the evaluation takes place.

Preparation

An evaluation team is appointed by the Board. Usually the Staff Liaison and one other Board member and one member-at-large make up the team.

The team should meet several days before the evaluation to prepare the evaluation form (see below).

The Board will give their comments to the team before the evaluation.

The evaluation form has 3 sections (Sections A, B and C.)

NOTES ON THE EVALUATION FORM

Section A

Evaluation of Key Areas and Goals

The Team makes sure that the Key Areas and Goals are typed on the form, leaving enough space for comments.

Section B

General Evaluation

This section gives the evaluation team and staff member the chance to review areas that are not in the job description and goals, but which are important. For example, they can be:

  • communication
  • judgement
  • work organization
  • flexibility and team workSection C

Future Goals

This section is intended to get the team and staff person working together to plan next year's goals.

The team will have prepared this section with the Board. The goals set for staff should be in line with the goals and priorities set by the Board for its own work.

A copy of the form, including key areas and goals, should be given to the staff member at least 3 days before the evaluation.

Doing the Evaluation

The actual evaluation should be a relaxed dialogue, as it is building on a year-long review. If there have been problems, they should have been dealt with already.

The team will work through the form with the staff member, and make notes.

After the meeting, they will write their report on the form.

Some evaluators like to use a grading system, e.g.:

1. commendable
2. competent
3. needs improvement
4. not acceptable.

Section 3, Future Goals, should not be rushed. It is important to be very clear on what the Board wants, and what the staff member thinks is realistic.

This is the section in which to discuss further training and development of skills. If, for example, the Board wants to make use of computers, the staff should be given the chance to develop the necessary skills. Or, if a Board wants a maintenance worker to deal with electrical work, it should plan for good training of the staff member.

After the Evaluation

The evaluation team will complete the written report and give a copy to the staff member within a week of the evaluation. One week later, the team will meet with the staff member for a final review, and the form will be signed. The staff member is free to add comments at this time.

One copy of the evaluation form is given to the Employee, and one copy is put in the staff member's personnel file. The goals developed in Section C are now the basis of regular review during the coming year, and the basis of the next annual evaluation.

EVALUATION FORM

Section A

Evaluation of Key Areas and Goals

This section provides the opportunity to review the major expectations of the Board. It refers to the Job Description and Goals established by the Board.

KEY AREA GOALS
Finance  
   
   
Comments  
   
   
   
   
Property  
   
   
Comments  
   
   

 

KEY AREA GOALS
Staff  
   
   
Comments  
   
   
   
   
Administration  
   
   
Comments  
   
   

Section B

General Performance Evaluation

This section deals with areas other than the Key Areas.

  Communication with

 

  • Colleagues
  • Board/Committees
  • Members
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

  Judgement (ability to make decisions within the scope of responsibilities).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Organization of work
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Flexibility (ability to work in a team, to relate to Board and committee needs and adjust to change)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Section C

Future Goals

This section provides the opportunity to review and revise previous goals and set new goals for the coming year.The goals set will be the result of a dialogue. They should be as clear as possible. They will provide the basis for the next evaluation.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sections A and B have been reviewed by the Employee and the Evaluators.

Section C has been developed and agreed upon by the Employee and the Evaluators.

Date: Employee:
Date: Employee:
Date: Employee:

Report to – Employee Date:

– Personnel File Date: Date:
APPENDIX C

GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION OF STAFF

Many co-op Boards find supervision and evaluation of staff difficult.

This is not surprising, because the employment situation of co-op staff is quite different to what Directors themselves have experienced.

Problems which both Board and staff experience in these areas are:

  • Many Directors have never had to supervise and evaluate staff.

  • Most Board or Committee members are not in day to day contact with staff.

  • Staff generally have long job descriptions which makes it difficult to evaluate how they are handling each item.

  • Most staff find the annual evaluation either a friendly chat or a dump-on session. It does not usually help them do their job better.

  • People often spend too much energy evaluating the standard tasks the staff person does rather than the ones that have the biggest impact on the organization.

What supervision and evaluation should be?

These areas of a Board's responsibility don't have to be difficult. If they are properly handled, they can be a tool to build mutual trust and confidence between Board and Staff.

For the employee, they can mean an opportunity to:

  • receive recognition for what they have accomplished

  • receive a fair evaluation of their work

  • review goals and objectives

  • establish goals and objectives for the upcoming year

  • discuss the performance expected

  • promote good understanding and communication.

For the employer, they give the chance to:

  • clarify job objectives and expected results

  • recognize good performance

  • discuss strong and weak areas

  • assist employee to develop further skills

  • recognize better performance.

CYCLE OF PLANNING AND REVIEW

Supervision and evaluation are not separate areas. They are parts of a cycle which covers the whole year.

The cycle begins when a staff member is hired. At that stage, the Board should

(a) make clear what it expects of the staff member; and

(b) find what the staff member expects of the Board.

This should be repeated every year at the time of the annual evaluation. During the year, there are periodic reviews (perhaps every three months).

This cycle is shown in this illustration.

SET GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR

The Board can only make clear what it expects of the staff member if it sets goals.

To do this well the Board needs to have set goals for itself. The Board should follow some type of planning process on an annual basis. This planning process can be the basis for setting goals for the staff and the committees of the co-op. These plans are documents that can be referred to by the Board, committees and staff on a regular basis to determine that their work is on track.

Write down the goals and expectations.

Unless goals and expectations are written down, they will be forgotten. Make sure that the Staff Member and Staff Liaison each has a copy. A copy should also be kept with the Board minutes.

Regular Review

The Staff Liaison should be in frequent contact with the Staff. A regular review of the goals, (perhaps every 3 months) is useful. This means that the Staff Member and Staff Liaison will discuss the goals set to answer questions such as:

  • Are the goals still realistic?

  • Does the Board want to make changes?

  • Does the Staff member want changes?

  • Is more help needed?

  • Is more training needed?

  • Should some responsibilities be given to someone else so that the staff member can do what is expected? Should a committee take on some tasks?

  • Should office hours be changed?

  • Has the Board added on too many extra tasks?

This system makes sure that problems are cleared up well before the annual evaluation. In between the quarterly reviews, the Staff Liaison should be in frequent (at least every 2 weeks) contact to discuss difficulties as they arise and to keep open dialogue.

The Annual Evaluation

If the system of an on-going, regular review is used, the annual evaluation becomes much easier.

The annual evaluation is an opportunity to sum up and develop the ongoing dialogue which happens throughout the year. It is a chance to think about and write down the results of the ongoing planning and review.

The evaluation can tell the Board as much about the direction, goals and support given to staff as it does about the staff's performance.

To Sum Up…

1. The review should be regular. Every 3 months is a good period.

2. The review is to see what progress has been made towards the goals – and to adjust them as necessary.

3. The review may show some need for more training, new skills, discipline, or sharing of responsibilities.

4. The review must give feedback to the staff person. It should be reported to the Board.

5. Frequent contact between the Staff Liaison and the Staff (at least every 2 weeks).

6. Clear up difficulties quickly.

APPENDIX D

THE ROLE OF THE STAFF LIAISON OFFICER

The Housing Manager acts in accordance with decisions made by the Board, but sometimes cannot call each director for consultation if direction and assistance is required between meetings. Each day the Housing Manager receives information, advice and requests from individual members and committees. It is essential, therefore, that there be one director designated by the Board as its' Staff Liaison Officer to give instructions, assistance and support to the Housing Manager. (It should be noted that the Staff Liaison Officer is the direct supervisor of the Housing Manager only; the Housing Manager supervises the other Co-op employees.)

Criteria for choosing a Staff Liaison Officer:

The staff Liaison Officer should be someone with personnel management experience. or at least be willing to commit himself or herself to securing the training necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the position.

The Staff Liaison Officer should have a strong commitment and be willing to devote the necessary time to fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.

The Staff Liaison Officer must be relatively accessible. Someone whose job requires frequent or extended business trips, for example, would be unsuitable.

The Staff Liaison Officer must have a broad understanding of the management requirements of the Co-op. For this reason, Co-ops often choose the President or Vice-President as Staff Liaison Officer.

STAFF LIAISON OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION

Source of
Authority
:
Director, appointed by Board, in consultation with the Maintenance and Administrative Co-ordinators
Authority: The Staff Liaison Officer is a representative of the Board and is authorized to carry out the responsibilities outlined below in accordance with the general direction provided by the Board. The Staff Liaison Officer will normally deal with the Co-op's senior employees only (the Co-ordinators) with supervision of and communication with other employees being provided through the supervising Co-ordinator. The Staff Liaison Officer may delegate duties from time to time to members of the Personnel Committee.
Purpose: To provide supervision and direction to the Co-ordinators between meetings of the Board.
  To provide a means of effectively monitoring and evaluating employee performance.
  To ensure that a representative of the Board is familiar with the day-to-day work circumstances of the employee in order to deal with employee concerns and make appropriate recommendations to the Board.
  To ensure that there is good communication and positive relations between the employee and the Board.
  To help ensure that the Board's responsibility for hiring, supervising and directing the employee are carried out.
  To help ensure an effective working relationship among all Co-op. staff.
  To chair the Personnel Committee and solicit its support, advice and guidance in carrying our his/her responsibilities.
Responsibilities: With the assistance of the Personnel Committee, the Staff Liaison Officer is:
 

1. To ensure that appropriate personnel-related bylaws and procedures are in place, reviewed regularly and amended, as necessary.

 

 

2. to ensure that the Co-op has entered into an employment contract with the employee that provides a detailed description of the duties and responsibilities of the position and sets out the terms and conditions of employment.

 

 

3. To co-ordinate the hiring of staff by liaising or sitting on ad-hoc hiring committees as required.

 

4. To monitor and direct the employee in implementing the decisions of the Board by communication regularly and meeting formally at least once every three months with the employee.

 

 

5. To review at each monthly meeting, the work accomplished by the employee during the previous month (including Housing Manager's report to the Board), and to agree on priorities and goals for the future.

 

 

6. To ensure that performance evaluation of senior employees takes place annually and to participate in that evaluation.

 

7. To provide authorization related to employee work schedules and time off, as set out in the employee contracts.

 

8. To review periodically with the employee working conditions, contract, job description requirements and other matters that may affect the employee's ability to carry out assigned responsibilities, and to recommend to the Board measures to be taken to deal with any problem areas.

 

9. To provide the employee with problem-solving support in the areas where it may be helpful to the employee in carrying out assigned responsibilities.

 

10. To make recommendations to the Board on personnel-related matters and, generally, to represent the employee's position to the Board.

 

11. To help resolve problems which may arise between staff and have been referred to the Staff Liaison Officer by any of the staff.

 

12. Will receive written comments from members and will review them promptly with the appropriate employee(s) and help resolve problems which may arise between the employee and members. A written confirmation of the resolution of the issue will be provided to the parties concerned.

 

13. To deal with formal staff grievance in accordance with procedures set out the employee's Employment Contract Grievance Procedure (Schedule D).

 

14. To facilitate discussions with Committee Liaisons with regard to staff relations.