Personel Policy

Think Link Discovery Center

For Children and Adults

Personnel  Policy

Guidelines for Staff Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities

February 2000

  1. Introduction

The intent of Think Link’s personnel policy is to create a framework describing basic expectation, how staff should work with one another and with Executive and Advisory Boards, and how internal issues will be resolved.  Thee guidelines are not designed to lay down rigid rules and regulation but will carry the weight of policy should conflict arise.

This policy seeks to facilitate understanding while encouraging freedom and creativity.

The primary principle of these guidelines is that Think Link staff is made up of individuals who are equals, who rely on each other for support and assistance.  Sharing diverse knowledge and insights will allow both the individual and collective strengths of Think Link to flower.

  1. Organizational Structure

The Executive Board of Directors approves organizational programs (i.e, p, project priorities) through the organizational plan presented annually by the Executive Director.  The organizational program is developed cooperatively by the Executive Director with direct involvement of all staff members.   The Executive Board amends it as deemed necessary.  The Executive Director interprets, and is responsible for the implementation of, the Think Link mission.  The development and implementation of projects and tasks to carry out the mission is the joint responsibility of all staff with input from the Advisory Board.

  1. Chain of Responsibility

The Executive Director is the liaison with, and answerable to The Executive Board of Directors.  He/she reports to the Executive Board on the status of Think Link projects, the priorities and needs of staff and the organization, and recommends program adjustments based upon consultation with staff.  The Executive Director is the primary contact for all volunteer workers until such time a Volunteer Coordinator is hired.  At that time the Volunteer Coordinator will report directly to the Executive Director.

  1. Staff and Executive Board Relationships

Staff other than the Executive Director, are encouraged to carry on an open and communicative relationship with any and all executive Board members regarding their projects.   They may provide reports to the full Executive Board on projects they are overseeing, contingent on the approval of the Executive Director.  Staff may recommend program changes, internal policy issues and Executive Board action through the Executive Director.

  1. Decision Making

Staff are the decision makers for the respective projects they oversees.  The Executive Director is the decision-maker for the coordination of the organizational program and the internal policy recommendation to the Executive Board.  He/she may intervene in staff project decisions only if the well-being of the organization is in jeopardy.  The Executive Board is the decision-making body for major internal policy and major program decisions.  Inappropriate decision-making would include for example, Executive Board mandating changes in staff projects, or staff going individually to the Executive Board to recommend program or internal policy changes or decisions.

  1. Project Creation and Responsibilities

Projects and/or displays are developed by staff to carry out the Think Link Mission.  Major changes or projects (e.g. those requiring substantial staff time and expenses, or special fund raising for implementation) require the approval of the Executive Director and must tier to or amend the organizational plan. Each staff member assumes responsibility for the coordination of specific projects and makes decisions relevant to the project.  This includes communication with others outside Think Link, media, and oversight of volunteers and interns.  Project coordination consultation with other staff is important, and rest at the discretion of the coordinator.

  1. Staff Communication/Meetings

All staff are encouraged to communicate openly and regularly with one another.  All staff are encouraged to make every effort to be available to other staff.  In-person staff meetings will be conducted in conjunction with each Executive Board Meeting.  Written reports by each staff member will be submitted to the executive Director and other staff, along with personal scheduled by the first of each month.

  1. Staff Interrelationships

Acceptance of diverse approaches, strategies, and process is essential.  Open discussion and a direct approach is highly recommended in the resolution of internal disagreements or conflicts between staff.  If a staff member disagrees with another, tell them first, not someone else.  The coordinator of a project is the final decision-maker on issues pertaining to that project.  The Executive Director manages and coordinates staff.

  1. Standards of Conduct

Appropriate and encouraged conduct includes:  Keeping internal issues internal; exhibiting tolerance for opposing points of view; remembering that our first obligation is the Think Link mission; respecting and upholding that decisions of other staff and the Executive Board; being available when other staff, Executive Board, Advisory Board or members of Think Link are in need; accepting responsibility for one’s own actions; accepting feedback with grace, and offering feedback with tact.  Discrimination or hsotiltiy based on and person’s gender, race, religion, creed or lifestyle will not be tolerated and will be met with consequences at the discretion of the Executive Director.

  1. Background Checks

Think Links main constituency is school age children.  Therefore it is essential we make every attempt to ensure the safety of the children who visit our facility.  All staff and volunteer workers will submit to a background check to be conducted through the auspices of Volunteer Services.

  1. Conflict Resolution

Conflicts (not including the Executive Director) that cannot be resolved between the parties at odds will be resolved through mediation by the Executive Director.  Such conflicts include both strategy and task disagreements, and personality conflicts.  However the Executive Director will defer to the coordinator of a project unless the decision is contrary to the Think link mission, internal policy or general credibility.  The Executive Director may solicit the assistance of an independent part such as an Executive Board member or facilitator to assist with resolution.  In conflicts involving the Executive Director, staff members who believe a decision by the Executive director is contrary to Think Link’s mission, internal policy, or general credibility, may approach the Executive Board through written statement requesting review of a decision or action.  A copy of such request must be sent to the Executive Director.

  1. Staff Evaluations

Evaluations of each staff member by all other staff, including the Executive Director will be submitted between December 1 and December 31 each year.  All evaluations will be submitted to all other staff and the president of the Executive Board by December 31.  In addition, all staff and the Executive Board are encouraged to offer and accept constructive feedback any time.

  1. Corrective Action

If a staff member engages in any conduct contrary to think Lin’s Mission, policy or general credibility, or which is generally disruptive to the organization, corrective action may be implemented by the Executive Director.  This could include , but is not limited to : Re-assignment from a project, restrictions on external communications, probation with conditions, or dismissal.  These can be implemented only if positive, cooperation options fail to produce results.  The executive Board may apply corrective action if inappropriate conduct is exhibited by the Executive director.  However, warning of such action prior to probation is preferred except when the issue involves what constitutes, in the judgment of the Executive director, particularly egregious action.

  1. Job Descriptions

Job Descriptions will be prepared for each staff member upon the initiation of their employment with think Link, these will be flexible descriptions, outlining their role in Think Link, and are not meant to convey that the person is limited to the tasks described, or that they must complete all tasks described.  Job and task description for staff will be included in the Organizational Plan.

  1. Vacation/Compensation Time

Time and sick leave will be outlined in each individual staff member’s Job Description, contingent on length of service and work schedule.  Compensation and Benefit package will be determined by the Executive Director and approved by the Executive Board.

Approved By Executive Board Members: Graham Hicks, President;  Marti House, Vice-President, Lani Schroeder, Treasurer; Barbara Hicks, Secretary at Board meeting Friday, March 3 2000.