Introduction to employment

Created: September 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Updated: September 1, 2020 | By Community Resource Kit

As anyone who is part of a community or voluntary group knows there is a lot of work to be done, but there typically isn't a large budget to do it with. This means members must perform multiple tasks and often do the job of more than one person. Small budgets also mean that organisations rely a great deal on volunteers and workers need to be motivated by the values, vision and mission of the organisation. Having a team that works well together is vital to any group's success in achieving its goals.

Many organisations start out with a core group of volunteers and then begin to employ paid workers as activities increase, needs grow or resources emerge, but 90 percent of community groups rely entirely on volunteers.

Being a good employer can be complex and taking on people for the first time or adding paid workers to your volunteer base needs to be considered carefully.

Good employment practice in the community sector should be based on:

  • Developing employment policies and practices that model and support the organisation's values and kaupapa.
  • Ensuring good communication between all parts of the organisation.
  • Supporting paid and volunteer staff, and making sure they feel valued.
  • Being aware of and managing the tensions that can arise between governance members and paid staff, and being clear about their respective roles and responsibilities.

The concept of being a 'good employer' is connected to the principles of natural justice and fairness in all circumstances.

Being a good employer comes with the following obligations:

  • trust
  • confidence and
  • fair dealing.

There are seven key things that organisations need to concentrate on as they move towards being a 'good employer':

  1. Leadership, accountability and culture.
  2. Recruitment, selection and induction.
  3. Employee development, promotion and exit.
  4. Flexibility and work design.
  5. Remuneration, recognition and conditions.
  6. Harassment and bullying prevention.
  7. Safe and health environment.

Employment resources in the Community Resource Kit


Next page: Employer Guides

Contents of the Community Resource Kit