A committed, capable and responsible staff is vital for the success of an Chamber. The foundation for this is effective human resource policies. For most Chambers, these should address both paid employees and unpaid volunteers, given the use of volunteers in many roles, including in management and as individuals rendering program and support services. An Chamber should seek qualified staff, offer them proper training and supervision, treat them with fairness and equity, and provide them with avenues for individual growth and development. On the other hand, the Chamber should expect employees and volunteers to maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct, use information and resources responsibly, and avoid conflicts of interest.
A. Responsibilities of the Chamber
1. CAPABLE AND RESPONSIBLE STAFF
The organization shall seek capable and responsible employees and volunteers (collectively, “staff”), who are committed to the mission of the organization.
2. TRAINING AND WORKING CONDITIONS
The organization shall provide proper training and orientation for new staff, and provide them with suitable working conditions.
3. WRITTEN HUMAN RESOURCE POLICIES
If the organization has ten or more staff, it is to have written human resource policies (or an employment manual) for its staff, including basic aspects of employment (benefits, vacation days, sick leave, etc.), and other fundamental policies such as confidentiality of information, computer policies (use of computer resources for personal work, ownership of computer resources), drug and alcohol policy, conflict of interest, and grievance procedures. If the organization has fewer than ten staff, it is encouraged to have written human resource policies for its staff.
4. STAFF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
The organization shall provide opportunities for individual growth and staff development, and foster an atmosphere whereby supervisors encourage personal growth of staff.
5. FAIRNESS AND RIGHTS
All staff shall be treated with fairness and equity, and as individuals with rights to be honored and defended. Their rights to freedom of association, conscience and expression must be respected and protected.
6. CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT
Each staff member shall be provided with the Chamber’s code of ethics and/or conduct and any written human resource policies.
7. COMMUNICATION OF SERIOUS CONCERNS
Key staff shall be enabled to communicate serious concerns to a member of the governing board or officer.
8. STANDARDS AND RESPONSIBILITY
Staff shall be encouraged and guided in maintaining the highest standards of professional and personal conduct, and in taking personal and professional responsibility for their actions and decisions.
Guidance shall be provided staff with access to official documentation or information regarding maintenance of the integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of such information to protect any individual concerned.
B. Conflicts of Interest
1. WRITTEN POLICY
The governing body shall provide staff who have decision-making power a written statement of how they shall handle potential conflicts of interest. Ideally, this statement will be signed by each individual at the time of their beginning service with the Chamber and periodically thereafter.
Each officer shall disclose each institutional affiliation that he or she has that might possibly involve a conflict of interest.
The Chamber shall establish a policy regarding gifts to staff members, such as requiring that staff refuse all significant gifts connected with their position, or turn them over to the organization.
4. USING POSITION FOR PERSONAL BENEFIT
Staff members shall refrain from using their official position, either regular or volunteer, to secure special privilege, gain or benefit for themselves.
If the organization has provision for making loans to staff, there is to be a policy describing how the loans operate and all loans shall be disclosed to the governing body.
6. BEST INTERESTS OF THE Chamber
Employees and staff should put organizational goals before personal goals, putting the best interests of the entire program ahead of individual desires.
C. Responsibilities of the Governing Body
1. MISSION STATEMENT
The governing body shall establish the direction of the Chamber, by creating or adopting the mission statement, reviewing it periodically for accuracy and validity, and revising it as necessary or desirable.
2. PROGRAMS AND COMPLIANCE
The governing body shall determine the Chamber’s programs and services, and monitor their compliance with the mission and their effectiveness and efficiency.
The governing body shall ensure the organization has the proper resources to fulfill the mission.
4. ANNUAL BUDGET AND FUNDRAISING
The governing board shall approve the annual budget and actively participate in the fundraising process. In approving the annual budget, the governing body is to ascertain the percentage of the resources spent on administration and fundraising, versus program expenses, and strive for a goal of at least 65% of revenue being used for programs, and ideally greater than 80%.
5. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
The governing body shall manage the resources effectively, and provide oversight regarding fiduciary and legal requirements.
6. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER HIRING AND EVALUATION
The governing body shall hire the chief executive officer, undertaking a careful search process to find the most qualified individual. The governing body also shall set the chief executive officer’s compensation, ensure that he or she has the moral and professional support needed to advance the goals of the Chamber, and periodically evaluate his or her performance.
7. STRATEGIC PLANNING
The governing body shall actively participate with the staff in long-term and short-term strategic planning processes, including defining goals and objectives and the success of the Chamber toward achieving its mission.
8. CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT
The governing board shall approve a code of ethics and/or conduct for the Chamber, and assure that the organization is in compliance with this code.
9. AMBASSADORS FOR THE Chamber
Members of the governing board shall serve as ambassadors for the organization, articulating its mission, accomplishments and goals to the public, and garnering support for the organization.
D. Conduct of the Governing Body
1. MEETINGS OF THE GOVERNING BODY
The governing body, and any subset of the governing body (executive committee) which is authorized to conduct the affairs of the organizationbetween meetings of the governing body, are to meet as CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT FOR Chambers 21 frequently as is necessary to fully and adequately conduct the business of the organization. At a minimum, there should be a least 4 meetings annually of the governing body, or the governing body and the executive committee combined. If face-toface meetings are not required by local or national law and the organizing documents, then communication technologies can aid in conducting frequent meetings.
Minutes of each meeting of the governing body and executive committee, and reports of each committee when acting in the place of the governing body, are to be produced, distributed to each member of the governing board, and archived for future reference. The minutes also are to be available to an association’s membership, officers, staff, and the general public, with the exception of discussions related to personnel evaluation and other such confidential information.
3. RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT
The governing body shall be responsible for its own conduct. The governing body is to establish written expectations for board members (including expectations related to service on committees, attendance at meetings, and participation in fundraising and program activities), and annually evaluate its own performance. If not already established in the organizing document, the governing body is to establish job descriptions for its officers (chair, treasurer, secretary, etc.).
E. Conflict of Interest
1. BEST INTERESTS OF THE Chamber
In serving on the governing body, directors shall put organizational goals before personal goals, and put the best interests of the organization ahead of individual desires.
2. MATTERS IMPACTING A DIRECTOR
No director shall participate in deciding a matter directly impacting that individual (such as re-election to the governing body, personal remuneration, etc.)
Each director shall disclose all potential and actual conflicts of interest, including each institutional affiliation he or she has that might possibly involve a conflict of interest (such as sitting on a board of another Chamber with overlapping goals and missions). Such disclosure does not preclude or imply ethical impropriety.
4. WRITTEN CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
The governing body shall develop a written conflict of interest policy, which is applicable to the directors and to any staff and volunteers who have significant decision-making authority regarding the organization’s activities or resources, as well as relevant organizational partners.
The governing body shall provide its members with the written conflict of interest statement, which should be signed by the individual at the outset of each term of service.
6. LOANS TO MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BODY
If an Chamber has provision for making loans to members of the governing body, there shall be a policy describing how the loans operate. All loans or transactions with members of the governing body are to be included in the Chamber’s full financial reports and publicly disclosed.