Key Points

  • The role of the Board or Committee and the staff is different
  • The Board is responsible for governance and strategic direction. The staff is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations
  • Irrespective of an organisation’s mission, challenges or financial position, staff have industrial rights at law

Not all organisations have paid staff, but where they do it is important that the partnership between the Board and the staff functions well. One of the best ways to achieve this is for everyone to understand that the role of the Board and the role of the staff are different. Where the Board is responsible for strategic direction and governance, the staff are responsible for management and day-to-day operations. This puts staff on the front line, closest to clients, players or members.

So the recruitment, management, supervision and retention of the right staff is critical to the organisation achieving its mission and goals. Boards or Committees are also responsible for the wellbeing of the organisation’s workforce, including all staff and volunteers. That starts with a responsibility to ensure all industrial rights and laws are met and that your organisation provides a safe, respectful and fair workplace for everyone.

Top Tip

Take time to understand the difference between the role of the Board and the role of the staff. Make sure everybody else also understands too. Brush up on staff’s industrial rights and seek legal advice if ever unsure that the staff’s rights are being protected.

The wellbeing and safety of your organisation’s workforce is one of the fundamental responsibilities of all members of your Committee or Board, so you should spend time regularly considering any workplace risks to the wellbeing of your people.

Want more? ... check out these resources

Article - Institute of Community Directors - 3-minute read


This article provides practical advice, checklists and questions to help you understand the difference between your role as a Board member and the role of staff, particularly the CEO.

Factsheet - DIY Committee Guide - 1-minute read


This short fact sheet offers practical advice about how to manage the senior staff member or CEO.  There are also dot points lists of different behaviours to keep an eye on.

Factsheet - DIY Committee Guide - 1 minute


Another short fact sheet suggesting six methods you might choose to use to manage your senior staff member or CEO. Or you might choose to combine some of the six. It all depends on the size of your organisation and what you are trying to achieve.

Online toolkit - QCOSS - Over 10 minute read


A succinct but comprehensive overview of the main issues you need to get across when employing staff.

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Online toolkit - QCOSS - Over 10 minute read


A good survey of key industrial relations issues you need to know about as an employer.

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