Now We Are 4

By Jessamyn Lau

We’re still small, but at 4 people you feel like a team—a real team. With our new found identify, we just created the first version of our Team Manual. We reviewed policies and procedures materials created by other foundations and learned a lot about the topics and policies we might want to cover. We went with a lite version, which, I’m excited to say, is exactly two sides of paper. It started out as a multi-page document and after the realisation that it just wasn’t very PF to detail every possibility and scenario, we got it down to 2 sides. That covers hours, scheduling, holidays, time off, maternity leave, paternity leave, sabbaticals, benefits, performance reviews, compensation, reimbursements, and travel.

Here’s the beginning paragraph: “At the PF we only work with people we trust—that goes for grantees and team members. Our team members are expected to collaborate with each other and the community voraciously, but are also given autonomy within their roles and in managing their performance. There are areas of team support where we need to articulate what people can expect or plan on. That’s what this manual is for. We implement these policies with reasonable flexibility and expect our team to use them with good judgement.”

Good judgement. What does that mean?

We want our team to know the parameters we work within, and then have freedom to figure out how to use the space between to be at their best. Unexpected situations that will arise and we will navigate those in a timely manner, with trust and flexibility of all involved. Of course, that’s only possible when everyone values and exercises trust, autonomy, and good judgement—which is easier said than done. So, in the meantime that’s what we’ll spend our time building and practicing.