3 policy tips for your Governance/management relationship
Policies and procedures are vital to good governance in organisations and to a strong Governance/management relationship that is grounded in good faith.
Like any relationship in the workplace, expectations on both sides – Governance and management – need to be clearly articulated in policies. Processes are also needed to support the relationship and to guide what happens when the relationship is not going so well.
Governance/management is important
The importance of a healthy Governance/Management relationship is recognised by most accreditation systems. The Social Sector Accreditation Standards and Ngā Parewa Health and Disability Standard, for example, both require evidence of strong governance/management of services.
Three ways your policies and procedures can support the Governance/management relationship are through:
- Management delegation
- Oversight processes
- Governance parameters.
A delegation basically gives a Manager/Kaiwahakahaere a green light for what they can do and the decisions they can make.
A delegation is usually written and will formally authorise a Kaiwhakahaere to exercise certain responsibilities. But it can take different forms.
In the Policy Place online service, we have a policy page specifically addressing management delegation. Alternatively, a letter of delegation can be used.
Sometimes, a management delegation can be framed around limits. By outlining what a Manager/Kaiwahakahaere must not do, the delegation establishes the scope of what they can do. Or, as we do at the Policy Place, a delegation can signpost operational responsibilities in areas like human resources, finances, contracts and funding.
Whatever the form or style of delegation, the crux is to ensure that management can do their job and make the decisions that are necessary for the effective and efficient running of the organisation.
Oversight and support
The role of Kaiwhakahaere/Manager is the main means by which Governance keeps informed about the organisation.
Organisational performance is integrally tied to the performance of management. It is through oversight of the Manager/Kaiwhakahaere that Governance gains an understanding of organisational performance and progress towards strategic goals.
To support this oversight, policies and processes should prescribe reporting to Governance about matters like:
- the financial status of the organisation
- achievement of milestones, including contractual obligations
- risk management
- health and safety
- other issues of importance to the Governance role.
With this information provided on a regular basis, Governance can therefore stay updated about organisational performance and informed about what, if any, additional support or changes are needed to address risks, issues and to make the most of opportunities. It will also be enabled to respond in a timely way if performance issues are indicated, either with management or the organisation.
Just as it’s important for the Kaiwhakahaere to know their delegated responsibilities, Governance also needs to be clear on its scope of authority.
At the Policy Place we address scope through online governance policies covering issues like:
- Key responsibilities of a Board/Management Committee or Collective – eg strategic planning, financial oversight, health and safety etc.
- Policy management – covering Governance versus management responsibility for operational policies
- Governance/management communication including who is authorised to speak for Governance, responsibility for liaison with management; notification of significant events (eg adverse incident).
- Management employment issues – the recruitment, appointment, remuneration and performance reviews of the Kaiwhakahaere/Manager.
Governance/management policies and procedures
Wanting policies about good governance and to support the Governance/management relationship in your agency?