This handbook, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, takes a closer look at the role and significance of staff in leading historic preservation organizations, and his or her relationship to the board of directors. It explores best practices in workload management, personnel policies, and compensation and benefit practices and offers a practical guide to implementing these for your own organization.
Our work in preservation is all about finding ways to restore, sustain, steward, and cherish irreplaceable historic resources. Unfortunately, we often spend far less time doing the same for our irreplaceable human resources. The reasons for this are manifold and often legitimate—lack of adequate funding, for example, being the most defensible. But deferred maintenance is never a tenable option, and neither is cyclical disinvestment in the individuals we rely on to be the voices and workhorses of the preservation movement. As a board member, you are uniquely positioned to establish the personnel policies, practices, and standards that will attract qualified staff and sustain and support their efforts, so that you and your staff can work together to successfully carry out your mission to save historic places.
This handbook outlines a comprehensive package of compensation and benefits, policies and practices that goes beyond financial remuneration. It covers appropriate wage levels, comp time, healthcare, flexibility, paid time off for annual leave as well as medical and maternity leave, retirement support, and professional development including training, volunteer opportunities, and sabbaticals. It also maps out effective methods for developing a work plan that organizes efforts, sets standards for review, and allows conscientious evaluation.