Probably about 80 percent of the decisions you make in personnel management fit into the category of routine. That doesn't mean they're easy, but it means they fall within fairly standard guidelines. That 80 percent can probably be handled without help if you're familiar with the contents of this Guide to Managing Human Resources.

What the Guide offers is the support you need to carry out your role as manager or supervisor, organized by employee life cycle. The information has been divided into the following sections:

For the 20 percent of decisions that aren't routine, or in situations that are extraordinarily complex, unusual, or new, you will probably still wish to work with a professional in Central Human Resources. In some cases, it may be important to consult with your Employee Relations Consultant before proceeding.

How the Guide is organized

Within each section there are chapters that begin with an introduction, followed by specific information for that chapter. The Guide doesn't quote policies and contracts because those are available elsewhere. It does give you the steps to follow when you implement a policy or procedure, or the issues to consider when making a decision, or the details to cover when you're developing a plan.

You'll also find notes referring you to other chapters when procedures and decisions overlap more than one area, or suggesting that you consult policies and contracts when appropriate.

Many of the chapters include checklists or "Questions to Ask Yourself" when making a decision. These tools are intended to supplement the detailed explanations; they can be memory joggers or last-minute controls.

At the end of most chapters, you'll find additional resources. These are reminders of whom to call in Central Human Resources if you need more help, or what forms are needed for a particular action, or where you can go for more information on the topic.

The structure and content of the Guide were developed by Central Human Resources specialists after talking with groups of managers and supervisors. Visit the Acknowledgments for information about those who contributed to the effort.