New summary report released: Policy Proposals For Employee Handbook

The Town of Clarkdale, Arizona is a historic community nestled in the Verde Valley. Human resource management is a constantly evolving practice that focuses on the management of people in a way that fosters professional development and employee well-being.

The Town’s Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual has not had significant updates since 2006, and with new state laws regarding marijuana use, many communities find themselves needing to update their policies and procedures. 

Four graduate students from the School of Public Affairs worked with the Town’s Human Resources and Risk Manager, Randi Stephens in order to review the town’s existing policies, research peer community manuals, and provide recommendations for updates to the manual. Topics include employee leave policies, hiring, and performance evaluations. 

The original student content is available on the Project Cities website. Read the full summary report here

Peer community benchmarking study

Students reviewed Arizona communities’ policies and procedures to recommend updates to the manual. Communities reviewed by students include Chandler, Surprise, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Oro Valley. 


From their reviews, students identified a common need for the town to clearly identify terms in its policies and procedures. Additionally, the language for human resource management is constantly changing, and one of the students pointed out that the term “probationary period” can open employers to litigation in the case of wrongful termination, and instead suggests the use of introductory period, orientation period, or “at will” employment.

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter