10 Steps To Create The Perfect Church Staff Culture, Part II
Last week, I published an article titled 10 Steps to Create the Perfect Church Staff Culture, Part I where I discussed the first five tips on how you can create a church staff culture where your team thrives. In this post, I'll discuss my last five tips. Be sure to leave me your thoughts in the comments section on how you create an environment where your team thrives.
6. Value Your Employees
In the church world, we strategize about how to create, recruit, and maintain volunteer teams. We go out of our way to ensure that they feel cared for and valued. Why do we feel we should extend anything but the same courtesy to our employees? In today’s society, exclusive loyalty to an organization is more and more difficult to come by, so as an employer, you have to find a way to communicate value to those you employ. Little things, such as knowing the names of their spouses and children can make a tremendous difference. Show them that you value their work, protect their time, and care about their personal life. Find out what is important to each member of your team, and make sure they know that is important to you as well. Even the smallest gestures can go a long way.
7. Be Consistent
Consistency feels reliable. Employees want to know the person calling the shots is reliable. When you treat all of your team members consistently the same, it builds respect within the team for you and for each other. Because you’re the leader, all eyes are on you. This means that your team can tell when you are behaving inconsistently, and it can make members of your team afraid to approach you. Consistency is a must, and it must be accomplished through focused intentionality. Remember, who you are as a church leader will trickle down and affect who your employees are as a team.
8. & 9. Be Thoughtful in Your Responses
Here are two rules to live by: Publicly Praise and Privately Criticize.
Public praise gives life to a harder work ethic. When someone’s ideas or actions are praised before others, it gives them a feeling of worth and accomplishment (thus achieving both numbers four and six in the process). This will encourage them to continue to strive to achieve more.
Contrastingly, public criticism is one of the quickest ways to lose an employee’s loyalty. Church staff members who feel publicly shamed will shut down, and will, in time, lose the desire to work hard or well for you and your organization. Everyone needs constructive criticism to improve his or her work, but that is best done in private. Constructive criticism should be an open dialog with the common goal of both employer and employee arriving at a place of greater understanding. A public venue does not serve either of these purposes and will instead cause a person to shut down and often times will make them feel personally attacked.
10. Encourage and Facilitate Dreaming
As the leader of your team, you have a responsibility for the people who serve under you. A responsibility to help them grow and achieve more, to dream and shoot for the stars. It is a sad thing indeed to see church leaders who are so insecure in their own position that they will not allow the people working under them to advance. This is the Kingdom! Teach people all you know, and empower them to be better than you are. This will replicate in their dealings with others and will create a powerful movement in today’s churches. When employees know their boss is on their side, it creates an unstoppable momentum within your team. Actions like this build that elusive loyalty that is so valuable to you as an employer.
To sum it all up: it comes down to the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. Everyone has had bad experiences as an employee. Think back to that time in your life and strive to create the culture for which you thirsted. It isn’t an impossible feat – it is a near reality. Simply be intentional about your actions, and the rest will fall into place.
What intentional decisions do you make to create the perfect church staff culture for your team?