Building A Better Staff Culture In The New Year


You’ve written your vision and mission statements, relentlessly debated what your core values should be, and have come to the conclusion that you need to build a great staff culture. But what comes next? Building a healthy staff culture must be intentional; you can’t just expect it to happen on its own. While creating a staff culture is not something that can be done overnight, here are 5 things your church can do to start building your staff culture today:

1. Determine a culture ambassador.  

At Vanderbloemen, we have a Director of People and Culture, and it is part of their job to own and promote our company culture. This means they champion our company culture and values and recruit others to do the same.

You need to put at least one person in charge to steer everyone else in the right direction. Who on your church staff is upbeat, highly relational, and sets a good example of what you want the staff culture to be?  Deputize them as the Culture King or Queen and allow them to lead the way in building the staff culture you want to see.

2. Organize a staff off-site.

We know most people on your staff are busy and finding time to get away for a staff off-site may be difficult. However, the advantages of doing so will likely outweigh the inconvenience on anyone’s time. Whether it’s your whole staff, the executive team or just a group of hand-selected individuals who you feel exemplify your culture, getting together as a group to brainstorm and answer tough questions about what you’d like to see in your church is an important step in building culture.

3. Consistently communicate your church culture.  

It's impossible to over-communicate culture to your staff team.Tweet: It's impossible to over-communicate culture to your staff team. via @VanderbloemenSG

Without constant communication, the staff culture you desire to create will be nothing more than a mission or vision statement hidden in an employment manual or written on a wall. Communicate your culture to your staff regularly and reward those whom you see exemplifying it and have honest talks with those who don’t.

At Vanderbloemen, we highlight one employee monthly, known as our “VanderHero”, whom we feel exhibits the staff culture and values on a daily basis. We also discuss our core values weekly at staff meetings and give tangible examples of how we see them being lived out.

4. Lead by example. 

Ultimately, your staff will look to the leadership of your church to determine what the staff actually is, rather than what you hope it will be. This means that the leadership of the church has to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Lead your church staff by example and live out what your church stands for. Make sure you and your executive team are living out the core staff values and working towards the mission and vision of your church in everything you do.  

5. Have some fun! 

You can talk about staff culture until you are blue in the face, but getting people to drink the kool-aid or jump on the bandwagon can be challenging. Create some fun culture events for your staff. Surprise everyone with their favorite coffee drink, plan regular events outside of church for your staff to enjoy together, and do some fun team-building exercises in the office from time to time. Creating a fun and professional atmosphere will go a long way toward building a positive staff culture.

As your church grows, your staff culture will become an essential part of aligning with your vision and values.Tweet: As your church grows, your staff culture will become an essential part of aligning with your vision and values. via @VanderbloemenSG

It’s important to put time and effort into building your staff culture continuously to safeguard those things that are most important to you as a church staff.

What are some of your plans to build your staff culture in the new year?