How to Keep Your Church Staff Happy (Part II)


In my last article we talked about ways to keep your staff happy, or at least motivated. In Part 2, I'm going to continue with a few more ideas that will help you get the best out of your church staff.

1. Adequate resources for a job well done (money, time, training, personnel) 

An effective boss takes responsible inventory of the job they are asking their employee to do and weighs those results against the resources and training to which the employee has access. Every boss wants a team member who can get the job done, be a self starter, an initiator, and recruit, train, and empower their own team. But is this realistic for every position? A great boss sets their employees up for success by making sure they are properly resourced to do their job. If you have a team member who is struggling, you’d be surprised what an updated software program, larger ministry budget, or a short training conference will do for their morale and performance. If you make sure your employees have the tools, training, resources, and staff to do their job well, you’ll have a happy and productive employee.

2. Realistic expectations 

In my last post, we talked about the importance of a clear and embraced vision. Your team can’t meet your expectations if they don’t know what the expectations are. They also won’t be able to meet them if they aren’t realistic. A smart pastor or leader knows how to challenge his people, stretch their faith, lift their capacity, and develop their leadership. But it takes a wise leader to know when he or she is asking too much. I’ve seen both leader and employee live in a constant state of frustration because the expectations were just too high. Before you accuse your team members of underperforming, ask yourself, “Is this a realistic expectation for even the most gifted person?” It’s easy for strong, driven, and motivated leaders to expect their staff to walk on water, but the truth is, when a team member constantly disappoints you, it’s only a matter of time until their self-worth and confidence erodes and they eventually burn out.

3. The right people in the right seat on the right bus

Believe it or not, one of the greatest ways to demotivate your staff is to turn a blind eye to underperforming staff members. It is the leader's job to identify who should be where doing what. I talk to folks all the time that are frustrated because they are working hard, but their efforts are hindered because they have a supervisor who is less qualified than them or a lazy co-worker. Leaders have a responsibility to steward the church's or organization's resources with integrity. This includes not wasting money on people that aren’t making a significant contribution (even if they are family or friend). If there is someone on your team that is taking more than they are giving, I’d suggest moving them off your church staff. Why? Because everyone who works hard knows exactly who they are, even if you don’t, and their presence is killing your team’s morale. If you have an employee you feel sorry for, I highly recommend moving them off your church staff. If they are in a difficult financial situation, then talk to your leadership team about helping them with benevolence. However, compassion shouldn’t necessitate employment. It will be difficult to address entrenched, under-qualified, or under-performing church staff members, but in the end it’s the right thing to do, and your church, your team, and your organization will be better off for it.

What other ways do you boost morale on your church staff? What are some things that kill morale on your church staff?