3 questions for a team health check
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Whether you lead a team of staff members or volunteers, you're relying on them to bring their best to the table. However, they can't give their best if they're exhausted or frustrated by an overflowing to-do list.
Here are three questions to ask your team for a quick health check:
1. Are you getting home on time for dinner?
If your team members are working late on a regular basis, it's time to talk about their workload. Maybe they're getting interrupted with last-minute requests. Perhaps they need help prioritizing or managing their time more effectively.
Whatever the reason, it's not healthy for them to regularly sacrifice family time for work (even ministry work).
2. How does your family feel about the church?
We've all heard about PKs who resent the church because their dad spent most of his time with the congregation instead of with family. This isn't a risk solely for pastor's kids; it can impact staff members' children as well.
Find out if your staff members are sensing some resentment at home due to extended work hours or financial strain (while they're not in ministry to get rich, they still need a reasonable wage to support their family). Your team members will be much more engaged and productive at work when their marriages and families are strong.
3. What projects or tasks are you most excited about?
If they can't answer this question, you may need to have a deeper discussion about their job. Work isn't all sunshine and roses, even when we can see how our efforts impact the lives of others. However, it's a huge help to have at least one project that energizes us.
Talk with your team and see if everyone has 1-2 projects they truly enjoy. If not, see if you can reassign a few things to fix that issue. A project one person dreads is likely a project someone else would love to tackle.
If you find out your team isn't very healthy, now what? Here are a few ideas:
1. Review the church calendar
Do you have too much going on? There's only so much your team can handle when it comes to planning, organizing, promoting and getting volunteers for various events. When you add several events to weekly services and various other small group activities, that workload adds up quickly.
You may need to either get more staff or reduce the number of events. That's not an easy call to make, but it's a necessary one.
2. Evaluate systems and processes
Sometimes we keep handling a task the way it's always been done simply because we haven't taken the time to determine whether there's an easier method.
Take a couple of processes each month and pick them apart.
- Do we really need three forms and five signatures to process a benevolence request?
- Could our church management software handle booking rooms for small group meetings?
- Is there a tool that could make this less time-consuming?
Fix a few processes each month and see how that frees up time for various staff members.
3. Be vulnerable with your team
You may not be able to make big changes to lighten their load right now. It might require several months to slowly change the church schedule or find the best candidate to fill a new role. You might have to do some convincing with the church board or elders to get changes approved.
If so, be as open with your team about that as possible. Listen to their concerns, let them know you're working on long-term solutions, and find little ways to help in the meantime (a day off to compensate for late nights preparing for a big event would be a great start).
As a leader within your church staff, part of your responsibility is to take care of your team. Support them as they work to support the church vision and mission.
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