4 Ways to Retain Great Talent on Your Church Staff

4 Ways to Retain Great Talent on Your Church Staff

Once you find that individual and get them up-to-speed, it won't be long before they're looking for an opportunity to grow. After all, that's what high-performers do.

Does your team have opportunities for growth?

When you look for someone new to add to your church staff, you're looking for qualities beyond a specific degree, skillset, or even a good fit for your church's culture.  You're also looking for someone who's self-motivated, driven, and goals for the future. 

Once you find that individual and get them up-to-speed, it won't be long before they’re looking for an opportunity to grow.  After all, that's what high-performers do.  This includes growing his area of the ministry, further developing his own skills, and at some point, advancing within the church. 

What once were character traits you valued can become points of contention if you're not giving team members room to grow.  You'll eventually lose staff if you stifle their creativity and desire to develop.  It would be like putting a bowl over a budding plant.  You're starving them from a vital source of energy, keeping them small, and choking out their ability to fully flourish. 

So, how do you make room for growth?

#1 Talk with your team

Talk with each team member about his/her goals. 
Does she want to see the church go from ten small groups to fifty? 
Is he interested in becoming a pastor someday? 
Does he want to add a program for college students? 
What skills does each person want to develop further? 
Would that require them to attend a conference or training program? 
Does she need to go back to school part-time? 

By taking the time to discover the goals of each team member, you're communicating how much you value each individual and his/her future plans.  As you learn what each person wants to pursue, you can direct new projects or responsibilities accordingly.

#2 Support and encourage

Find ways to support the goals of your team members.  Offer a more flexible schedule so staff members can attend one class each semester.  If someone has an idea for a new ministry program, have thrm create a proposal to review with you.  You probably won't say "yes" to every request, but being open to ideas goes a long way.
#3 Grow together

Learning together can bring your team closer and encourages a culture of continuous improvement.  This can be as simple as bringing in an article to read and discuss at a staff meeting.  You might consider attending a church conference as a team.  You could also read a book each quarter and discuss it during staff meetings.  "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17

#4 Consider what's next

In most organizations, opportunities exist for staff members to advance to the next career level.  Much of this happens naturally as those in leadership roles move up, retire, or change roles completely. 

Build those opportunities into your long-term vision for the church. Consider how you can cross-train team members, develop their leadership skills, and build a solid leadership pipeline.  That way, when a staff member leaves or takes on a new role you already have someone else ready to take his/her place.

When you provide team members with opportunities to grow, you're more likely to retain great talent and the entire church will benefit from their passion and expertise.

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