Traditional approaches to employee retention focus too heavily on financial rewards and hands-off leadership.
Organizational development hinges more on relational development than it does systems and programs. The fate of a church, business, or any ministry lies in the hands of those who lead it. Gone are systematic assumptions of success hinging on a pretty organization chart or proper employee handbooks.
The greatest contribution to the success of an organization rests in the hands of the leaders in their ability to move, promote and increase the capacity of their teams.
So what are the keys to such success? What can we do in order to develop the heart of an organization? Below are four points to consider.
1. RELATIONAL COACHING
Within the past three to five years, we have seen a positive change in the way leaders relate to their direct reports. The X-generation and the millennial generation do not have the same receptive patterns of correction or instruction as their predecessor generations. Relational coaching asks the questions that are not specifically job related rather than simply lecturing or instructing.
Much like planting a seed, coaching is the assumption that our team members have what it takes within them. As leaders, we have to set the environment at optimum condition for that seed to grow. Examples of relational questions:
How is your family doing?
What parts of your job give you the greatest satisfaction?
Is there anything I can do to make your job better?
While it may feel foreign to ask questions like this rather than to merely give instruction, it is glaringly obvious that an employee who enjoys their job has a greater potential to be a proven leader in innovation, job performance, loyalty, effectiveness and ownership.
2. AUTHENTIC EVALUATIONS
OK, now be honest: Have you started preparing your team to receive evaluations only to realize you hadn't ever done anything with last year's evaluations? I have seen hundreds of employee evaluations, and they all have value for an organization. Few and far between, however, are those organizations that actually use their evaluations to fuel and guide staff development.
For most of us, an employee evaluation has been the only determining factor in financial or promotional progression. Rather, it should be a marker along a path for personal and professional development. The solution is to look at evaluations as an opportunity to have an authentic investment in the growth of your team members. Create the environment that enables honest feedback, and then hand out actions steps. Also, do not forget to use that evaluation in your continued conversations with your team.
3. DELIBERATE DELEGATION
Nearly every leader I talk to says they know how to delegate.
In reality, however, they hand off only the tasks without sharing the vision. Each of us has seen an organization with a bottleneck at the top. As leaders, it's our job to avoid this dysfunction.
We must ask ourselves, "Is there anything that I can delegate to those under me?" Then, when delegating we must "stretch the team." Deliberate delegation is when you are constantly aware of your team member's role within the organization and their personal growth.
Invest in your team by enabling them to use their natural talents. This will help your organization by creating loyalty with your team.
4. PURPOSEFUL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
We have to teach leaders and managers to identify their team members' job performance, emotional intelligence, capacity, and personal holistic health. This gives leaders and managers a basis to effectively lead their team to personal growth.
Encourage team leaders to keep a "file" on each person who directly reports to them. This file is basically a journal of every conversation, email, life situation, job failure, and any job success anything that will help that leader know about his or her team. This gives the team leader insight into the lives of those they lead and, in effect, provides a "personal" approach to purposeful professional development.
Certainly, there are many more that could be mentioned but hopefully the four mentioned will give some homework as to what your organization may need to grow to the next tier of success. The truth is we have lost way to many people in our efforts to grow a ministry.
That is far too costly to ignore within the workplace, even more so in our Christ centered organizations.
Traditional approaches to employee retention focus too heavily on financial rewards and hands-off leadership. Consider modifying your employee relations.
Decide to instead invest less in the future of the programs on the institution and more on the people driving those programs.
BENJAMIN STEWART is executive pastor of Christian Life Center in Tinley Park, Ill. He also serves executive pastor at Christian Life Center of the Greater Chicago and founder of FocusOne, a non-profit development coaching company.