One On One Meetings With Direct Reports
I meet with each department leader (director level) at least once a month formally. These times are used to catch up on what that team member is working on in their area of responsibility. Because our team is such a hardworking and self-motivated group, they don’t need much more than encouragement. But occasionally, there is a corrective need or a small re-direction needed.
Unscheduled Time With Direct Reports
Over the course of any given week, I’m in contact by text, call, email, and quick meetings in the hallways with just about every one of my direct reports.
Weekly Encouragement – Once a week, my calendar tells me to encourage two staff members with some kind words. My assistant schedules this out for me so that over the course of a year, each staff member and lay elder receive one or two texts or phone calls just to say “I’m praying for you” or some other encouragement. It’s too easy to only talk business. I want our team to feel like they know that I’m praying for them.
General Availability To All Staff – Every staff member knows that they have the right and freedom to schedule a meeting with me at any time and for any reason, personal or professional. Because they have great department leaders (directors), I find that not many need to grab time with me very often. But when there is a conflict that needs to be worked out, or they are dealing with something above their director’s skill set or experience, I get called in to assist, and I’m glad to do so.
Intentionally Unscheduled Time
Once a week, my assistant has time on my calendar that is meant to be unscheduled time for any staff member to just “grab a few minutes with me.” I usually sit in a very visible place in the lobby and work on email or something. And as I sit there, I’ll have a steady stream of staff, interns and residents come over and say “Hey, can I grab a few minutes with you”. I find that two hours of unscheduled time often saves me five to ten hours of individually scheduled meetings because not everyone needs an hour with me, they just need 10 minutes.
Dinners With Staff Couples
Over the course of a year, Aimee and I grab dinner with each staff couple (the staff member and spouse) just to connect and look into marriage health, etc. Sometimes we’ll add on something fun like mini-golf. In a ministry context, it’s super important to connect with the staff’s spouses as well as the staff member.
Encouragement For Staff Kids
Last year, I started something new. I mailed a handwritten note to all of the kids on our staff along with a gift certificate for ice cream or movies depending on their age. It was fun to hear back from some that it was the very first piece of mail they had ever received. In the note, I took time to tell them how awesome their mom or dad was and how much I liked working with them at the church. In addition to it being a fun thing for the kids, the parents felt supported by me. When you care for someone’s kids, it sends a huge message to them and garners quite a bit of loyalty and credibility. This will become a yearly thing for me from here on out.
Individual staff members are encouraged to find and attend conferences that would be of unique developmental benefit to them. The church covers these costs for them within reason. No more than once a year in most situations.
The cheapest way to develop staff members is to give them the freedom to buy books that they want to read to get better at what they do. There are no plane tickets, car rentals, meals, or reg fees to pay for. It’s just a $10-20 book. As such, I tell our team all the time to buy and read anything, and everything that they think will help them grow in their roles and to do that learning on the church’s time and dime.
My leadership of the staff team continues to grow. I’m a lifelong learner, so I’m always looking to see how others are doing it and trying to figure out what makes sense for our context. I don’t believe I’m an expert on this by any means, but I think that through the unique and varied makeup of our executive team, we’ve figured out a rhythm that works well. If you have questions, post them below!
Read the original article on Backstage Pastors HERE.