It’s not always easy helping guide a volunteer army, and unfortunately, there is always some amount of turn over, but let’s be clear that this isn’t always just a volunteer issue; There are many organizations who have high staffing turn over as well.
Whether you’re a volunteer or a paid staff member, each person on your church’s team has the responsibility of creating a welcoming first impression for your guests.
How many times have you made or heard these assumptions:
- You can’t expect volunteers to show up on time
- Volunteers won’t do as good of a job as someone who is paid
- We need to have a paid staff person making the important decisions
- I’m a volunteer, so I’m hoping they don’t expect me to give my best as if I were being paid.
- We’re working with volunteers, so that’s as much as we can expect.
Hopefully, you haven’t heard many of these, and if you have, you’ve been able to realize that this is a misunderstanding of the role of your team. Whether members are paid or solely there voluntarily, your team is at your church to create a welcoming first impression for your guests.
Here are a few reasons why your team may have a high turn over. Our free ebook “Huddle up: 5 essential players on your first impressions team” will help bring clarity and direction to your team and reduce your turn over. (Click here to download it for free!)
You treat your team like they are there to execute your vision
While your team is there to play a part in the church’s vision, your job as a leader is not to convince or motivate people to execute your ideas, but to serve your team and help them get what they need to play their position on the team.
You’re the coach, not the quarterback. You may call the plays, but your team is executing.
Instead of asking yourself “How can I get my team to be motivated to what I want?” ask each team member “How can I help you with what you need to play your part well?”
Expectations are unclear
• Someone shows up at 8:30 last week, but the rest of the team wasn’t there until 8:45. They ask you about it, and you say “Well, usually 8:30 is the start time, but we’re flexible.” the next week, they show up at 8:45, and you’re in panic mode because most of your team is missing and that person is late.
• You asked them if they would server once a month when the signed up for the team. They’re now on the schedule 3 times a month.
• Service starts and they’re still holding the door. It seems like most of the rest of the team has gone into service, but that guy isn’t sure if he’s supposed to leave the door unmanned or not.
Having clear expectations for your team helps them understand what they are committing to.
“We’re looking for friendly faces to hold the door for both services once a month. We need someone who is available to show up at 8:30 and hold the door for 15 minutes after service is dismissed.”
This level of clarity helps current and potential team members know what’s expected of them, and how they know when they’ve been successfully contributing to the team.
Curveballs are the norm, not the exception
How often do you need to make a last-minute change with your team? If it’s often, it’s too often. Yes, last-minute changes have to happen sometimes. However, if every week someone shows up and has to stand out in the snow when they are dressed for making coffee inside, or the standard “30 minutes before service” has to require 45 minutes of setup all of a sudden, you’re going to create a culture on your team where it’s easier to serve somewhere else that’s predictable.
When you’re thrown a curveball, 3 things need to happen:
- The first person that needs to adapt is you. You be the one to get your boots on and stand outside at the last minute or be the one who runs out to the grocery store because there is no creamer for the coffee. Your team will respect that commitment.
- Why did this happen this time and how can we get better advance notice moving forward? Do you need to add something extra to a checklist? Would an email to leadership about the change help get the information you needed earlier? Could you have sent out a text or email to your team so they weren’t finding out about the change on Sunday morning?
- Communicate to your team afterward. Let them know you recognize the curveball and what you’re doing to avoid that recurring. This communication lets your team know that you recognize the situation as less than ideal and you’re on their side to make it work next time.
Right personality, wrong position.
It’s possible you have the right personalities on your team but in the wrong position. We go into that in full depth in our free ebook: Huddle Up: 5 Essential team players for your first impressions team. Download your FREE ebook here to learn more!