When we hire employees, we like to think that they will stay with the church for decades. The reality is most people don’t stay with one job that long.
I believe that there are many seasons in someone’s professional life and some people experience long seasons in a job but others have shorter seasons. I also believe that if you are faithful with the season you are in, you will be prepared for the next season God has in store for you.
As employers, it is never easy when a great employee turns in their resignation.
We sometimes second guess ourselves, and wish we could change things, but we need to recognize that sometimes God just re-positions people and moves them to their next spot.
When this happens it is important to do our best to support the employee through this transition. Supporting the employee demonstrates gratitude and care for the time they spent working for your church.
5 Ways to Support an Employment Transition
1. Exit Interview
Exit interviews are a great way to close the employment loop. It gives you a chance to have a practical conversation with the employee about their experience as an employee.
This honest conversation should focus on learning what the organization does well to support employees, volunteers and members, but also be used as a means to identify things that could be done better.
There is a definite skill to getting employees to share true feelings, but if you can get them to unlock their thoughts, you can glean some things that could be used to take the ministry to the next level.
2. Benefit Transitions
The exit interview can also be used to help the employee understand how their benefits will transfer. Questions to answer are things like:
- Can I continue health insurance under cobra?
- When will I receive my last paycheck?
- When will I be paid for unused vacation time?
- Who do I turn my keys into?
- How will I reconcile my credit card statement (if applicable)?
- How do I transfer my 403-B to a new vendor?
3. Brain Dump
Even if a replacement has not been identified, it is important to allow the employee to do a brain dump on someone.
This allows for some transfer of tacit knowledge and for there to be a documentation of policies, procedures or unfinished projects that need to followed up on. This is also a good time to update the job description based on current needs for the job role.
4. Letter of Recommendation
If the employee was a strong performer, take a few minutes to write a letter of recommendation. The employee may not need it immediately, but it is a thoughtful thing, when you hand them a letter that they can use at a later time.
It also allows you to share thoughts about their employment while they are fresh.
5. Farewell Party
No matter the position, it is always good to do a farewell party for the departing employee. This not only shows appreciation for their tenure but it gives other employees the chance to say goodbye. The party can be low-key or a big deal, the format is not as important as the thought that is put into it.
It is never easy to lose a good employee but employees come and go. Having a thought out process for helping them depart, makes them feel appreciated for the time they faithfully served.
Photo by: ChooYutShing