Churches have a business model that is very different from other organizations. Members fund the operation, volunteers do the labor and employees facilitate the process. This work model creates a unique employee experience which merits focus, attention and care. Track employee satisfaction to learn about this experience.
People who work for a ministry do so because they feel called. This calling gives them the grace to work through the many challenges that come with being a church employee.
However, church leaders are responsible for ensuring that employees are supported, have the resources needed to do their job and that they are compensated appropriately.
Church employees need support because of the many challenges that come with working for a ministry. Employees make church happen and often work with very limited resources – people, time and money.
More importantly, these employees are required to manage processes and people – most of which are volunteer. This can be challenging because the employee is at the mercy of the availability and dependability of church volunteers.
Church leaders need to keep a pulse on employees and do those things to support employee efforts. This is done by helping employees understand what is expected of them, providing the tools and training to perform job tasks and rewarding them for doing a good job. Each of these pieces is important to creating a positive work experience and a culture of engaged employees.
It is also important for church leaders to have a good understanding of the employee experience. I used to tell employees that “I can’t fix it if I don’t know it’s broke”.
Meaning, unless challenges and issues are brought to the attention of leadership it is difficult to improve things for the employees.
So how do you learn about the employee experience?
There is something church leaders can do to learn about the employee experience and that is to simply ask them!
The interesting thing about church employees is that many will accept things as they are and simply suffer in silence because they don’t want to be perceived as a complainer.
They often work with bad processes, poor communication, and comparatively low salaries.
This happens when church leaders don’t recognize the importance of the employee experience.
Taking care of the employees so they can fulfill their job responsibilities is one of the most important things church leaders can do.
Having engaged employees is critical to accomplishing church goals and ultimately achieving the mission.
You can discuss employee challenges during performance appraisal time or you can ask employees to fill out an employee satisfaction survey. Each of these forums can provide great information that can be used to improve the quality of church operations.
There are several ways to learn about the employee experience. You can facilitate an employee focus group and just talk to them.
Following is an example of an employee satisfaction survey that you can customize for your organization.
Employee Satisfaction Survey Example
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8 Things to consider when soliciting employee feedback:
1. Help employees understand why you are doing a survey and that the goal is to create a positive employee work experience.
2. Make sure the process is confidential because employees need to feel safe with sharing their thoughts and will only be as honest as they feel their anonymity is protected.
3. Offer incentives to get employee participation.
4. Create an improvement plan based on the information learned in the survey.
5. Communicate what was learned from the survey and the plan for making changes.
6. Encourage managers to use the feedback to identify professional growth opportunities, and not overreact to negative comments.
7. Once an improvement plan is developed, follow through to ensure that the plan is implemented.
8. If you do nothing with the feedback you receive, it is worse than if you had not asked the questions. Be committed to making changes.
There are software products that can help automate the feedback process.
Lastly, if you spend some time learning about the employee experience, invest the resources to implement an improvement plan based on what you learn.
You should then see improved satisfaction scores for your employees.
But more importantly, you will be doing your part to help create a great work environment for those people who are committed to make church happen!