The 6 Most Important Talks to Have with New Church Staff

You’ve hired a couple of new church staff members. They’re showing up on Monday. Of course, the first few minutes will require that they fill out the right employment documents, but then what? What ground should you cover to ensure that everyone gets started on the right foot?
Here are six areas you want to make sure you hit on day one:

1. Get them set up with the proper tools

They need to understand your workflow. Do you use a tool like Slack to communicate? Do you plan out services with a particular church management software? Will they need access to the website or social accounts?

Make sure that you explain the communication process and the workflow, and give them access to all the tools they’re going to need to do their job.

2. Address security protocol

You’re definitely going to have specifics when it comes to security. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you differentiate general security information (which everyone on a church staff needs to know) from role-specific protocols you expect certain individuals to know.

For instance, you might want everyone to have an understanding of how to lock and unlock the church doors and deal with the security system. You might also want everyone to have an understanding how check-ins for children are handled. But only a couple people need to know how to handle your church deposits.

New church staff members need to know both general security protocol and the protocols specific to their roles. You will want to make sure they’re properly trained right off the bat.

3. Walk them through the organization chart

It’s always helpful to understand how a team operates and where you fit in. So walking someone through your church’s organizational chart (and introducing them to key players) will be an incredible service.

This will help them know whom to go to with different needs and questions. For instance, to whom do they need to go to make flyers—and who needs to sign off on creative material?

4. Code of conduct

Laying out expectations at the beginning is so much better than trying to come in and fix problems after the fact. So walk through this stuff right away. It’s ideal to talk through each point so they can ask questions and avoid misunderstandings.

Your staff members are a reflection of the church as a whole, so it’s fair to address what you expect from them at church and in their personal lives. For instance, this is a good time to talk about how they use their social media account and what sort of behaviors reflect poorly on the church.

5. How you measure success

People need to understand whether or not they’re accomplishing the jobs they’ve been given. Their first day is a good time to talk them through the metrics you’ll be using to assess their performance.

Take this opportunity to clearly define:

  • What the goals are for the first year
  • How you measure those goals
  • How to ensure their first performance appraisal is a success
  • First steps to help them begin well

6. The church’s mission and vision

Hopefully, your church has a document that clearly defines who you are as a body of believers and where you are going. They help you identify your focus so you can weed out every distraction from your goals.

These documents only work if people (especially those in leadership) are introduced to them and understand how they’re implemented in the life of the church. It’s incredibly helpful to sit new hires down and explain to them how the church seeks to align their practices and policies with their mission.

Create an Onboarding Strategy for New Church Staff

It’s in your best interest that you create a reproducible onboarding strategy so you’re not floundering around when new church staff show up. Not only will this help them hit the ground running, but it’s also going to send them home on their first day with a strong sense of security and trust in your organization. 

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