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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

26 Feb '12

Retaining great staff and dealing with their leaving

The quality of the staff we lead is everything in terms of the success of the organization. Two questions regularly present themselves with great staff. How do we retain them and how do we deal with them should they choose to leave. 

I believe that one of our primary responsibilities with staff is to help them develop all the God given potential they have. This means mentoring and coaching, giving them opportunities to grow, ensuring that they are in their "lane" and are using all of their potential. I regularly ask my key staff, "what is your happiness factor?" I am looking for a number on a scale of 1 to 10 and if it is a seven or less I will ask follow up questions to clarify what it is that is causing them to be lower than I would want on the scale. 

This can open up conversations about personal or home issues, or issues on the job: boredom, needing a new challenge, needing a larger platter, desiring to go to the next level and so on. It gives me the opportunity to evaluate options with an individual to re-motivate and sometimes reposition. 

But developing staff comes with another price. When we do the right thing, we may actually develop them out of the organization when their growth leaves them ready for a greater challenge. Perhaps a challenge that we cannot offer. This is where our commitment to wanting our staff to use all their gifts in the greatest possible way meets the real world.

Selfishly we desire that they stay. Unselfishly we must hold them with an open hand - they are not ours - but God's and ultimately we must want what is best for them and be willing to trust them and the Holy Spirit to sort that out. I actually ask my staff members to let me know if they are looking at something else. Some do and some don't but if they do, it allows me to explore their reasons for thinking of leaving, to affirm their gifts, explore options but most of all communicate that we want the best for them and if that is leaving us we will bless them and help them in the process. It can be personally painful but I am convinced that it is the Jesus attitude and that in blessing them, we do the Jesus thing.

We are stewards of our staff on a temporary basis. I desire former staff to look back at their experience with ReachGlobal and say, they cared for me, they developed me, they encouraged me and they held me with an open hand. If they can say that, I am a happy leader.

This is about a spirit of generosity. Selfish leaders want to control staff. Unselfish and generous leaders want the very best for staff and are willing to trust them and the Holy Spirit's leading when it is time to leave.