How to Keep Ministry Turnover Low

Friends at a Catholic Church

Parish and ministry staff are integral to the functioning and lived mission of the parish. And it is critical to find ways to recruit and keep mission-aligned and dedicated staff members in your ministry. When turnover rates rise, leaders are more likely to make mistakes or hire the wrong people out of desperation. Don’t let that happen to you. By taking steps to help your team, you’ll be more likely to keep the right people around.

Be supportive

Staff members and volunteers who feel that they are not appreciated or valued, or who do not see their contribution making an impact, will likely move on to other things. Make sure staff and volunteers not only have the opportunity and freedom to make a genuine impact, but also communicate how important they are to the success of the ministry.

Support goes far beyond affirmation. If you notice someone struggling, make sure to help them in any way that you can. Someone who constantly feels like they have too much work to do will start looking elsewhere. Support them with extra training, tips and tricks to get the job done or simply provide them with a little more encouragement.

Provide the right tools

When employees work long and hard they can suffer from burnout. This will cause them to either do a poor job or leave their position. While you can’t always lighten the load, you can provide them with better tools to handle the work they have. Providing the right tools can be motivating to employees because they will feel like you truly care about what they’re doing.

Ministry software can be a very useful tool for staff members. Whether you need something to handle donation management, events or the entire ministry in general, there is a software solution you can use. Standard spreadsheets and email can only take you so far. If you notice your staff struggling under a heavy workload, consider helping them better take advantage of your current software system or add a new software tool if necessary to help them manage their work.

Build a strong team

A good team of people will be dedicated and qualified to getting the work done. This can be hard to find, and sometimes you’re not going to be able to hire people with the necessary skills. If you can, then you should, however sometimes you will need to train dedicated individuals.

While it might seem counterproductive to stop working to train a staff member, in the long run it’s going to be worth it. Set time aside for training and improving skills so that you can help your staff become the team that they need to be. Special attention should be paid to your church management and accounting software or any other tools that you use. The last thing you want is for only a few people to be qualified to use vital tools.

Volunteers can be a great supplement to your staff and help keep ministry employees happy.

Utilize volunteers

While your paid staff is highly important, they can only handle so much. The rest has to be up to your volunteers. Work to pair up voluntary workers with staff members to reduce the staff member’s workload. This will help them get their job done more efficiently, and can be a great source of support. Check out the whitepaper on trusted volunteers and the companion Pax Christi case study for more in-depth information on leveraging this beautiful service.

The ability to work as a team on mission is a great gift. Hopefully by utilizing the tips above and conscientiously working to build a strong team, staff, volunteers and parishioners as well, will grow not only in professional competence, but also desire and drive to live your parish mission and vision.

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