We’ve all seen the lists. Every year, Fortune, Glassdoor, Indeed, and others put out lists that rank the top places to work in the United States. Huge names like Facebook, Google, and Amazon usually dominate. They offer perks like free meals and extra vacation time. And, the lists never forget to mention the lofty salaries at these businesses.

Even if you can’t replicate the four weeks of vacation time or six-figure salaries, you can still make your church one of the best places to work. Start by evaluating your current culture, and then take steps to improve the things that matter most to you and your staff. We can’t guarantee that you’ll end up on Glassdoor’s list, but your employees will undoubtedly appreciate your effort.

It’s the holiday season and you may have a daunting to-do list, but start thinking about your workplace culture now. That way, in January you’ll be ready to evaluate and start implementing a few positive changes throughout 2018.

Where to start? Pose these questions to your employees in an anonymous survey or in a small-group, judgment-free setting. (Remember to include all of your key volunteers who function in staff-like positions.)

  1. What three words would you use to describe our workplace culture?
  2. How would you rate your work-life balance?
  3. Do you feel you receive enough recognition for your work?
  4. Do you feel there is potential for personal and professional growth here?
  5. How well do you feel our staff functions as a team?
  6. Do you have fun at work?
  7. Do you feel our workplace values diversity and differing opinions?
  8. Do you have enough resources to complete your tasks?
  9. What can the church do to increase your satisfaction with your job?
  10. Now that you have hindsight, if you were given the chance, would you reapply to your current job?

Once you have responses from your staff members, choose two or three issues to address this year. Work with church leadership and ministry professionals in your area. Ask their opinions. Learn from their past. You may even want to hire a consultant. Don’t forget to reference secular resources, too. (Here’s a great blog.)

The culture of your church wasn’t created overnight, so don’t expect it to change within a week. Implementing changes will take time. Will your staff eventually notice a difference? Be sure to repeat the survey every six months to evaluate your progress.


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