I am a:
If your church has anything to do with people: this letter is for you
Who We Serve
FROM THE DESK OF 35 YEAR HR VETERAN, DR. STEVE COHEN:
Dear Church Leader:
Churches and ministry settings in general can be very difficult places to manage. The fundamental premise of a ministry is inclusiveness. You want all people who entry your doors to feel welcomed, cared for, and loved. Right? This inclusiveness premise doesn’t really apply to employees. The fundamental premise of a work place is exclusivity. In an employment setting you want all employees to “get” the mission, work the program, and be all in. By all in I mean be fully engaged with the work and work ethic. You can’t let just anyone into the work place and give them keys and a free reign.
Scripture says then Jesus was asked how many times one was supposed to forgive, what did He say in return? Seven times…no seventy times seven times. You can’t do that with employees. If employee make the same mistakes over and over they need to be counseled, coached and disciplined…even terminated. Many ministry leaders actually don’t get this and it costs them big time.
This can be very tough stuff. There are laws, rules, and regulations that must be followed. The government and the courts are not sympathetic nor will they be lenient with you because you are a church or ministry. In fact, they may be harder on you because of it!!!
No one likes to discipline or terminate another person. There can be serious consequences to doing these things badly. Some people’s behavioral styles are exploders and Sherman tanks. Others are complainers and others are total avoiders. They all have to be dealt with appropriately. Not all managers have the skill set to deal with the wide range of behavioral styles.
The other side of the coin is the avoidance tendencies of managers. Avoiding difficult employees when they need to be corrected also has serious consequences within the organization. Avoiding facing a bad employee can devastate the good employees and trample a healthy culture.
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