By Gail Marsh
“We’ve got teamwork! Yes, we do! We’ve got teamwork! How about you?”
It’s a catchy cheer. You may even have chanted it a time or two in high school. But as effective church leaders understand, shouting from the sidelines rarely motivates team members. It’s time to put down the pom-poms and megaphone. It’s time to get serious about effectively pumping up the co-workers who share ministry efforts alongside you!
Check out the following list of ideas to better motivate the volunteers and paid staff who work with you to bring Christ to your church community, your local neighborhood, and even the world!
- Many leaders have goals for specific areas of ministry. Be sure to clearly communicate your vision or ideas with your team. Field questions honestly. Admit if you don’t know the answers to your team’s questions. Be willing to work with co-workers to transform ideas into reality. Ensure that goals are measurable in some way. They must have deadlines, as well, so that every person knows what is expected and when.
- Examine workspaces. Look carefully at the environments where your team members work. Consider lighting, temperature, privacy, and noise concerns. Are workspaces welcoming? inspiring? tired and worn? Maybe it’s time to budget for some upgrades. Ask individual team members to dream about their perfect work environment, and do all you can to make that dream a reality.
- Positive feedback, when genuinely given, can boost workers’ sense of worth to the organization. Be specific when offering feedback. Instead of “Good job, everyone!” take time to tell individuals how their efforts benefited the ministry. For example: “Because of your hard work with publicity, more than 100 children learned about Jesus at our vacation Bible school!” Or, “Your positive attitude seemed to put board members at ease last night. Thanks!” Simple, inexpensive thank-you gifts or notes can also motivate workers.
- Staff development. Most team members feel a heightened interest and motivation for their work when they’ve experienced training in specific skills. Learning a new way of doing things can also boost a worker’s sense of value within the ministry. Conferences or skill-training workshops should meet the needs of individuals within your team. If national conferences are too costly, investigate local or regional ones. Also consider a variety of learning experiences: shadowing a successful teacher in a neighboring school; auditing a grant-writing class at a local college; attending an online conference; and more. Keep your staff learning and perfecting their skills. Then be ready to see real ministry benefits as a result!
Motivation is important. A motivated worker will work harder and produce greater results. Motivated teams have less absenteeism and can generate enthusiasm throughout the entire ministry. How will you motivate your ministry co-workers today?
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