Finding Staff & Building Culture

Today I had the opportunity to teach at Exponential West. There were leaders from all over the country, churches small and large, and we talked about how to build a great team, and then how to keep a great team by paying attention to culture. 

Here is the short version of what we talked about (and you don't even have pay!)... 

When Looking for Staff... 

  1. A Resume is Worthless -- most of what matters in hiring someone is not found on a resume. 
  2. You Can't Train Character -- Give your life to helping people find Jesus and reform their character. But when you are hiring, you need people who have proven integrity, especially with their tongue, money, and sex. 
  3. Social Media is Your Friend -- I'm giving you permission to stalk your next employee! If it's on the internet, it is public. Look at their online persona to see how they think, what they think is funny, and how they treat others. 
  4. Hire From Within -- You know what you are getting; you know they understand your vision and philosophy; you know that the "chemistry" question has already been answered. 
  5. Find Fresh Eyes -- Occasionally you should not hire from within because you need a fresh infusion of ideas. 
  6. Find Leaders, Not Doers -- You have limited dollars, so you should typically spend your staff dollars on leaders who can build teams, inspire followers, and reproduce themselves over and over again. 
  7. Pay Well -- you don't want people to come because of money, stay because of money, or leave because of money. 

Building a Great Culture... 

  1. Make Time for the Three S's -- every week, carve time with your staff or leadership team to do three things: A) Tell stories of what God is doing through His people, B) Spotlight an individual to let them get to know them and celebrate their unique contribution, and C) Give inside information (Stuff) or training that will add value to your team.
  2. Offer Employees Flexibility -- Some positions need set hours (i.e. facility care shifts or preschool teachers). However, most positions should be flexible, focusing on outcomes (did you accomplish your job?) and not on specific hours (how long did you sit at your desk?). 
  3. Being Fair is Not a Priority -- Make decisions based on your vision and priorities--not based on fairness. News alert: I spend more time with my wife than any other woman. Why? Because she is my priority.  

What would you add to either of these lists? Leave me a comment. 

I'll be expanding on each of these topics in my upcoming book (to be published by Thomas Nelson in July 2014). 

Tim Stevens2 Comments