Staff culture is paramount to success within any organization. Good culture leads to productivity and collaboration. Bad culture leads to gossiping and staff turn-over. A team divided against itself cannot hope to win followers of Christ.
Often, organizational culture is driven by leadership. However, there are still ways you can influence staff culture without holding a leadership position. Lead up within your church by helping to create a culture you’d like to be a part of.
Bolster Internal Communication
Typically, the focus for a communications team are external audiences. But internal communication can be just as crucial. Cut down on miscommunication by building good internal systems.
There are a number of great internal communication tools to keep your team in sync—Slack, Asana, Basecamp and Trello. Implementing a new technology within a staff can be a challenge. But when you get enough people bought in, it’s something everyone can tackle together.
Play nice with others. Professional relationships are a two way street. Kindness helps to tear down the silos that so often divide different departments and ministries. Be willing to help out and accepting of others’ help.
One of the ways I was able to build better working relationships with my colleagues was taking each one out to lunch. Once a week, I invited a coworker out to lunch until I had met with everyone. Getting to know one another is a simple way to work better together.
Encourage Professional Development
At my last job, I started a #TEDTalkThursday for the staff. Essentially, we met the first Thursday of every month to watch a TED Talk in the conference room. It’s a 15 minute video followed by about 20 minutes of organic discussion.
And all it took on my part to plan was selecting 12 TED Talks—one for each month— and sending out a calendar invite to the entire staff. Attendance was optional, but most of the staff still shows up. Each one is an opportunity to learn together.
Assume Best Intent
One of best things you can do to get along with coworkers is to always assume good intent on their part. When you let past offenses cloud your judgment, you rush to assumptions. When you forgive, you help to create a culture of forgiveness.
Some organizations have a 24-hour grievance policy. If you have a problem with someone, you have a day to bring it to them. After that, you’ve just got to move on and forget about it. This keeps you from being bogged down by distractions and emotional baggage.
Don’t Be ‘That Guy’
Every staff has one—that guy who is always miserable to be around and brings everyone down. They’re called Energy Vampires. They’re usually easy to spot, but tough to deal with.
If you’re not the one who’s responsible for personnel decisions, you may have to grin and bear That Guy until leadership wisens up and lets them go. And if you don’t know who That Guy is, it may be you. Don’t be That Guy.
Many people forget to enjoy the work that they do. The baggage these people bring is often heavier than their relationships with those around them. Help to ease this burden by being friendly and fun toward one another.
Suggest fun outings to do as a team. Go bowling. Do an escape the room activity. Attend a local sporting event. One of the best ways to organize these without causing more grumbling is to make these activities optional. Those who want to be a part of the team will join in. Those who lack the motivation will get left behind.