Staff Turnover And Church Software

February 24th 2015

Everything finally seems to be running smoothly. Your staff and volunteers are fairly fluent in the church software you adopted a few years ago. Then the church secretary announces her retirement after years of faithful service. She knows your systems and processes better than anyone else. What do you do now? Even after you find her replacement, how do you get back to where you were before?

Church staff turnover is at its highest as everyone from pastors to administrators are experiencing ministry burnout. But even in churches where people and resources aren’t spread too thin, some staff turnover is inevitable. So as you fill positions with new faces, equip the people who join your team to be successful as they tackle your church software.

Find out their true comfort level with the technology you’re using.

They may have embellished their background in order to land the job. Have they ever used the same church software or something similar in the past? What’s different? How about your terminology? Maybe the term “member” means something different in your database. Address these potential stumbling blocks so you can lay the proper groundwork for new staff members to learn.

Allocate enough resources to ensure they’re properly trained.

Depending on their roles, you might need to spend significant time and money onboarding new employees. Overestimating these needs is better than being unprepared. It’s easy to forget the challenges of overcoming that learning curve, but give new employees enough time to adjust. Ideally you’ll quickly fill positions with enough time for those leaving to provide training, but this isn’t always possible. So encourage other staff members or volunteers to spend time and share their knowledge with new employees. And practice patience as they adjust.

Take advantage of free educational resources.

Your software provider probably has plenty of training and informational tools available online at no cost to your church—video tutorials, blog posts, support materials. These resources may be enough to get your new staff members comfortable with your software and church processes.

Consider investing in additional training.

If you’re hiring several people around the same time, your church might find value in on-site training. While this will be focused on helping new employees and evaluating their roles, training is also a great opportunity to review your current ministry processes, find more efficient ways of accomplishing goals, and learn about features you haven’t been using.

Let them dive in.

You can still hold their hands as they settle into their roles, but don’t be afraid to give up enough control so that new staff members can gain hands-on experience. They may be a little overwhelmed, but this is a great way for them to learn.

How does your church deal with the effects of staff turnover on your church software processes? 

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