Thursday, June 08, 2006

What's The Next Step?

Today's Topic: Team Building

Last Sunday was ServFest, and it's got me thinking about recruiting. Of all the topics related to team building, recruiting seems to be the one that challenges most technical and media ministries. For my own benefit and hopefully yours, too, I will be talking through some of the practical things that I understand to be critical to effective recruiting.

One of those practicals is "The Next Step."

Last week we discussed having a team structure in place, so that people know where they can fit into the team when they consider joining. "The Next Step" is the how you communicate the process to transform them from being "interested" to being "involved" in that team structure. From my experience this is the part where the most potential volunteers get lost.

Let's reality check for a moment. Most media and tech folks are pretty plugged into the church. Those of us who lead these teams are aware of almost all events that are happening in the church (hopefully) and, if we aren't staff members ourselves, we have access to at least some members of the church staff.

Eseentially, we are inside. And we can easily forget what it's like to be outside and to be unfamiliar with the way the church functions. Yet most new members and new volunteers just don't know how things work. The simply don't know how to sign up.

Our job, then, is to lead them through the sign-up process. However, many times the sign-up process is not a clear easy path that is the same for each person. The prospective volunteers gifts, interests, skills, previous experience, training, and schedule will all affect when, where, and how they get placed in a position. Also, someone who comes in to join an established team in the middle of a cycle will have a different path than someone who is only one of 15 new people for a team that is just starting up.

With all the complexities, I've decided not to burden our prospective volunteers with a sketch of the entire path with all it's "if...then" logic. Instead, I make it my practice to give a possible volunteer only the "Next Step." I am disciplining myself to never leave an interaction with a possible volunteer without giving them the "Next Step."

Here are a few good Next Steps...
  • Send me an email to remind me to make an appointment with you.
  • Call Hubert on the kidstech team to see if you can shadow him for three weeks.
  • Come to our informational meeting in July.
  • Get your small group leader to fill out this recommendation form and get it back to me.
  • Attend a training session for monitor operators on August 14.
Here are some non-recommended Next Steps...
  • Hang tight. I'll get back to you.
  • Hubert from the kidstech team will call you to tell you if you can shadow him.
  • Sit back. Relax. Our next informational meeting is scheduled for 2008.
Can you see how even a motivated person will get lost in the shuffle without a next step to take?

What's your next step to give that potential volunteer a Next Step?


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1 comment:

Peter A. Schott said...

This post really resonated with me as I've been on the receiving (and giving) end of both types of "Next Step". We definitely need to be more specific in our next steps and help people to be successful at taking those steps. Of course, we also need to do some follow-up on our own to see if the person has taken that next step and/or if they need help.

Thanks for all of your thoughts.