Some simple, some a little more difficult. But all of these tips are worth considering if you want to keep your team happy and productive.
1. Have a clear vision.
When you set a task for someone else to do, make sure you know why it’s being done and how it will be used. Knowing the end goals makes the process of getting there so much easier (and more motivating) for everyone! If there are things you're not sure about, that’s okay! Just ask, grab a coffee with the people who will be using it and ask them what they would like it to look like or how it should function to get a complete picture, before the job is even started. It's helpful if you can decide if you want it to look or function a certain way before asking for it to be done, to save ongoing back and forth to get it right.
2. Communication is key.
Communicating the full vision of a task before it is started is so important and is by far the most efficient way to go about getting things done. Be clear about any prerequisites you have for how things should look and let whoever is doing the job know what scope they have to make decisions for optimum functionality and aesthetics. You communicating your wants and needs at beginning, during and at completion of a project is crucial.
3. Use correct procedures.
It’s so great that we live in a time and circumstance where we have so much technology at our fingertips to help us do our work well. Yes, it's always changing and your brain might be most comfortable with handwritten notes, however writing your ‘to do’ list on scraps of paper or using post-its for your appointments can cause havoc.
Technology has made it so easy to collaborate... if you use it! If the staff team are all using a shared calendar and you aren’t correctly updating it, you can look free when you're busy, not let people know where you are and make it harder for your team to plan around you. Similarly, if you’re not saving documents in the shared folders or updating ‘to do’ lists you are crippling your staff’s ability to move forward with confidence and as a team - instead they need to keep checking in with you individually, slowing everyone up.
If you find technology or a particular procedure difficult, ask for help. Ask your admin staff to help you setup a new procedure (using technology or not!) that works for you and will support the whole team.
4. Have realistic expectations for timeframes.
Give your staff as much notice as possible when a job is to be done. It would be great to have a year calendar up with the events all filled in, so you know well in advance that it’s time to get Christmas invitations sorted and when a new church directory is due, rather than suddenly saying ‘the AGM is tonight and we need a report made!’ in a panic. Knowing what else is going on can help you all plan and make it a stress-free environment. Okay, maybe not stressFREE, but less stressful! Church work is often unavoidably unpredictable and messy, so why not streamline and remove the unnecessary chaos where you can?
5. Say thanks.
Your admin people work hard, and in a lot of cases are rarely recognised for it! They do a bulletin every week, but probably only get feedback on it when there is a mistake. People contact them for issues with the rosters or bounced emails. So make sure problems aren't the only things they hear! Take some time in a staff meeting to give them a round of applause. Send them an email just thanking them for the hard work they do. Or turn up to the office with a coffee in hand for your admin staff! Make sure they know they are a valuable member of the team.