Manpower: People are selected and placed in positions that fit their gifts, passions and callings and that align with the church’s objectives and culture

How To Build Trust And Productivity Within Church Staff Working Remotely

One question that nags all church leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic is whether or not church staff working from home can be trusted to be as productive as they are when onsite. Despite wanting to give your staff the benefit of the doubt, as a pastor or supervisor you are likely still having trust issues. It is quite natural and understandable to ask if staff are really working as hard at home as they did in the church office.

The stigma of remote work is that it inhibits collaboration and productivity, which together ultimately hurt the church’s ministry effectiveness. Regretfully, we haven’t seen any significant data yet to support these fears. But currently, half of all remote workers say they don’t want to work in an office anymore and so your church will most is likely have to consider the long term pros and cons of honoring those wishes.

Gallup Again Provides Helpful Research

The Gallup Organization has been studying the variables that influence the productivity of remote workers and found overwhelming evidence that remote worker productivity primarily depends upon their supervisor. I’ve written a lot in recent years about the importance of church staff supervision, and it is not surprising that effective staff supervision is more important now than ever. In short, no role on a church’s staff has more influence than those who supervise other staff.

So, while churches are facing a necessary remote work environment, which may become permanent, Gallup has discovered there are a few things supervisors need to get right to keep team productivity consistently high.

Three Things Supervisors Can Do To Help Remote Worker Productivity

You can’t wave a magic wand and immediately begin to trust everyone. But, a lack of trust can cause you to become an unwanted micromanager. If you are struggling with trust and productivity issues with your staff, here are practical steps that Gallup recommends you take right now.

  1. Reflect on past performance. By studying a person’s past performance you can learn how they got things done, what intrinsically motivates them, and what resources they require. Then, supervisors can use that knowledge to work alongside each staff member as individuals to discover their new, best means to high productivity.
  2. Understand the unique contributions of each staff member. Even with virtual collaboration, working remotely presents challenges to teamwork. Now more than ever it is vital that you know the unique strengths and gifts of each team member. To spot how someone’s unique talents play into how they get work done, the CliftonStrengths assessmentcategorizes strengths into four domainsinfluencingrelationship buildingstrategic thinking and executing. Using this information, Supervisors can position remote employees for success by leveraging and capitalizing on those innate abilities, as opposed to focusing on tasks assigned alone.
  3. Ask the right questions. Asking yourself the following questions will keep you focused on making your staff more productive working from home.
  • What do I get from each staff member, and what do they give?
  • What has each staff member needed from me in the past to be productive?
  • What is each staff member’s intrinsic motivation and how can I activate that?
  • How has each staff member contributed in the past to a collaborative effort?
  • If you don’t trust a staff member, ask why and how this happened?





Posted on January 19, 2021

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5