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The Great Resignation Continues – What This Means for Ministries and Churches

By Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors
 

Has your ministry or church had trouble keeping or attracting employees? If so, you are not alone. According to the Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, the Great Resignation, brought on by COVID, continues as 44% of workers are looking for a new job. According to the US Department of Labor, the United States recorded 4.53 million workers quitting their jobs in March 2022.    What this means is that it is likely you have employees who are also “job seekers” looking for a better job.  

Research has shown that people tend to quit their jobs after experiencing a “turnover shock”: a life event that precipitates self-reflection about one’s job satisfaction.  

While there are normal development times that people reflect on their job satisfaction like the age 30 transition and midlife, COVID created a time for many people all at once to take a time out and reflect on their work and how well it fits them. For church and ministry employers to thrive, it is crucial to understand what is causing employees to head toward the exit door.  

What are these employees seeking? A survey by CareerBuilder found that more than half (62%) reported that a higher salary was the top reason they are seeking a new job. Since it is very costly to hire new employees, ministries and churches may want to do a salary audit to determine if they are underpaying for any of their positions or need to be above the average for in-demand jobs. 

What else is motivating employees to seek employment elsewhere? The survey by CareerBuilder also found that:

  • 51% want a flexible schedule
  • 46% are looking for better benefits
  • 40% would like the ability to work remotely

While employees working at churches and ministries typically are enthusiastic about the mission of their organization, without the right combination of salary, benefits, and flexibility they may be motivated to check out other opportunities.   

Here are a few other ways to combat the Great Resignation:

  1. Ask questions.

Unless you ask questions, you will not know what is important to your employees. What is important to one employee may not be to others. Ask questions that relate to what is important to them at work and in their life. Ask what they need to excel in their job. Ask how happy they are in their work. Ask about their career development and what their goals are. 

This information will better assist you in creating an environment where your employees will excel.

  1. Provide for your employee’s career developmental needs.  

Surveys show that employees value opportunities to grow and develop on the job. If they can't do that with your ministry or church, they will seek that elsewhere. As you learn about their goals, be proactive in providing them with new challenges that will help them to grow. Also, you may want to consider providing opportunities to work with a career counselor who can help them to examine their strengths and how to better use those strengths in their work. If you are seeking help in this area, you can learn more about our career counseling services at ChristianCareerCenter.com.

  1. Consider making jobs more flexible.

During COVID employers have learned that many jobs can be done just as well remotely as they were in the office. While other jobs could be a hybrid of work at home and time in the office. Flexibility can also include the hours that an employee works. Being adaptable can be a way to show how much you value your employees. It also will likely lead to more satisfied, engaged employees. 

  1. Build loyalty, engagement, and community

While many employees are seeking remote job opportunities, the reality is that those who work completely at home can end up feeling isolated. Be intentional about making those not in the office feel connected and important to the success of the organization. Tools like Zoom and Google Meet can help to maintain better connections with your staff. Having everyone come together for a conference, retreat, or staff development time can make a difference in how loyal and engaged employees feel. These types of events also build community.  

Summary

When your employees feel valued, engaged, and connected to other staff, they are much more likely to show loyalty and enthusiasm in their work. This will lead to your church or ministry better accomplishing its mission.  

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