“The Thank You Economy” for Churches and Non-Profits, Part 2

“…(T)he dominant obsession for any leader running a company in the Thank You Economy shouldn’t be the competition, nor should it be customer service. It should be your employees” (The Thank You Economy, p.89). That’s Gary Vaynerchuk emphasizing that The Thank You Economy is not just about outreach with Social Media, it’s also about treating your “employees” better than anyone else.

How are churches and non-profits doing on this front? It’s just as much about “inreach” as it is about “outreach.” Just because someone works for a church or non-profit doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have needs. Show me a well-cared-for worker, employee, or minister, and I will show you a worker, employee, or minister who loves his job, sticks around, and goes the extra mile (…OK…maybe not always…but more often than not).

Gary Vaynerchuk says there are two things that make employees happy and make them want to stay:

  1. Being treated like an adult.
  2. Feeling his/her individual needs are met.

Vaynermedia recently carried out these two things by establishing a new vacation policy: there is none. More than that, around basic parameters, employees for Vaynermedia can extablish their own daily work hours. I understand that this may not work in every church or non-profit, but what if employees actually could, within parameters, decide how much vacation time works and what their daily hours would be, as long as “they are doing their job 110 percent at all times, and they’re meeting their objectives” (p.91).

In other words: What if workers, employees, and ministers were treated like adults and felt his/her individual needs were met?

I know that realistically churches and non-profits would find it difficult to take work day hours and vacation time to this extent. However, what if churches and non-profits would do even a little better treating workers, employees, and ministers well.

Our church and school are far from being perfect examples of treating employees “like adults,” but we have tried to take baby steps in the direction of enabling our people to feel as though they are appreciated and their needs are met. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • The principal of our school welcomes each of our teachers to a brand new school year with hand-written notes and a candy bar or small treat.
  • Each March, during what seems to be the longest part of the school year, a solicitation is made to our congregation for monetary gifts. This money is used to provide gift cards to stores or restaurants for each teacher in our school.
  • As another token of appreciation, I (as pastor) take each of our teachers out for lunch once during the school year. After lunch they get the afternoon off to go home for some rest and relaxation.

No, it isn’t quite setting your own hours or determining your own vacation time, but it has meant a great deal to our “employees.” In the end, it’s really about one-on-one interaction and building relationships with people and treating them “like adults.” We have a long, long way to go in meeting individual needs, but at least we’ve made a start.

What ideas do you have for treating non-profit and church workers, employees, and ministers “like adults” and meeting individual needs?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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