The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

I Need to Fire Someone

February 16, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 30
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
I Need to Fire Someone
Show Notes Transcript

Navigating the complexities of church staffing can be as turbulent as steering a ship through stormy seas, especially when it involves the daunting decision to let someone go. As Todd Rhoades from Chemistry Staffing joins us, we grapple with this sensitive topic, striking at the heart of leadership dilemmas: how do we find the courage to choose termination when it's in the best interest of the church's mission and the well-being of the individual involved? 

In our discussion, we don't shy away from the uncomfortable realities that come with employment termination within a church environment. We unfold a blueprint for church leaders who are wrestling with the delicate balance of grace and accountability, underscored by thorough preparation and open communication. By the end of our conversation, listeners will have a clearer understanding of the signs that point to a staff member's misalignment with the church's vision, and the checklist necessary to ensure that if the tough decision to part ways is made, it's executed with the utmost compassion and wisdom. Todd's insights illuminate the path to not only preserving the church's integrity but potentially freeing someone to find their true calling.

Have questions or comments? Send to podcast@chemistrystaffing.com

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Todd Rhoades:

I remember years ago hearing Andy Stanley talking about this topic and he said sometimes you just have to free some people's future, and that's a unique way to put it to free somebody's future, but sometimes it's actually a kind thing to do. It's the right thing to do for the church and it's a kind thing to do for an individual. It may not seem like that at the time and it's very difficult, but again, there just needs to be a balance of compassion and accountability Before you pull the trigger, though. It's really important. It's really important that you address this. Like I said, no one should go into work on any day of the week and get called in and fired and not have a clue. And I realize some people are not very self-aware and they're always surprised. But as a supervisor, as a pastor, as a shepherd, as people that should take your relationships with your staff very seriously.

Todd Rhoades:

It's really important to do your groundwork. You just don't make rash decisions when it comes to ending somebody's employment. It has effects on your church, on your volunteers, on your congregation and on that person and their family. You need to start with really discussing how poor performance has created some tension and how it's affected the church goals, and you need to really start putting those down in some kind of a checklist, because unsustainable situations no-transcript really create an unspiritual environment the longer they go, and a lot of times I would say that you don't want to be too quick to fire, but many times churches wait too long. They're just a little bit. They take too long to do it.

Todd Rhoades:

Put together a term, what I call a termination checklist. That might sound rather harsh, but it's really just trying to go through the things you need to do to make sure that this is really the right decision. So a checklist. Here's some things to evaluate. Can this employee that you think is on the bubble. Can they meet the requirements of the job with some support? Can they get there? Can do they have the potential to turn the corner with some support? And then the second question is are you providing that support? And if you're not, that's on you to help them along and to provide that support. So do you think that this employee has the potential to actually be a good employee and to turn that corner? If so, continue and offer them as much support, build it in them as much as you can.

Todd Rhoades:

Second question is there a pattern of negative behavior? Sometimes it's not so much that they don't have the skill or the ability or the experience, it's just that they have a really bad attitude, a negative attitude, negative behavior that kind of pulls down the staff A lot of times. That can't be remedied. You can try, but sometimes it's just the personality of the individual that's come out. Another question is there influencing? Is there influence damaging the culture of the church or the goals that you have? Is there any way again that they can turn the corner, that they can do better?

Todd Rhoades:

And then, lastly, on this termination checklist have you given them ample warning? Have you tried to work through? It's really important that this doesn't catch them by surprise. All right, so you've determined that? Okay, yep, we need to do this. We need to pull the trigger. We need to free this person's future. How do you do it In terminating?

Todd Rhoades:

If you decide that you have to terminate, always approach it with kindness, Approach it with honesty and respect. If you're mad, if you're just really ticked at this individual, it's not a good time to fire them, because you will not approach that with kindness and honesty and respect. Whenever you fire somebody, you need to terminate with compassion and then proceed with integrity. You need to be transparent about the reasons. You need to offer some transition support. Words matter, so you need to make sure that you choose them with care. I always encourage and I wish more churches did this, and this is a service that we offer and that I offer personally at Chemistry Staffing what we call transition coaching. If you're letting somebody go, we offer a three-month program that the church can hire either myself or one of our church coaches at Chemistry Staffing to walk with the person that you're letting go. As soon as you call them into your office and you let them know that they no longer have a job, you lose your opportunity to minister and to support them. Sometimes and I encourage you to seek out there's other people to do this too. It doesn't have to be with chemistry, but we'd love to come along and help support you if you need this. If you can offer some transition support, help them to land well, give them a good runway financially so that they're cared for, and just again, treat it with kindness, honesty and respect.

Todd Rhoades:

Termination is not about condemnation. You may feel like you've got something to prove. It's not the time to do it. Take the high road. It's not about condemnation, but more about redirection. Here's my final kind of advice for you as you head into the weekend. Maybe you've got a staff member now that's on the bubble. Maybe you're on the bubble and you're wondering whether or not you're going to have a job next week. I think a lot of us have been there At one point in our ministry career. Always approach termination with kindness and honesty and respect. If you can provide some ongoing support, if you'd love to talk with me, I'd love to talk with you about any kind of transition coaching that chemistry offers, I'd be happy to do that. You can always reach out to me at podcast at chemistrystaffingcom and I'd be happy to walk you through exactly what that might look like for any person that you need to free their future.

Todd Rhoades:

So, not a great topic, not something that we like to talk about, not something that we ever want to do, but sometimes, unfortunately, it's necessary. Sometimes it's good for the individual, sometimes it's good for the church. Okay, that's my sermon on what you gotta do when you need to fire somebody. It's never fun. Believe me, I've had to do it. It is never, ever fun because sometimes it needs to be done. All right, hope you have a great weekend. We'll be back here right nearly on Monday on the Healthy Church Staff podcast. We're here every Monday through Friday. Hope you'll take some time, wherever you listen to this podcast, to subscribe. Make sure you listen every day. We've got a great lineup again for next week and I hope you'll join us. Thanks again, this is Todd Rhodes. Hope you have a great weekend.