Talking to youth workers from across the denominations it still seems that there is MUCH that can be improved in the way that they are line-managed. Itâ€™s also not unusual to encounter laughter when I tentatively ask about their â€˜Annual review!â€™
I am a passionate believer in effective management of workers (including reviews) and see it as a â€˜win winâ€™ situation. The worker is more positive, engaged and effective whilst the Church gets high quality RELEVENT work, shared vision AND a better chance of joined-up working. (Recently I spoke to a Baptist worker who had been poorly managed BUT in the last few months the Church had really sharpened up and good supervision had been put into place. He commented how much more focussed he was now AND happier). As employing Churches are investing anything from 15 â€“ 35k per year in a youthwork project then this is kinda important.
Anyway: When I dived into McDonalds just off the M4 to pick up e-mails via wi-fi (The MOTO Services not only donâ€™t have wi-fi, they donâ€™t even have a pay to use terminal!) I was fascinated to find myself sitting at the table next to the Manager as he conducted staff reviews. I had a bit of a chat with the manager and discovered that ALL staff get a review after six months and then annually (more often if necessary).
The staff fill in a self assessment on how they are doing, the manager discusses their progress and level of responsibility, helps them to identify areaâ€™s they need to develop in and sets goals. Thought there was a lot Churches could McLearn here!
There was a moment of irony though â€¦..
The manager was clearly a little tired and jaded towards the end of numerous reviews. Heâ€™d rather slouched in his chair and his head was resting on his knuckles as he concluded one interview, creating the air of one who was a bit â€˜Iâ€™ve had enough nowâ€™
All this would have been fine, but he then delivered this challenge to one of his new workers, â€œYou really need to up the enthusiasm that you put in!â€