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Using Feedback Forms To Stay Focused On Your Vision

Step 1. Have a vision. 

Step 2. Have a plan.

Step 3. Realize that a plan never goes as planned as soon as it’s put into action. 

Managing a team isn’t just about barking orders. We know that. It’s about supporting a team. It’s about helping the team accomplish it’s collective goal. And in order to effectively do this week-in and week-out we need some sort of feedback loop. 

Being the new guy in any organization can be daunting. It seems like everyone else knows what’s expected and all you can do is wander around until you walk “out of bounds”. When I first became a campus pastor I started to realize that not only was I the new guy in town, I was also hiring and recruiting new leaders who would have the same conundrum as me. We would all be wandering around until we got our hand slapped. We had to come up with some kind of solution that would ensure that team leaders stay focused on the important things, as well as to have a place to share what was and wasn’t working. 

And so the feedback form was born. 

Our feedback form helped to maintain a basic level of focus for any given Sunday and was quick enough to do on your phone before you went home. 

And because it was a simple step before closing up shop, it helped to maintain our consistency without requiring a weekly 1:1 meeting between every team lead and their supervisor. 

Each feedback form was a variation of the following (you can see a sample from here ). 

When creating a feedback form for a team the following two types of questions should be included: 

1. Standard objectives

What minimum expectations do you have for each weekend experience or event? Do you want volunteer teams to pray every week? Do you want them to be ready for guests by a certain time? What standard elements should be present week in and week out. Ask specific yes or no questions related to each of those elements.

2. Free Form

Leave some open ended questions to allow your team to share what went well that weekend and what needs to be addressed in the future.

(Pro Tip: include a spot for each team leader to list what they are going to focus on fixing for the next weekend. This helps to ensure this form is a focusing form and not a complaint outlet, hoping someone else will address the problems.)

 

Then close the loop. Share with the entire team an overview of the weekend’s feedback and the top objectives for the coming week. In fact you may even start sending a more formal email every week to help motivate and focus your team (see "How To Write Emails Your Volunteers Will Actually Read")

Have a vision, have a plan, and give your team the tools to help adjust the plan as it meets reality.  

Removing the Information Crevice Between Staff & Volunteers

Sometimes it can be difficult to build an organization of people who are unavailable. Not unavailable in a negative sense but unavailable as in, they wear many hats, and volunteering on your team is only one of them. That very often means they aren’t available for staff meetings or planning meetings or many meetings at all…but they are still committed.

So what do you do?

How do you remove the information crevice between staff and volunteers? 

This hole unintentionally exists and it’s a problem we deal with on a regular basis. For our church this was especially complicated when we transitioned to becoming a multi campus church. How would we ensure that each campus had the information it needed to create a fantastic weekend experience every single weekend

An email wouldn’t cut it. 

So, we introduced a conference call into the mix.

 
 

This allowed us to clearly communicate our game plan EVERY weekend without being in the same room. Here are the four simple steps we took to implementing this new tool with our team. 

1. Sign up for Uberconference.com

Uberconference is an online conference call service that really is conference calling of the 21st century. It has a visual interface that allows you to see who is speaking (in case you don’t recognize their voice), a powerful per-caller control to mute the guy with all the background noise (sorry Max) and you can even turn on pin-less access so no one has to remember some random pin number to get access. I seriously love this service, and that don't pay me to say that either. 

2. Turn on Auto-Dial

By entering everyone’s number ahead of time we can allow the system to auto dial everyone at the same time so there is no waiting for that one person to finally get on the call (or forget about it for that matter). 

3. Hit Record

By recording the call we can share the entire conversation, or in this case, the entire "worship service walk through" with anyone not present on the call (aka the rest of the team that has other day jobs). This allows them to hear what otherwise would be difficult to explain in email. 

4. Share It All

Once the call is finished we share the call recording, the script and the service plan with the entire team via Azendoo. This allows our volunteer and part time staff to review the material and ask questions before Sunday. 

Sharing information in an organization like the church creates trust and communicates value.
— StevenJBarker

Ultimately sharing information in an organization like the church creates trust and communicates value. For us, conference calls have been one of the those tools that’s helped us stay flexible and on the same page, no matter where we are. 

Question of the day: What tools do you use to stay on the same page with your staff and volunteers?