One thing I have always been very intentional about is staffing alignment around the current needs of the organization. I have never been afraid to move seats around on the bus if it makes more sense for where we are and where we want to go.
Sometimes a small tweak in a job title or description can have a huge impact on the overall performance of the team.
There is one often overlooked way to do this and the real point of this post.
Be intentional every time someone leaves your staff.
You don’t get that opportunity often.
When someone leaves you have a ”free” window of opportunity to reimagine every role. Don’t simply assume you will replace this “slot” with the same position.
We once got our first communications position by replacing an executive assistant – (for me) with that key role. We couldn’t afford the position at the time, but one position made more sense for us than the other position did. There have been a few people in that role since then, but I don’t think the church would ever go back from that decision now.
This is where a good whiteboard exercise can be your friend. Go to the board and dream. Place all the current positions on the board on one side. Then on the other side you get to dream about a new structure.
(You can see from this crude drawing an example of what that might look like in our context at the time. In that ______ became our new communications person.Granted, our staff was much larger than this but hopefully it helps illustrate the exercise. And you do this every time someone leaves your staff.)
You only have so many personnel dollars. This exercise helps put them to the best use.
Ask good questions. Where are you now? What are your needs? What position could add to the overall team dynamic? How could our staffing alignment – or realignment – better serve us right now? Get input from others on the team. Take your time.
You have a unique opportunity and window of time. Use it wisely.