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Growing Challenges for a Growing Organization
In 2016, Church of the Resurrection realized they were experiencing one of the best challenges for an organization, rapid growth. The organization had grown to four physical locations with another online community. But the growth brought about another challenge.
Church of the Resurrection was frequently needing to promote employees into management roles where they were not only managing for the first time, but also managing former peers. With each promotion, reoccurring questions were being asked by the new supervisors such as:
- How do I make that transition from being a peer to a manager?
- What needs to change and how do I do it?
- How do I navigate relationships with my former co-workers?
- What is the best way to handle specific situations?
The organization recognized that they needed to do a better job of preparing new managers for their added responsibilities, answering these pressing questions and giving them the tools needed to succeed.
Additionally, leaders recognized that as they continued to grow, their business needs were not only becoming more complex, but changing. Within the organization, decisions were being made and implemented quickly. This posed a great challenge with staff located across the region, working variable hours (including evenings and weekends).
The Church of the Resurrection knew they needed to implement a more formalized solution to provide much needed leadership and compliance training (specifically diversity awareness and anti-harassment) to leaders, while also providing ongoing opportunities to promote a culture of development and engagement across all levels of the organization. They also needed a way to ensure consistent delivery and tracking, coupled with a wide variety of content to cover areas where in-house experts did not exist.
Being a not-for-profit organization, all of this needed to be done on a limited budget.
Finding the Solution
While searching for new diversity content, Church of the Resurrection found BizLibrary. Not only did they like the diversity lessons in the library, but also the vast number of lessons and courses employees could take, addressing ongoing development needs and concerns.
The team launched their BizLibrary solution, Rez Academy, in November of 2016.
They found that having staff take video training when it worked for their individual schedules, at their own locations, was saving the organization and employees time and money. In addition, the video training was ensuring staff were receiving consistent information, no matter their location.
To address their new manager challenges, the human resources team assigned lessons specific to being a new manager, helping specifically to ease the transition from peer to manager.
They then follow this up with training on how to continue being an effective manager beyond the transition. To do so, they provide videos and tools in topics such as giving an effective performance review and conflict management.
“One of the things I really like about BizLibrary is they have specific courses just on making that transition alone and how to navigate it.”
– Janelle Gregory, Human Resources Specialist
To continually develop the entire staff, Church of the Resurrection sends out monthly emails called “Rez Academy Training Timeout” to encourage ongoing personal and professional growth. Each email consists of four parts: a monthly assignment, a video “learning bite,” a “Good to Know” with helpful tips and information and a “Learner’s Corner” with a quote/story from an employee on his or her experience with Rez Academy.
By utilizing the online platform, Church of the Resurrection provides employees the opportunity to take training that is relevant to them throughout the year. When possible, the courses listed in the Training Timeout align with major happenings in the organization, such as assigning lessons on change management when the main campus moved into a new building and setting S.M.A.R.T. goals prior to goal setting for the new year.
The Impacts of Online Training
The Church of the Resurrection launched Rez Academy with a primary goal of 100% compliance lesson completion and a secondary goal around staff training engagement.
Understanding 100% compliance completion can be a lofty goal, the team planned two optional training lunch and learns to introduce the online platform. Most staff chose to attend one of the two sessions, resulting in quickly achieving the 100% staff completion in diversity awareness compliance training.
When looking to measure staff engagement, Church of the Resurrection measures the overall participation in elective programming via the Training Timeouts. On average, 40% of staff take advantage of the optional programming each month. Most notable though is the feedback from these participants.
Feedback collected thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. One learner says, “I recently took classes in Rez Academy to give me insight on creating forms for a possible inventory project. I found the courses very helpful in building a foundation to move forward into further research and to know what other options would be available in completing the project.”
In addition to meeting compliance standards and having impressive elective engagement, Church of the Resurrection saw firsthand the positive impact of providing training resources to their managers.
Many supervisors struggled each year when it came time to conduct employee performance reviews. Recognizing that delivering negative feedback made many supervisors uncomfortable, the team assigned training on giving an effective review. It only took one manager to view the lesson before word got out about the training. Managers began recommending it to one another and sharing their takeaways with their peers. Ideas from the training were implemented in conversations, changing the way performance reviews were conducted.
“Supervisors felt more confident than ever about giving performance reviews.”
– Janelle Gregory, Human Resources Specialist
Client: The Church of the Resurrection
Top challenges: dispersed workforce, new managers
About: In 1990, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection was a small, upstart church with a big dream of becoming a church that welcomes thinking people who were not actively involved in a church. Their first 25 years have been an amazing journey with thousands of people finding greater hope, purpose, and meaning in their lives. Today, Church of the Resurrection is one of America’s fastest-growing churches in the Methodist denomination. More than 20,000 people worship, study, and serve in one of their five campuses in Leawood, KS; Olathe, KS; Downtown Kansas City, MO; Blue Springs, MO, and through Resurrection online.