Tag Archive: personnel

The Benefits of the Exit Interview (free template)

The exit interview, done well, is a…

  • Discovery tool
  • Bad hire redeemer
  • An informal evaluation of employees supervisor and your church systems
  • Confirmation of the things you and your church are doing well

When an employee leaves your staff, your first reaction is not to ask them to complete another assignment and then schedule a sit down meeting. But, whether you “want” to do it or not, the exit interview form and meeting are valuable.

Whether the employee is leaving with grievances, or is simply leaving because their spouse is being moved out of state, an exit interview makes sense. The feedback collected in the exit interview will help you as a leader, your church, and it communicates to the employee their experiences with you and perspective matters.

Our church has a fairly comprehensive exit interview template. And for readers, I’ve provided it on my resource page, free for use in the “Onboarding/Offboarding section.”

The reason for the employee’s exit will determine how much of the exit interview template we use, and how we conduct the interview meeting.

We provide the exit interview questions to them in advance (we may remove some questions depending their unique situation). We ask them to respond to the questions in writing prior to our meeting. Then, together at the in-person meeting the employee overviews their responses for those in the meeting. The “who” in the exit interview meeting needs to be determined for each church. It may or may not include their direct supervisor, but it should at least include someone higher in the employee’s line of reporting, and it could include a volunteer leader, maybe someone from your church’s personnel team or an Elder.

One of many upsides for an exit interview is that it can bring learning from what’s an unfortunate departure. They’ll be times when you’ve made a bad hire (but I’ve written 13 previous posts about avoiding this by hiring right for your church staff). And at some point, bad hires leave. When that happens, the exit interview can be serve as a redemption tool.

The redemption tool: the exit interview.

Okay, “redemption” tool may be a little strong, but if done correctly, it does benefit you and your church enough to lessen the blow a bad hire. It can provide you insight for what went wrong in the selection process, onboarding process, or in ongoing supervision of an employee.

Listen to your exiting employees. Be willing to hear the good and the bad about you, your staff and church. Take advantage of this real-time, usually unrestrained feedback from an employee. The exit interview is a valuable tool.


p.s. As I mentioned earlier, if you’d like to view our Exit Interview template and perhaps borrow ideas, feel free. If you want more information about personnel practices from the creation of a job description, the initial interview phone call all the way to the exit interview, our church’s Selection Tool Kit is available for a minimal cost on our church’s resource site, Equippedchurch.es and includes over 25 PDF’s related to the selection process for churches.

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Creating A Church Personnel Budget

Whether the personnel portion of your church’s budget is $50,000, $500,000 or 5,000,000, it should have at its core, some common elements.

If you’re involved in putting together your church’s personnel budget, here are key components and tactical steps you need to include (you can see it graphically here).

Step 1

Know and show your personnel budget number for the current year (ex. $200,000).

Step 2

Make any changes you’ve made to the budgeted amount throughout the current year (ex. you made a new hire and paid them $5,000 more than you had budgeted for the position. And you increased custodial hours from PT to FT, adding $14,000). You’ve then added $19,000 mid-year dollars to your personnel budget.

Step 3

This gives you your Revised budget number (in this example, $219,000).

Step 4

Estimate your insurance costs for the new year. An insurance broker can often anticipate increased costs based on what they’re seeing in the market. They can provide you the percentage increase for your plan before actual increases are determined (an estimate is usually available in late summer). For the sake of example, let’s show your needed reserve for insurance to be $6,000. (Obviously, if you’re church does not offer heath insurance, you can skip this step.)

Step 5

Determine your anticipated merit raise figure. While I don’t affirm the idea of a pre-determined % increase for everyone, and instead, prefer a merit increase that ties into a performance management system, you can still have a percentage as the average increase.

So let’s assume that on average, you want to be able to provide a 3% merit increase. You’ll do the math to add 3% to the base salary portion of your personnel budget (remember to add in the impact of merit on retirement benefits if you provide for them).

Step 6

Show any anticipated next year personnel hires. Or if you’re reducing your staff, you’d show that reduced number.

Step 7

Add these steps together. This will give you your next year’s personnel budget figure, you’d begin with your “revised current year budget,” add “health insurance,” add merit raise dollar figure, and add any new hires (or reduce any eliminations) to get to your total proposed next year’s personnel budget.

Here’s an example of how to show these steps in a personnel budget document.

The personnel part of a church budget is typically a large percentage of a church’s budget. So you’ll need to justify it by having a well thought out procedure and explanation.

Having this prepared budget will help you as you take the budget to your church’s decision makers. For other suggestions for presenting an overall compelling church budget, see this previous post.

Happy budgeting.

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