Multi-Site: Do You Need a Boot Camp?
Multi-site churches often struggle with the “curse of knowledge,” the phenomenon that occurs when something is so second-nature to us, we assume that everyone else should know it, as well.
In multi-site world, the curse of knowledge rears its head when a campus ministry director – who has been in their staff role for several months – asks a question that they should already know the answer to. But here’s the problem: no one ever trained them on that issue when they started the job.
That’s why several years ago we introduced the Guest Services Boot Camp into our training process. GSBCs join our new hire orientation, our HCV Cohort, our monthly Guest Services staff meeting, and site visits in rounding out a new employee’s training process.
Here are four key elements of our Boot Camps:
1. Ridiculously practical.
Boot Camps don’t spend a lot of time covering the philosophical or “why” questions of the Guest Services arena. Rather, they go deep into the mundane: Where do I order more first-time guest bags? How do I get additional communion supplies? What are my expectations on volunteer on-boarding?
2. Thoroughly documented.
We write down everything we talk about and everything that is asked about, because (a) no one is going to absorb it all, (b) the master doc serves as a handy reference in the future, and (c) when it comes time to do the next Boot Camp, we want to remember the stuff we need to cover or should have covered. [Download a free sample agenda below!]
3. One and done.
In the past, our GSBCs were spread out over several weeks. We’ve more recently opted to cram it all into a half-day retreat, including a working lunch. This four to five hour sprint is mind-numbing to be sure, but we’re going for “need to know” training at this point.
4. Regularly offered.
Let me be clear: GSBCs should be regularly offered. They should be a part of a new employee’s first month on the job (or at least the first quarter). However, I am the chief of sinners at making sure this happens on our team. Our most recent GSBC included staff members whose tenure ranged from a few weeks to a few months to…well, I don’t want to say that last part. Too embarrassing. And not at all helpful to the team member who had to figure some of this stuff out the hard way.
If you struggle with the curse of knowledge – or you have a team member who struggles because of your curse of knowledge – consider a boot camp.
I put together a sample agenda to help you get started. Download it now!