How To Handle An Issue With A Staff Person


One more staff person will not solve all your problems. Each staff person brings their own set of issues and problems. Staff are both a blessing and a burden. How you steward the staff God blesses you with will determine which role they play in your life most often! 


When should you handle an issue you have with a staff person?

HOW should you handle an issue with a staff person?

You can do the right thing the wrong way and you still lose. So here are a few simple guidelines about when and how to handle an issue with a staff person that could make all the difference:

Go quickly

Both Jesus and the apostle Paul tell us that a little bit of yeast works through a whole batch of dough. The issue will not get better by leaving it alone. The issue will always escalate. The issue will always bother us more over time. The issue will bother our entire ministry or organization if we allow the dough to rise! Don’t procrastinate. Simply say: “Hey, could connect a few minutes at the end of the day?” When should you address issues with the staff? Every day! We’re like Geico. It’s what we do!

Go in private

Don’t take someone with you. Go alone. This allows the staff person not to feel threatened or ganged up on. The person will feel less backed in a corner and will tend to be less defensive if it’s one on one. Speaking privately also gives them the opportunity to push back or even debate the issue without it seeming insubordinate. There are always two sides of the coin. We may not have the complete picture. This also allows the staff person to maintain their dignity while you coach them. Not everyone needs to know there’s an issue. We can handle this quickly between the two of us and move on before it becomes the talk of the office.

Go with Grace and Truth

When Jesus came on the scene, He was full of GRACE and Truth. Some of us are more naturally GRACERS and some of us are more naturally TRUTHERS. Jesus was full of BOTH!  Be COMPLETELY honest with them. This is our chance. Don’t lie and don’t exaggerate. Spell out the issue and give concrete examples. If we move or remove a staff person, and they are surprised by it, we have not been honest with them along the way.  Be honest about the issue and give clarity about what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not.

However, season everything we say with GRACE. Talk about what they’re doing RIGHT not just what they’re doing WRONG. If grace changes you, grace can change others. Let peopel know you don't expect perfection. Ask them to give you feedback about how you are leading them and how you might lead them more effectively. Let them know that honesty flows both ways and that when they have an issue with you, that the door is always open for that dialogue, as well. 

Go With Truth In Love

Always allow the person to know that your love and care for them as a person does not change simply because there’s an issue that needed coaching. I coach and correct my children all the time and it does not affect my love for them. In fact, I coach them because I love them! Always seek to let the staff person know that you are coaching them because you care for and believe in them and want the best for them and from them. 

We should actually never have "an issue with a staff person.” Our issue is with the behavior, not the person. Learn to care for your staff even when their behavior is not perfect. Remember, you're nor perfect either, and you have issues, as well.