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Teamwork and Motivation: Factory vs. Family

Teamwork and Motivation: Factory vs. Family

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  • Are we building our worship team like a factory or a family? Here are five factory-driven values that require us to challenge them with family-driven values. We can do better when we see that our team members are people who we developed rather than cogs in the wheel.

We love our superstars. These are the workhorses on the team who show up on time, have high skill levels, and make the whole team look good. We like them so much that we then think everyone on our team should be like them. We compare, even when it may not be fair. Are we building our worship team like a factory or a family? Does making it a family limit the quality of what we do? There is indeed a conversation about the character of members on our teams, including our own. There are technical jobs like playing the right notes on an instrument that matter. And the mixing console is not just a bunch of sliders—it is a musical instrument requiring training and skill. So how do we lead a team, based on skill, to function more like a family than a factory? 

Here are five factory-driven values that require us to challenge them with family-driven values. We can do better when we see that our team members are people who we developed rather than cogs in the wheel.

  1. Factories are about slots. 

In a family, people are more than what they do. 

With our planning tools, we may, at times, experience the illusion of people being just a guitar player or a singer.  As leaders, we must know when one of our team members may have lost his/her job or is having relationship issues with friends. The goal is to find practices to praise people for things that have nothing to do with their superstar status on the team. “I notice, Jim, your patience with others in rehearsals.” “Hey Terry, thank you for being willing to carry some slack for Jenny during her pregnancy. I heard you organized a shower for her new baby coming.” The idea is to notice and praise people when their character seeps out, not only when they perform well technically or musically.

  1. Factories treat everyone the same.

Families know that some members require more.

The new baby in the family indeed will require more attention, and the parents will lose sleep. The legitimate argument many have for not developing younger people is that it will take more of their time to do so. However, this is not an option if you are a family. People are messy. Giving more attention, for a season, to some of your team members is valid. If they are new, they require on-boarding. There may be times when a member faces a death in the family or morally falls. If we expect the same level of attention for every team member, we are thinking about production more than people.

  1. Factories treat everyone the same.

Families know that some members require more.

The new baby in the family indeed will require more attention, and the parents will lose sleep. The legitimate argument many have for not developing younger people is that it will take more of their time to do so. However, this is not an option if you are a family. People are messy. Giving more attention, for a season, to some of your team members is valid. If they are new, they require on-boarding. There may be times when a member faces a death in the family or morally falls. If we expect the same level of attention for every team member, we are thinking about production more than people.

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Hope Darst

  1. Factories reward and punish.

Families love with no strings attached.

Now, having standards of skill and character is not the issue here. But, using the carrot-and-stick approach like a factory misses out on how volunteers are motivated. Have you reminded your team why you do what you do? Have you allowed them to participate in decisions or kept them in the loop with changes as they occur? In a family, we feel part of something bigger than us. When we are busy, our communication becomes efficient–often, too efficient. Sometimes, a text will solve something, but hearing your voice might make all the difference–especially if you are delivering bad news.

  1. Factories are bound to schedules.

Families are timeless.

As a dad, there is nothing ruder than looking at the clock while being with my kids. Of course, as they grow, they may end up doing the same thing! What are we saying when we see our team relationships as transactional? The unfortunate message is that we value system, process, and goals more than individuals at times. It would be safe to say that none of us have motives to brush off team members. We need boundaries, too. However, if we build a healthy team, we likely benefit as well. Even though we serve in teams for a season, our spiritual ministry is timeless. Our investment in people goes further than our teams: It is eternal.

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