Technology Tools to Collaborate Effectively with Parish Staff

April 15, 2021  •   LPi

Co-workers talking at a computer

“Why was this collection moved to next month?”

“I didn’t realize that Sally had vacation this week. Why didn’t someone let me know?”

“Why was my article for next Sunday’s bulletin replaced?”

Miscommunication and last-minute determinations made without all decision-makers present are nothing new when it comes to parish life. No matter the size of your staff, sometimes it just happens that “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” However, technology these days is helping close the gap when it comes to silos in the workplace. Here are some ideas to consider as you strive to put an end to miscommunication in the office.

When Outsiders Aren’t Really Outsiders

Silo mentality is becoming more prominent these days, especially with so many of us working from home. Simply put, it’s an isolated mindset in which people or groups of teams within a workplace see others as “outsiders.” And naturally, outsiders don’t need to be privy to certain information. However, working in the church means that for it to truly work, you need to collaborate.

For most parishes, we see silo mentality most often when it comes to the bulletin. Father will ask why an event or collection wasn’t added to the bulletin. Most often, it’s because someone failed to let the bulletin editor know about it. This becomes a missed opportunity to let the congregation know just how the church is contributing to the community.

Technological Tools to Bring Teams Together

One way to get people involved with what one another is doing is to take advantage of some group messaging platforms that allow for everyone to be involved, without sending an email each time.

More than a way to showcase your work, Trello is a way that helps groups find ways to work together. Start your account using a Trello board, lists, and cards, and then customize and expand with more features as your teamwork grows. Manage projects, organize tasks, and build team spirit — all in one place.

Unlike email, conversations in Slack are easy to follow. You can make group channels to share information, or direct message one another. According to the website, there are more than conversations — you can make calls, share files, and even connect with other apps.

Microsoft Teams
This platform allows employees to interact and collaborate easily. Stay organized by keeping notes, documents, and your calendar together, and instantly go from group chat to video call with the touch of a button. People from all walks of life use it to better organize themselves, whether that be for work, school, or family. Easily find, share, and edit files in real time using familiar apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in Microsoft Teams.

Doing Less to Produce More

Many people may see meetings as necessary, while others make the joke that it could have just been an email. But somehow, there must be middle ground … right? Very true. According to the Amazing Parish, however, having quick, “standing” team meetings is a great way to share essential information by eliminating the “chit-chat” that often comes along with it.

Amazing Parish co-founder Pat Lencioni has a great presentation of what a great team meeting looks like, and how to adapt it to make it work for your staff using some simple tips. NOTE: To view this module, you’ll need to register for a FREE account with Amazing Parish.

Module 12: Meetings

A Step-by-Step Checklist
Finally, it’s also helpful to implement a formal process to ensure that all useful information is shared with the people who could benefit from knowing it. Come up with a checklist for your staff, and make sure all steps are consistently taken.

• Is it an upcoming event?
• Will parishioner or community data be collected that could be useful for other ministries?
• Do you have any photos or videos that would be good to share with parishioners?
• Is this an upcoming sale or opportunity that someone on staff could benefit from?

Collaborating with your staff is a trial-and-error process, so don’t give up if something doesn’t go right. Keep trying to find new ways and efficient processes to keep everyone in the loop. There’s always a solution!

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