- Background checks: Proceed with caution. Employers, including churches, must exercise caution when conducting background checks for employment decisions. That's because certain federal laws protect applicants and employees regarding how employers use those background checks. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a new, free guide to help employers comply with these laws (Kiplinger Letter–March 28, 2014, kiplinger.com). For more information about how these laws apply to churches, check out "New EEOC Guidance Addresses Background Checks," by Richard R. Hammar on ChurchLawAndTax.com.
- Prepare for the unthinkable. What would you do if you or someone from your church had reason to believe a child was being abused? Our new, free infographic covers 10 questions to answer now so that you and your team are prepared if the unthinkable ever happens. Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, take time now to address this important topic ("What Should We Do If We Suspect Child Abuse?" ChurchLawAndTax.com).
- Keep the stewardship conversation going. In the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability's first-ever "Church Stewardship Survey," church leaders were asked to select the top two programs from a list of several that they thought had the "greatest potential for creating a biblical stewardship culture in their churches." Ranking first was "testimonies from givers who have experienced a generosity transformation." Second was "ongoing stewardship sermons" ("ECFA 1st Annual Church Stewardship Survey," ecfa.org).
- Cure team boredom. What are some creative ways to help people look forward to coming to work? CEO Bryan Zaslow says, "I get bored easily, so I assume my employees also have a short attention span. Host a cupcake bake-off ... start a push-up contest in the middle of the office on a Wednesday, or allow a different person to run the weekly meetings to break up the monotony" ("37 Ways To Motivate Your Employees Without Spending A Dime," by Bryan Zaslow, startupcollective.com).
- Can managers be too polite? "Managers, especially junior managers, often tread lightly in group settings. They don't disagree very often. They err on the side of politeness and conformity. Why? If they speak out, they could embarrass a colleague, or seem as if they're not a team player. But the price of silence can be costly. It can create a false sense of harmony and consensus–and it can cause projects to fail. And despite what many people may think, some managers don't drop the 'violent politeness' when they rise up the ranks; in fact, if they don't address the issue early, it will follow them [later in their career]" ("Why Work is Lonely," by Gianpiero Petriglieri, hbr.org).
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