Communicating vision and mission to your staff or volunteers is a monumental task.  The opportunity for people to hear, understand and then respond is huge.  How you begin the training sets the stage for the entirety of it.  Don’t think too small.

We’ve all been there, sitting through training we were forced to go through.  We know we’d rather be somewhere else, and we know the speaker communicating the message would rather be somewhere else as well.

In the past, I’ve written about what I think are the three key elements in effective organizations.  The second part of that is how you train your staff.  I think great, effective training begins with setting the stage well.  It starts in the beginning.

As many of you know, I work with a ministry called Pine Cove.  This year, we hired roughly 1,200 college students from all over the country to work in our various ministries during the summer.  We have a staff manual that we teach everyone through over the span of a week.  For two of those days, we have everyone together, covering the major philosophical elements of this ministry.

The staff manual is called the “Pine Cove Way,” or “The Way” for short.  In an effort to protect the process of going through our staff manual from become a boring event, we decided to get creative with how we kick off the training.  It has brought the training to a new level.

Picture all our college staff in a rented auditorium.  The lights go off, and to begin our staff training they see this happen in front of them:

That was the beginning for this year’s training.  Last year, the team came up with something different.  They ended up organizing our entire resident staff to create a one-shot video announcing the arrival of our staff manual.  Here is what we played to begin our training in 2010:

Our goal in these openers is to get our staff engaged from the very beginning.  They understand quickly that our mission is important to us.

What do you like or dislike about the training you are a part of right now?

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