Creative LeadershipEngaging Culture

How a Religious Organization or Non-Profit Can Save Money Right Now

1) Know your priorities. You don’t need fancy furniture, but an expensive espresso machine or occasional free lunch is worth every penny.  Employees will adore you for that.

2) Get to know Google Docs. For your people who are online all the time, why waste money on Microsoft Office?   Save the copies of MS office for those who travel or work from different locations.  Although with Google Gears, that might not be a problem.

3) Let people work flex hours. Have a little heart, and your productivity will shoot up.  If people would prefer working nights or weekends, let them do it.  As long as it doesn’t disrupt networking with other employees.  Especially if you’re in a city where commuting is a challenge, this will make a huge difference in morale and efficiency.

4) Cancel most of your meetings. Huge waste of time.  The problem with meetings is that people talk for hours and think they’ve actually accomplished something.  If you MUST have meetings, then do it standing up.  It makes them go much faster.

5) Share a calendar online. Check out Google Calendar for instance.  90% of time wasting conflicts can be averted if everyone can see what the others are doing.   Google mail will save you a ton of money as well.  Did I mention it’s free?

6)  Have one person do travel planning.  Find someone good and let them run.  Avoid the confusion of having multiple employees do their own travel planning.

7)  Buy Macs. Eliminate or at least seriously decrease your IT department.  It’s a myth that Macs are more expensive because they work out of the box, plus have most of the software you need already loaded.

8)  Outsource, outsource, outsource. Why hire people in areas you’re not an expert in?  Accounting, production, media, advertising, graphic design and more.  Save on salaries, taxes, benefits, PLUS, you can afford better people on a project by project basis.

9) Reward your hardest workers. NEVER think you have to treat everyone equally.  A successful business is about equal respect and rights, but not equal rewards.  Reward the big producers and hard workers.  Keep them motivated and it will make a dramatic difference.

10)  Don’t be a slave to the employee manual. Show a little grace to your employees.  If they need a break, send them home early.  If they need a Starbucks run, let them go.  Make your workplace more fun and they’ll work harder – not to mention happier.

11) The bottom line? Stop thinking like your father’s generation did, and start innovating.  What is really important in the office?  Is it filling out forms and attending meetings, or actually accomplishing something?  It’s not about how much you can squeeze out of people – it’s about how much you can inspire them.

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  1. One previous organization I worked was pretty strict on their employee handbook. I had a graphic designer that had adopted two kids, and was about to take in a 3rd. One of her children was a special needs case, and had to go to therapy every Monday. She was very good, and her schedule worked in such a way that most Mondays were very light on work for her. 

    You would have thought I had asked for the pastor to part the Red Sea when I asked if she could flex her time and be off on Mondays. And when I finally got it done, we had to "keep it quiet" because we didn't want her people to  get the idea that they could only work 4 days a week. She still worked 40 hours, but longer days.

    But, it worked out, and after a short trial period, Tuesday through Friday became her normal work week. 

  2. Dear mediaslinky,

    "The cornerstone of mental health is being flexible." — Dr. Laura Schlesinger, 7/7/08


    So, is God rigid or flexible?  If He deals with over six billion of us, maybe He is flexible.  And maybe, just maybe He wants us to be like Him? 


    Then where would those 20 people who only go to meetings and manage no other tasks find work?



  4. "Buy a Mac" – best advice that you've offered on this blog of yours.  It must be that preachers use Windows and that is why their sermons are so culturally irrelevant.

  5. Recently was interviewed for a major network reality show that's won 5 straight Primetime Emmys for best series. Great ratings and success. Scores of people are beating a pathway to their door to work on their show.

    Walking through their offices during interviews it was Macs everywhere you looked. A PC doesn't even exist. There's no IT dept. They don't need one. Everyone is told to get a Gmail acct. Starting time in the mornings? 9-10 a.m. based on your distance and traffic. It's flexible. End time daily? "Whatever it takes to do the job." That's it. "Whatever it takes." They are great at sizing up talent, delegating and finding a person's strengths. Either someone fits on the team, or not. Their attitude? We're the best. We'll constantly challenge you. But we hired you because we believe in you. Sounds extremely professional.

    These are people that obviously know TV. They'll never ever confuse the parking ministry or volunteer ushers or the whims of the pastor's wife with media. They "get it." They understand deadlines, production cycles and creative talent. Flat out, they understand television. Everyone has an open door. Got a problem? Let us know. We expect problems, nature of the beast. We'll work together to fix it. And they outsource like crazy. The show travels the world, so they hire local fixers, staff and security to guide them onsite…the best. They'd rather hire someone good and get it right than hire someone cheap and do it wrong. The stakes are too high.

    Their sole priority is producing the very best tv show they possibly can. Nothing less will do.

  6. Ok,some of your points are very good, but some are utterly ridiculous. You obviously don't know much about basic PC's and Macs.  Macs do not come standard with most of the office software you need…. but neither does a PC.  The major advantage to buying a PC operating system over a Mac is that PC at least comes with a Notepad software AND outlook.


    Certainly it doesnt matter which operating system preachers are using either — it's WORD on both computers.

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