“I stay in my lane” is a phrase I learned only a couple of years ago. I had never heard the desire to know only one’s job and nothing more put so succinctly. The single-lane mentality is great if you are an Olympic swimmer, but it can be deadly to a business.
Stewardship comes when employees and other stakeholders understand it is in their best interest to see a company succeed. Everyone involved in the company from the bottom to the top needs to know their role and perform it well, but they also need to know how their role affects all the other roles. Not everyone needs to know the information that you need to keep private, but they do need to know anything your customers may need to know.
Keep It Simple
We hear this all the time: keep it simple. Good stewardship means customers will have a simple process to getting what they are looking for. The fewer people they have to talk to the better. When I worked for a particular church, I was in charge of scheduling baptism and maintaining the list of those requesting to be baptized. When the pastors decided the children’s pastor needed to talk with children to make sure they understood salvation and baptism, they added an extra step to the process. That meant the process for signing children up had to change.
Our first option was to keep everything the same as it was. I would still schedule all baptisms, but children’s parents would have to schedule their appointment with the children’s department first. So, the children’s administrative assistant would talk to them about their meeting with the children’s pastor and schedule it and then forward the call to me so I could schedule the baptism.
The second option was to give the children’s ministry all the information possible about baptism. They could then pass along the date, what to wear, and when to arrive to the parents and children either on the phone or during their meeting. Then, the children’s ministry assistant could forward me the names so I could add them to the list.
The second option is really the better of the two, so it is what we did. It didn’t add to the other ministry’s workload, and it kept the parents from talking to more people than necessary. It also meant the information could be given to the parents at one time, reducing the risk that I would miss the call and have to play “phone tag” to tell them everything they needed to know.
While one person has a customer on the phone, let that one person answer as many questions and disseminate as much information as possible. Your employees and your customers will thank you.