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How Disney’s 4 Keys Can Improve Your Volunteer Job Descriptions

Some time ago our family ministry team read the book Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell. It was a great read with a lot of helpful leadership principles. The book Be Our Guest is another great resource, and while our family ministry team hasn’t read it together, many of us have read it on our own and we use it regular in conversations about our Welcome Teams.

One thing we learned from Be Our Guest is their four keys to creating a good show, or as it was originally talked about, a quality standard. Here are the 4 keys:

  • Safety
  • Courtesy
  • Show
  • Efficiency

What I love about the 4 keys is they are prioritized. As the author writes:

“It is, however, not enough to simply identify quality standards. They must also be prioritized. Otherwise, what happens when a conflict between standards arises?” – Theodore Kinni

It is essentially a decision-making tool all Disney cast members (employees) can use in any situation. The first thing they take into consideration is safety. If everything is safe and secure they can make sure the customer is experiencing courtesy, and so on. I also like how they prioritize show over efficiency.

How The 4 Keys Can Improve Volunteer Job Descriptions

We took the concept of the prioritized 4 keys and tweaked it a bit to upgrade our volunteer job descriptions. We’re near the end of the process of overhauling our family ministry volunteer job descriptions, so I hope to make those available to you soon.

Our goal was to make a list of the Top 4 responsibilities for each role and prioritize them. As we went to do that, we realized most roles have a different set of responsibilities during the week as compared to in the environment on the weekend. Here is a snapshot of the Top 4 for an Elementary Small Group Coach (a volunteer who leads a team of small group leaders).

top4

As you can see, each one in the Top 4 is a word we included with a description of what it means specifically. During the week, a Coach must communicate with their team. If they have no time that week, they must do that at the very least. After that, they schedule volunteers, which is typically easy since our volunteers serve weekly. Beyond that, their job is to care for their team and develop their team members to help them get better.

That’s what a typical week should look like, but we realize every week is not typical. Hence the prioritization. They know what to do when time is limited. If time is always limited and they’re rarely getting to care and develop, we talk about it.

Our job descriptions also include a list of responsibilities and best practices, but the Top 4 helps make it simple and tangible. It’s a great tool for evaluation as well because we can easily talk through the Top 4 during the week and on Sunday and determine how well they are carrying out the role.

Would you mind sharing your job descriptions?

I’d love to see your job descriptions (if you have them) and learn from what you do. Email me at nick at nickblevins dot com.