What’s the Key to Running a Successful Funeral Home? Your Team

By: Jenny Goldade, Frazer Consultants
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

From the rise of cremation to the pandemic, there are many things disrupting the funeral profession right now. If your funeral home doesn’t have a plan, it can lead your staff to experience burnout. As a result, they may leave your firm or even the funeral profession altogether. 

But don’t worry! By following the steps in this article, you can learn how to build, train, and keep your funeral home’s dream team.

Step 1: Building Your Funeral Home’s Dream Team

The first step to building your funeral home’s dream team is to recruit the right people. But before you hire anyone, determine the roles your funeral home needs the most. 

Determine Your Roles

These can be current open positions and new positions you’d like to hire for. Don’t forget to consider positions like an event planner if your funeral home hosts a lot of community events and could use an extra hand. This could even be an intern. 

Create Job Descriptions

Next, create a job description for each role, which should include the position’s required skills and main responsibilities. Then, you’ll need to determine how many roles your firm has the budget to hire for. It also may help to list the roles in order of highest to lowest priority. 

Spread the Word

Once you know what roles you want to add to your team, it’s time to spread the word. A few places you can reach out to are your state’s funeral directors association, national funeral directors associations, funeral profession trade publications and magazines, mortuary schools, and local colleges. A lot of these organizations may be willing to post your job listings on their website and in their newsletter. Don’t forget to post on job search sites like Indeed and social media platforms like LinkedIn as well. 

Prepare for Interviews

After you have a pool of qualified candidates, it’s time to prepare for the interviews by refreshing your questions. Understandably, your questions may vary depending on the position, so create a set of questions for each role. You should ask questions that you can’t easily answer yourself by looking at their resume. Avoid yes or no questions and ask questions that require more thoughtful responses, such as why were you called to the funeral profession? or tell me about a time you created a personalized funeral experience for a family. 

Keep Candidates Informed

Make sure you keep your candidates informed. No one likes to be left hanging. Once you have an accepted offer, let the other candidates know that the position has been filled. If appropriate, you could also give them some useful feedback for their next job interview. 

Step 2: Training Your Dream Team 

Don’t Forget About Ongoing Training

Don’t forget about ongoing training for your staff. You should make sure everyone’s up to date on the latest funeral profession trends, your new technology solutions, and any other changes you make to your processes. If it’s a small update, you could send everyone an email with the new changes. If it requires more explanation, record a video or schedule a training session. By recording the training session, employees can reference it later or those who couldn’t attend it live can watch it later. 

Step 3: Keeping Your Dream Team

Now that you’ve hired and trained your dream team, how do you keep them? By creating a work environment that encourages growth and support.

Provide Growth Opportunities

To provide growth, encourage them to keep learning about the latest tips and trends, such as by attending in-person and virtual events, reading industry magazines and blogs, watching webinars, signing up for courses, and any other learning opportunities. Also encourage them to present any new ideas they learned. Additionally, you should have a review process in place to give them feedback and praise them for a job well done. As you should be able to give them feedback, they should be able to do the same. Encourage them to let you know if there’s anything you could be doing to make their jobs easier. Open communication is the key to running any successful business. 

Give Support

To give support, help them out when they need it. If they’re feeling overwhelmed, see if you can delegate any of their responsibilities. Afterall, running a funeral home is a team effort. Also encourage them to practice self-care. If they don’t take care of themselves, they can’t take care of their client families. Things like letting them leave a little bit earlier if it isn’t busy or giving them a gift card to your local spa can help them take some time to relax and recharge. 

Plan Team Building Activities

Team building activities are another way to let your employees have some fun while getting to know each other. For example, you could have a staff potluck or volunteer together in your community for good cause. You can even incorporate the holidays, such as through a secret Santa gift exchange or Memorial Day picnic. You could also do ice breaker games. I know sometimes people cringe at the thought of ice breakers, but there are a lot of games that are fun. One game is Two Truths and a Lie. For this silly activity, everyone shares two truths and a lie about themselves, and everyone guesses the lie. It’s a lower-pressure way for your team to get to know each other better.

Celebrate Your Wins

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. When congratulations are in order, give your team members a shout for their hard work. It may give them the confidence boost they need and reassurance they’re doing a good job. 

Final Thoughts

By following these steps, you can recruit, train, and retain your funeral home’s dream team. It’s all about being clear about the job responsibilities from the start, providing them with onboarding and ongoing training, and giving them the support they need to succeed both professionally and personally.  

About the Author

For the past five years, Jenny Goldade has been writing and learning about the funeral profession as the Senior Content Specialist at Frazer Consultants, a funeral technology company that specializes in website design, personalization software, and more. She writes blog posts, guides, and other resources to help funeral directors be successful. When Jenny is not writing, she spends time with her family, has board game nights with friends, and takes her family’s dog Rosie for walks. She also enjoys reading mystery novels, making crafts, and baking all kinds of cookies. 




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