Welcome to third installment in our new, continuing series, “Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace Culture.”
I’m referring, of course, to the eight culture drivers of The FLOURISH Model which has helped transform the workplace of hundreds of Christian organizations across the U.S., Canada and beyond.
Bottom line: The FLOURISH Model is all about helping your church, organization, or Christian-led company build deepening trust, better communications, and greater unity that go into a healthy, flourishing workplace culture.
How can The FLOURISH Model work for you?
The answer, I believe, comes out of a story. I’m thinking of a respected Christian organization that decided to plant the seeds of The FLOURISH Model in the fertile terrain of a less-than-perfect workplace culture. Today, after a few, dedicated growing seasons, this organization of 2,000 employees, is now starting to reap the fruit of more productive, fulfilled employees.
The story begins with Mike Cole, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Officer at CRISTA, a family of seven ministries, in the Seattle area.
Mike came to CRISTA in 2015 and brought with him over 25 years of HR experience with two, well-known, respected brands, Target and Starbucks.
All good stories pull you in with interesting beginnings that make you lean forward and say, “Hmmm, all is not well. Something’s going on.”
Mike knew exactly what he wanted to tell me, as the two of us sat down.
“CRISTA is a unique and complex organization of seven ministries that range from international humanitarian relief, veterinary medicine, youth camps, senior living, K-12 education, and media, all from a distinctively Christian perspective. Our shared mission is to love God by serving people. We do this by being highly professional and service driven, striving to lead like Jesus, and being Christ-centered, always remembering why we do what we do, because of the One from whom we draw our strength.”
“We’re a family of ministries, and families can be messy.”
Pause button: CRISTA’s workplace culture family is that of a parachurch organization. Your workplace culture family may be a church or a Christian-led company. What all have in common are the eight factors that comprise The FLOURISH Model, as this infographic shows:
When Mike said the word “messy,” my curiosity climbed:
“CRISTA had been a certified Best Christian Workplace for eight years now, but as you know, we’ve plateaued. While we’re squarely a healthy workplace culture, our goal is to flourish, and feel it in our culture.
Spoiler alert! You don’t need to hold onto all eight culture drivers at once to access The Flourish Model. You just need to start with one of the factors that identifies where the health of your workplace culture is vulnerable. This is exactly what CRISTA did, as Mike explained to me:
“This past year we received quite a bit of feedback on some changes to our retirement plan (Healthy Compensation) we felt we needed to make for financial reasons. How could we have done this better? Was it the change itself? Was it the way we communicated it? We have to get better.”
Can The FLOURISH Model identify where your workplace culture is healthy, strong, and poised to improve?
Mike already knew that the trusted results of BCWI Staff Engagement Survey had given CRISTA a running start to improve the health of their workplace culture.
“We made our biggest jump in the area of being well managed (Inspirational Leadership). Two of our highest rated items were in how we demonstrate compassion for people at all levels, and how our supervisors care for employees. The survey results were tremendously affirming, because we’re an organization that works on relationships to fulfill our mission.”
The survey results were affirming, because we’re an organization that works on relationships to fulfill our mission.”
How can The FLOURISH Model influence how an organization can do even more to measurably improve the health of its workplace culture?
“FLOURISH is both a goal and an acronym. Fantastic Teams and Life-Giving Work are two drivers where CRISTA is measurably flourishing as an organization and getting better with each year.
“We made significant jumps in Fantastic Teams this year mainly by our focus on building healthy relationships throughout the whole organization.
- “We really narrowed our focus on hiring the best highly professional, service driven, Christ-centered people possible, and
- Over the past two years, we moved closer to identifying places in our everyday work where tension needed to be addressed right away through crucial conversations.
As former, longtime CRISTA President Bob Lonac says, ‘If you really care about someone, you’ll have the hard conversation.’”
CRISTA’s improving workplace culture is an ongoing narrative, a metastory that contains enriching, new stories that have a life of their own—like the story Mike told me that illustrated the growth and goodness of Fantastic Teams:
“One of my favorite experiences at CRISTA has been watching the relationship between our Senior Living team and King’s Schools team develop. Often, we comment that we minister to kids through their parents who are residents in our Senior Living environments. We also know we minister to parents through their kids in King’s Schools.
“What I really enjoy watching is the intentional programs that have been built recruiting our Senior Living residents to mentor some of our students at King’s Schools. This is an amazing reciprocal relationship and one that could have easily never been considered. In fact, I could have easily seen these two populations at risk of being at odds with each other especially in relatively close proximity.
“However, this is not the case. These two vibrant ministries of CRISTA are leveraging what they value in each other. Serving God by loving each other, these two populations–the young and young-at-heart—are enriching the lives and environments of each other.”
While The FLOURISH Model continues to inspire, equip and guide leaders like Mike Cole and all of CRISTA, to build a healthy, thriving workplace culture, the life-giving, God-honoring outcomes are priceless.
Now It’s Your Turn!
As you read Mike Cole’s story, which of these eight culture drivers that comprise The FLOURISH Model 1) affirm the health of your workplace culture and 2) give you cause for concern?
- Fantastic Teams
- Life-giving Work
- Outstanding Talent
- Uplifting Growth
- Rewarding Compensation
- Inspirational Leadership
- Sustainable Strategy
- Healthy Communication
Coming Up Next in on our Continuing Series
“The Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace”
Doug Mazza, President Emeritus, Joni and Friends
“The Power of Fantastic Teams”
Download the 8 Drivers Reference Guide for FREE.
One or more of these eight measures of workplace culture
is either strengthening (or weakening) your organization right now.
Al would love to address your questions about creating a flourishing workplace culture. Send an email to AskAl@bcwinstitute.org
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