If 9 of every 10 employees in your organization felt engaged in their work, you’d have one outstanding culture. It can happen. Want to know how? It’s as basic as one, two, three . . .
One thing that will tip you off to the success of Crossings Christian School in Oklahoma City is that this private preschool through high school has a waiting list of 200 students.
Another “Wow!” is that 87% of their faculty say they enjoy what they do and love coming to work. (That’s 27 points above the average engagement score of Christian schools who’ve already completed the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey.)
In a way, the real challenge wasn’t as much what Headmaster Paul MacDonald and his team had to overcome, but rather how to faithfully execute action steps some might consider all-too-simple.
At the center of BCWI’s eight drivers of a flourishing culture are three “absolute musts” Crossings has nailed:
1. Inspirational Leadership
Says Paul, “I try to emphasize leading the way Jesus did, with humble leadership. If we rely on the grace of God and humbly place others in the organization first, we’ll see our people—and thus our respective organizations—flourish. At Crossings, we make every effort and every opportunity to be transparent and honest with each other. This really ties in to a second commitment…”
If we humbly place others first, we’ll see our people—and thus our organization—flourish.
2. Outstanding Talent
“We’ve been super intentional about wanting to provide our students with the best people—the right people on the bus in the right seats. We’ve also worked hard to create highly competitive compensation and benefits plans. It’s a big reason why we’ve been able to develop strong academics, arts and interscholastic sports. Interestingly, some of our teachers and staff have been the best recruiters of new hires.”
3. Healthy Communication
“Our leadership have long been advocates of a relatively flat organizational structure. As Headmaster, I’m just the first among equals. We have people who are smarter and more competent than me, so it would be ludicrous not to solicit their participation in the decision-making process.
“For an initiative to succeed, there must be a high level of buy-in by those tasked with delivering on the initiative. So it’s incumbent upon leadership to engage staff in decisions that affect them.
“Research shows that professional learning communities impact positive school culture. We make sure to disseminate information with a strong feedback loop with the staff at every level, plus intentional, all-staff meetings.”
- Levels of trust between leadership and staff that are off the charts
- A culture with almost no current staff turnover
- A faculty and staff with confidence, integrity and a genuine esprit de corps
Crossings Christian School is experiencing these results and more. Are they perfect? No. Still, they’re on track to reach their goal-capacity of 1,200 students. My guess is they’ll get there soon, and it’s because Paul MacDonald realizes there is no guesswork when it comes to building a healthy, flourishing culture that translates into strong organizational impact.
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