Before you close the book on 2019, take delight in asking yourself this question:
What individual, team, or department in our organization is totally enjoying their work and doing it well?
What if your entire staff culture shined as bright as the faces and the names that cause you to smile just now?
Building a thriving culture has everything to do with these five hidden treasures of a healthy, flourishing workplace. My thanks to Jerry Hurley, Pastor and Team Development Leader at Life.Church in Edmond, Oklahoma who recently handed me these five gems, which I want to give to you:
Culture Gem #1: Culture happens 24/7
“It’s happening in every organization whether we realize it or not—and whether we understand it or not.” And, emphasizes Jerry, “Culture is never static; it’s always dynamic. Your workplace culture is either getting better, or it’s getting worse. Therefore, you need to focus on culture all the time. If you aren’t careful, vision will leak and your culture will drift.”
Culture Gem #2: Efficiency and Trust are the ROI of a Healthy Culture
“Two things can only happen in an organization when your culture is healthy. The first is efficiency. Most churches have one staff member for every 75-85 attenders. At Life.Church, we average 145 attenders per staff member. Fifty percent greater efficiency is only possible with a healthy staff culture. A second byproduct of a healthy workplace culture is trust. And without trust, it can be difficult to innovate, think out loud and try a new idea.”
Culture Gem #3: Your Culture’s Healthy DNA is More Caught than Taught
“Visiting leaders often ask us, ‘How do you infuse Life.Church DNA into your team?’ and my response is, ‘We don’t infuse Life.Church DNA into our team members; we bring people onto the team who have Life.Church DNA already in them.’ We draw out the values, attributes that are already in them. This is true regardless of generations, whether it’s Millennial, Gen Z, or Gen X.”
Culture is never static; it’s always dynamic. It’s either getting better, or it’s getting worse. Therefore, you need to focus on culture all the time.”
Culture Gem #4: Challenge Your People to “Follow My Example”
“The Apostle Paul says, ‘If you want to know what it means to be a follower of Christ, follow my example (1 Cor. 11:1). If each of our 750 staff owned these words by being the example of what it means to work at Life.Church, it would be easy to grow a healthy culture throughout each of our numerous Life.Church campuses. If you want to build a healthy culture, it’s all about challenging your team to be standard-bearers of your culture.”
Culture Gem #5: Making Your Family Your First Ministry
“Ministry can be difficult and most difficult for spouses because sometimes they’re close enough to be wounded, yet not always close enough to see life-change. Therefore, we’ve made it a point to offer the spouses of our team members some of the same development tools we use at Life.Church. That way, they can have the same language and, hopefully, a better understanding of their husband or wife on staff.”
If this were a letter of a wise, well-traveled colleague (which is kind of how I read Jerry’s words), then here’s the close we can’t afford to miss:
“Building a great culture is not complicated, but it does take a lot of intentionality, hard work, and resolve. Take a good, honest look at your present culture and ask yourself, ‘Where are we today? Culture-wise, where do we want to be? That being the case, how can we make our culture more vibrant and lifegiving?’ If you can be intentional and do what’s required, then your investment can lead to a huge return—for your staff, your congregation, and what God wants to do through you for His Kingdom on earth.”
It’s Your Turn
What one sentence, phrase, or word could keep you up, tonight? As a result, what is your prayer to God?
Coming Up Next in on our Continuing Series
“The Softer Side of Leadership”
Dr. Eugene B. Habecker, Former President
Taylor University, Upland, Indiana
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