Do you think a flourishing workplace culture that significantly deepened trust among leadership and staff at all levels, has anything to do with Alpha USA celebrating 366,000 participants in 6,500 churches last year?
Executive Director Craig Springer not only knows the answer, but he can also help you see what your own workplace culture might need the most as he tells where Alpha USA was struggling.
The not-so-good news Alpha couldn’t deny . . .
- Craig admitted, “We took the BCWI Staff Engagement Survey because if we wanted to know the objective truth about our workplace culture. The only way to build a thriving culture is to accept the reality that facts are your friends.
- “When we first took the BCWI Staff Engagement Survey in 2016, it revealed our culture had areas in need of tremendous growth. Trust at all levels was weak. We weren’t very effective in conflict resolution. Along the way I made mistakes.”
How Alpha’s workplace culture turned around
- First, we took a good look at connecting our leaders’ relationship with Christ, and how we are called to show care and compassion.
- Instead of finger-pointing, we committed to receive the engagement survey feedback of our employees and really take their concerns, and their affirmations, to heart.
- In short, we took ownership of the challenges before us.
- We faced up to an unspoken ‘us vs. them’ attitude and then recommitted ourselves to doing away with silos because this is our organization.
- We surveyed again in 2017 and our culture made strides towards being on the cusp of healthy. Certain departments actually showed unique pockets and patterns of growth. We surveyed again in 2018, after an additional year of action plans and we landed in the flourishing culture category.
- We celebrated our socks off because our action plan had objectively changed our culture!
- At a team retreat, we reflected on how we felt like our culture was flourishing: Conversations at work flowed easier. Our three lowest culture items did an about-face to the point that our people now believed Alpha USA was known for being well-managed, trustworthy and job security.
- “We created a set of Staff Operating Values, which include humility, integrity, spiritual momentum, and faithful follow-through. We want to continue to live out these values.”
- “You can change your culture. Don’t be afraid of employee feedback, but discuss it at length, and map out a plan to move forward.”
You can change your culture. Don’t be afraid of employee feedback, but discuss it at length, and map out a plan to move forward.”
Can your culture benefit from these seven relevant insights?
- Creating a setting where people can be vulnerable allowed leadership and staff at Alpha USA. to say, “Here’s what’s working and not working, and then create a plan to improve your culture.”
- Facts are your friends. The survey results allowed Alpha USA to build and better its culture based on reality.
- As Craig emphasized, “After taking the survey, the key is to keep the conversation going and don’t let your action steps disappear into whiteboard oblivion.”
- And he added: “If you survey once, you’re just plotting something on a map. However, when you survey annually, you can see how different strategies in your action plan move the needle forward. By measuring your culture, you can see what works.
- “By creating space for people to see the leader’s compassionate, caring, servant’s heart,” as Craig said, Alpha demonstrated the importance of Inspirational Leadership, one of eight factors that drive healthy, flourishing culture, and the second-greatest predictor of employee engagement.”
- By, 2018, the workplace culture at Alpha USA reached the flourishing level. “Building an action plan and sticking to it following each year’s survey was the only way forward.
- “You need to allow for time and space to reflect on your lives and your own personal growth and vulnerability. Often, the character is there, yet people don’t see it because we haven’t let people see into their own hearts.”
It’s Your Turn
On a 1 (none)–10 (totally) scale, how delighted would you be if just one of your people echoed these recent words of an Alpha USA employee? “Our team has improved dramatically, There’s an increased commitment to clear communication. There is stability in our staff. There is financial stability in not living beyond our means.”
Coming Up Next on our Continuing Series
“How Can Your Leadership Inspire Others?”
Brian Mosley, President
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