What do you do when your culture isn’t quite where you’d like it to be? Perhaps you’ve said to yourself, “Something’s just not right, here.”
This inner nudge can actually be a wake-up call to a new, exciting day for your organization, your culture, and you, personally.
Scott Kissel, Senior Executive Pastor for Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Colorado remembers the moment when he saw the results of their first BCWI Staff Engagement Survey.
“All of us in leadership were caught off guard. And yet the survey report confirmed what we’d been sensing all along: Our multi-site culture was at a critical moment. We definitely had some work to do.”
“One thing we knew for sure was that we couldn’t ask our staff to do anything that we, as leaders, weren’t willing to do, ourselves. As we like to say, ‘It’s a new day here and I get to be a part of it!’”
The Action Steps
“The survey results, plus BCWI’s insightful, follow-up analysis, gave us a road map of what issues, concerns, and goals we needed to address to move ahead and to create a healthier culture:”
In just one year, Timberline improved from a “critical moment” culture to a vibrant, flourishing Certified Best Christian Workplace. Scott describes four of the key practical action steps that helped drive this tremendous turnaround.
1. Listen to, and learn from, your people
“We paid attention to what our people told us through the survey and continued to learn from what they wanted us to hear. The collective survey data clearly showed us that we had room to improve in specific areas, such as providing clarity on the goals of our organization.
“Our Senior Pastor Dary Northrop was all in from the start and emphasized we needed to communicate much better with our staff. We chose to engage them in our big-picture planning of where we were going as a church.
2. Leverage their strengths
“We began to invest in the FLOURISH Model factor of Uplifting Growth that values feedback, recognition and opportunities that help a person learn and grow. Then we began to ask individuals, “Would you like to be involved, because your voice matters. We as a church can be better because of the skills, gifts and strengths you bring.”
As we like to say, It’s a new day here and I get to be a part of it!”
3. Launch new winning initiatives
“We became more intentional and creative to move our culture forward:
- We increased our chapel time from 30-60 minutes.
- We engaged all three of our campuses in a way that all three staffs came together and felt like one church.
- Our leaders now take a snack cart into all the various department office areas. To see our people at every level connect and come together is so much fun on so many levels.
4. Lift up life-giving work
“As a staff, we’ve made it a point to celebrate our wins with each other. We’ll fill up a large white board with these culture and ministry wins and openly thank the Lord. Today, we honor people who go above and beyond the call of duty with private or public recognition which may include a gift, cash, or the opportunity to attend a seminar or workshop of their choice.
- “Our new chapel format brings our people together in new ways and deepens our individual Christian growth; while at same time causing deeper relational connections with co-workers.
- “The health of our culture is continually strengthened by the dedication and excellence of a full-time HR professional, a byproduct of the BCWI survey.
- “Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit is so important to the growth of our people that Timberline now pays for every staff member to experience this annual event.
- “People in our congregation see our staff hard at work and hard at play and often say, ‘You guys have so much fun.’ “We really do. We work well together, because we’re serving out of the overflow of who we are and how we’re serving the Lord, together, at Timberline.”
Scott’s words of encouragement to fellow Christian leaders is a result we can all embrace: “Remain strong in the Lord, firm in the faith and committed to prayer as you continue to invest in your culture. Your organization desperately needs this from you. Most of all, continue to trust God as you commit to remaining strong, faithful, and prayerful.”
It’s Your Turn!
What’s one way you can experience a deeper, more meaningful connection to your colleagues and your culture this week?
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The Employee Engagement Survey
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