It’s easy to recognize a flourishing workplace. It is a culture of growing mutual trust, transparency and unity. Top to bottom, it’s a culture where people look forward to coming to work every day because they feel so engaged. It’s a culture where everyone is working together because they not only believe in the organization’s mission, they believe in each other.
But determining what makes a healthy culture is not so easy, and creating one is even tougher.
Here at the Best Christian Workplaces Institute, we believe that Christian organizations should set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. Through a dozen years of research, we have developed a model to statistically define the dimensions of a flourishing workplace and help organizations discover where they fall on the spectrum.
Each of these eight essentials that spell out F-L-O-U-R-I-S-H has a quantifiable outcome. Objective measures of a healthy, flourishing culture are not only possible; they’re absolutely essential for any ministry organization that wants to be the best in their workplace, ministry effectiveness and kingdom impact.
- Fantastic Teams. Fantastic teams are those that are effective, engage in passionate dialogue around issues, resolve conflict, and strive for excellence in what they do. They are competent in their work areas and across department lines. Effective, cohesive teams remain the sustainable advantage, according to Patrick Lencioni.
- Life-Giving Work. Work is inspirational when staff are devoted to their role, are able to utilize their skills and spiritual gifts to their fullest, and as a result love working in the organization.
- Outstanding Talent. Flourishing organizations recruit and retain high quality talent, promote those who are most capable and reward their top performers.
- Uplifting Growth and Development. This element measures supervisory competence and compassion, the quality of performance feedback, recognition and the opportunity to learn and grow.
- Rewarding Compensation. This factor includes fair compensation and employee satisfaction with their medical, retirement and paid-time-off benefits.
- Inspirational Leadership. This dimension measures the authenticity of the leaders’ Christian faith in action. Leadership is seen as credible when leaders demonstrate the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, live with integrity, exhibit humility and compassion, are transparent and create high levels of trust in the organization.
- Sustainable Strategy. These organizations have an effective or winning strategy for meeting the needs of those they serve in a high quality way. There is consensus on the organization goals, and they meet their goals while nourishing long-term loyal relationships. In fact, staff recommend their services to their friends and family.
- Healthy Communication. This is active communication and employee involvement. Communication is “real” when staff experience managers listening to their suggestions and acting on them. Where staff feel free to voice their opinions, diversity is evident and they are encouraged to innovate. These organizations are well run and achieve work/life balance.
Creating a flourishing culture takes time and effort. Yet be encouraged: Each of these factors is accessible and attainable for every organization that seeks to be more effective, productive and committed to being their best.
Long before we came on the scene, King Solomon had a few words to say about this: “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds” (Prov. 27:23 NASB). Applying this wisdom to our workplaces means that we have a responsibility to pay attention to the people in our organizations and know what they need in order to flourish — as individuals and as teams.
Which factors are your organization’s strengths? What about your weaknesses? Are you ready to cultivate your flourishing culture? Let us show you how. Discover the health of your organization with our easy online Engagement Survey.