Christian leaders ask us to share stories from Certified Best Christian Workplaces. Here is the third in our series:
Recently, all work came to a halt at the offices of Intervarsity Press, in Westmont, Illinois. Staffers were surprised when the announcement was made earlier but faces lit up, smiles broke out, and for the next ten minutes things got crazy fun—for good reason.
• Back story:
Bob Fryling, IVP’s Publisher, explains: “People ask me, ‘How has your organization created a transparent, engaged workplace culture?’ I tell them it has much to do with our values, expressed by what we call “the four loves”: Love for God, God’s Word, God’s people and God’s purposes in the world. Specifically, we seek to value all people as created in the image of God. We care about authors, customers, students, campus staff, vendors and each other as people we can serve with joy, attentiveness and trustworthy business transactions. When the results of the Best Christian Workplaces survey revealed and affirmed that we, as a staff, cared for each other through honest collegial and trusting relationships, it was time to celebrate.”
• Ready, set . . .
“After announcing the survey results to our entire staff, we did something we’d never done before: We held a “Speed Thanks” set for 10:00 AM when everyone had ten minutes to thank, affirm and celebrate with as many coworkers as possible. It was something to see and hear.”
• High five:
“We know we’ve got things to work on as an organization, and yet as much as we aspire to excellence, creativity, skill and innovation, we need to stop and celebrate the good that’s taking place where we work, with whom we work and how we go about our work. I think it’s all part of what Max De Pree is getting at in his unbeatable definition of leadership: ‘Defining reality and saying thank-you.’ Amidst the constant reality of meeting deadlines and scrutinizing daily book sales, we chose to call a time out and step back, give thanks, and high five one another.”
P.S. Considering how Max De Pree’s words resonate with IVP, perhaps it’s no coincidence that the current, featured book on IVP’s home page is James Choung’s Real Life: A Christianity Worth Living Out. Preview it, here.