“Of all the places I’ve ever worked, I’ve never experienced a better first day on the job than at Joni and Friends.” Without exception, every new hire at this revered organization feels affirmed, valued and engaged from day one.
The secret is a proven strategy any ministry can do to help create a healthy, flourishing workplace.
With his perception sharpened by 30 successful years in corporate leadership, President and COO Doug Mazza began to detect silo mentalities within the workplace culture. “We simply had to do a better job of getting our people working together. A revamped new employee orientation approach, beginning on day one, gave us a natural starting point for an overdue solution.”
“The first of what we call our ‘Four Pillars for Success at Joni and Friends’ is to lead like Jesus. The first and best way to begin to align a person’s heart, head, hands and habits with those of Jesus was to welcome a new employee with the hospitality and appreciation of Jesus:”
- On day one, a new employee is greeted at the door by his or her direct report.
- After a walk-through tour of the ministry, the employee finds a generous gift basket and a copy of Joni’s book, personally signed by our founder and CEO on his or her desk.
- The purposeful design of day-one ratchets up as the new employee is welcomed into Mazza’s office for a personable one-to-one get-to-know discussion with the president. The menu includes a delicious entrée, beverage of choice, and mutually meaningful conversation. Plus, Mazza makes sure to tuck in a special, unexpected treat:
- “One of my greatest pleasures is telling each new hire that he or she is an answer to prayer. All of us here at Joni and Friends have been praying for you months before you applied and throughout your entire hiring process. We’ve been wondering who God would choose, and we’re glad God chose you to come work at Joni and Friends.”
- When it’s time to get down to work, every new employee is intrigued that his or her office space is clustered with colleagues from other departments.
“Getting people to connect, relate and engage interdepartmentally, is one of many intentional ways we’re breaking down silos by impressing upon every employee that you don’t belong to your department, you belong to Joni and Friends.”
Says Mazza, “The key number for us, is Luke 14:13, as Jesus instructs to, ‘Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed. . . . Make them come in so my house will be full.’ Talk about leading—and flourishing—like Jesus.” At Joni and Friends it starts on day-one.