Christian leaders ask us to share stories from Certified Best Christian Workplaces. Here is the second in our series:
Suppose you could transform your work place effectiveness to the level of “Wow!” ala’ “Extreme Makeover”? David Curry, CEO of The Rescue Mission in Tacoma, WA, finds a little “Wow!” every day he comes to work, which is where his before-and-after story begins.
Need: “For years our staff of 63 was in a traditional downtown office building,” says Curry. “Our ministry was confined by 15 separate office rooms and set hours of 9 am-5 pm, which prevented us from serving the homeless and hungry 24/7. Plus, we were paying expensive rent for space that was going to waste the other 16 hours day. We needed to change.”
Solution: “Through the Best Christian Workplaces Survey, we discovered we had a loyal highly-motivated group of employees. They’re independent and highly collaborative. How could we create a work environment to help bring out their best?” The answer: a new 35,000 square-foot facility centered around multiple common workspaces—including comfy couches and movable tables and chairs—that matched the work style of staff and made homeless individuals and families feel welcome and affirmed. “Going from a walled-in office environment to an open layout has increased our collaboration and innovation to better serve our clientele.”
Results: The common workspaces approach is part of an inventive “go mobile” strategy of six individual campuses that bring The Rescue Mission closer to its clientele. This frees staff to move about to gather at key sites, including Curry himself, whose “office” can be any one of the Mission’s six campuses. By being nimble, flexible adaptable, Curry and his teams can shift on the fly, ever-more available, personable and focused to better serve Tacoma’s hungry and homeless.
P.S. The benefits of “going mobile” are helping The Rescue Mission reach toward tomorrow, today. “It’s a great recruiting tool,” says Curry. “The work atmosphere is open and inviting, and of course there’s wi-fi.”