- Learn The 8 Ways To Engage Employees and Build A Flourishing Workplace – Best Christian Workplaces Institute
- 1. Fantastic Teams exemplify a spirit of partnership and collaboration. A flourishing culture is not about “me” but rather, it’s all about “we.” Fantastic Teams are all about achieving shared goals and objectives within a department, across departments and the organization
- 2. Life-Giving Work is that which is full of meaning and has significance or purpose that is life-giving. Work is inspirational when staff are devoted to their roles and are able to utilize their skills and spiritual gifts and as a result, love working in the organization
- 3. Outstanding Talent means having and keeping highly qualified people with the necessary calling, character, competence, chemistry and contribution to achieve the organization’s mission. “Outstanding Talent is critical to forging a Flourishing workplace culture because,” as Giselle notes, “organizational success is highly affected by the fit, experience, and giftings of the people it attracts, retains, rewards and ultimately promotes into key technical and leadership roles.”
- 4. Uplifting Growth improves the performance of individuals, groups and the organization overall so they can meet the challenges of a changing world. Most significantly, growth comes from job related experience, along with interaction with others (managers, mentors and coaches), and from formal developmental events. Giselle has the perfect story:
- 5. Rewarding Compensation programs provide tangible resources, including benefits such as medical, retirement and paid time off, in addition to their paycheck. Fair and equitable total compensation plans provide a peace of mind and satisfaction that an individual’s personal and financial needs are met. Rewarding compensation practices remind employees that they are respected and valued—all part of creating a flourishing workplace
- 6. Inspirational Leadership, which is highly comprised of character facets, is routinely a top, if not the top predictor of employee engagement across industries and organizations surveyed by BCWI. The extent to which a leader exhibits good character and competence is crucial for Inspirational Leadership
- 7. Sustainable Strategyis an organization’s deliberate, effective approach to provide the solution of the compelling, mission-focused need that unites its core constituents
- 8. HealthyCommunication is the purposeful exchange of information. It’s effective when leaders involve employees, seek and act on their suggestions, explain reasons behind decisions, and create an environment of open dialogue
- Now It’s Your Turn!
- Coming Up Next Week on our Continuing Series
- Additional Resources
- Ask Al
- 3 Leadership Styles to Build a Thriving Workplace Culture
- 1. Servant leadership
- 2. Positive leadership
- 3. Humble leadership
- How to Cultivate Work Culture
- 1. Align Company and Employee Values
- 2. Foster Positive Relationships
- 3. Invest In Your Employees
- 4. Recognize Accomplishments
- 5. Foster Employee Pride
Learn The 8 Ways To Engage Employees and Build A Flourishing Workplace – Best Christian Workplaces Institute
Welcome to the first in a series of ten, content-rich segments designed to inspire and equip you and your organization to create, grow, and sustain a workplace culture of:
These eight drivers make up The FLOURISH Model, the cornerstone of BCWI’s global consulting work with more than 1,000 Christian organizations in the U.S., Canada, and around the world.
Over the next ten weeks, I want to put The FLOURISH Model in your hands.
I want you to grasp its foundational truths and direct applications that can free your church, your parachurch organization, or your Christian-led business to be all that God intends.
I believe this can happen in the next ten weeks as you read along and experience each of the ten accompanying podcasts.
In this opening article, I want to give you a helpful, big-picture overview of what you can expect for each of the next ten weeks: relevant, practical, proven principles, supported by great, memorable stories, insights and action steps you and your teams can use to build a thriving workplace to fulfill your organization’s mission.
Giselle Jenkins, Best Christian Workplaces Institute
Each week, I’ll introduce you to a guest expert whose character, experience and insightful wisdom can help you see for yourself how The FLOURISH Model can work for your organization. It’s all about discovering the Eight Best Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace Culture.
Here is week one, I want to introduce you to BCWI’s Director of Consulting Services, Giselle Jenkins. Giselle brings the leadership and real-world perspective of 25 years in people management with faith-based organizations, churches and Christian-led companies.
Here’s a big-picture overview of the Eight Best Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace Culture.
1. Fantastic Teams exemplify a spirit of partnership and collaboration. A flourishing culture is not about “me” but rather, it’s all about “we.” Fantastic Teams are all about achieving shared goals and objectives within a department, across departments and the organization
See for Yourself!
“Several years ago,” says Giselle, “I began working with a non-profit struggling across the board with employee engagement, including teamwork. We suggested focus groups to dive deeper into what changes employees wanted to see to raise each individual’s ability to contribute to their fullest.
“They came up with 21 suggested changes and then took accountability by creating a shared document, listing out common goals for each of the 21 suggested changes for coming years and which team would work on which goal and post weekly progress.
“Each team could see how they played a part in the organization’s overall improvement. In doing so, they saw how they depended on each other. Through this coordinated effort they supercharged their cross-departmental teamwork and produced the single highest-ever one-year improvement in engagement.
Bottom line: “Knowing the goals, depending on each other for excellence, and keeping their targeted finish lines in constant view were keys for their success. That’s what makes fantastic teams.”
2. Life-Giving Work is that which is full of meaning and has significance or purpose that is life-giving. Work is inspirational when staff are devoted to their roles and are able to utilize their skills and spiritual gifts and as a result, love working in the organization
See for Yourself!
“I think of Hope International, which serves to invest in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities as we proclaim and live the Gospel. Hope International has infused their people with deepening satisfaction of their own work by training staff to tell some of the organization’s life-changing stories.
“A synonym for Life-Giving Work” is ‘fun,’ which Hope International has helped instill through the simple joy of a ping-pong table at work that builds camaraderie.”
3. Outstanding Talent means having and keeping highly qualified people with the necessary calling, character, competence, chemistry and contribution to achieve the organization’s mission. “Outstanding Talent is critical to forging a Flourishing workplace culture because,” as Giselle notes, “organizational success is highly affected by the fit, experience, and giftings of the people it attracts, retains, rewards and ultimately promotes into key technical and leadership roles.”
See for Yourself!
“Recently,” says Giselle, “we worked with a large, urban, multi-site church with a wonderful reputation. The first of four essentials that make up Outstanding Talent is attracting great talent, and this church was able to knock it the park.
Their “talent,” however, helped leadership see that they were less than satisfied with the other three essentials of rewarding, promoting and retaining talent. As a result, they were losing some of their best people.
Leaders were at a loss as to how to solve the problem of keeping talent at their smaller campuses, because promotions were unly, certainly in the short run.
Solution: “We suggested each campus do a short anonymous survey to ask staff what it would take to keep their engaged and enthusiastic people. The three most-common responses:
- ‘I would to work with my supervisor on a one-year development plan, so I can grow and learn.’
- ‘If I do a great job, I would a specific recognition, a small reward-tied to my progress.’
- ‘I would to see that there is a career path here and be given the opportunity to get on the path, if I’m willing to make the effort.’
“It was easy for leaders to say ‘yes’ to this list, especially as this predominately millennial group of outstanding talent became even more engaged.”
4. Uplifting Growth improves the performance of individuals, groups and the organization overall so they can meet the challenges of a changing world. Most significantly, growth comes from job related experience, along with interaction with others (managers, mentors and coaches), and from formal developmental events. Giselle has the perfect story:
See for Yourself!
“We began working with a large rescue mission who is making a terrific impact, but their employees were really struggling at the front line. Rescue mission work is amazingly challenging, and everyone needs to be primed and ready to serve some of the most hurting and struggling people in the nation.
“ many organizations, the mission’s front-line supervisors had been placed in their positions without training or preparation on how to grow and develop others.
We worked with leadership to develop basic supervisor training, skills around communication, delegation, giving and receiving feedback.
Employees were equipped with clear directions through accurate job descriptions, how to conduct performance reviews and even the keys to effective one-on-one meetings.
“The turnaround was amazing. Employees showed their gratitude for their supervisors’ new abilities by giving them strong positive feedback on how they felt cared about as people with new role clarity.”
5. Rewarding Compensation programs provide tangible resources, including benefits such as medical, retirement and paid time off, in addition to their paycheck. Fair and equitable total compensation plans provide a peace of mind and satisfaction that an individual’s personal and financial needs are met. Rewarding compensation practices remind employees that they are respected and valued—all part of creating a flourishing workplace
See for Yourself!
We learned that a 12-year client based in a fairly affluent region wasn’t paying competitive salaries to its staff.
To their credit, they did a study, built a competitive salary structure and over the course of three years became competitive with their compensation packages.
As a result, the organization reduced their turnover and retained their top talent. Best of all they’ve now begun to experience the growth they initially envisioned.
6. Inspirational Leadership, which is highly comprised of character facets, is routinely a top, if not the top predictor of employee engagement across industries and organizations surveyed by BCWI. The extent to which a leader exhibits good character and competence is crucial for Inspirational Leadership
See for Yourself!
Says Giselle, “A national, non-profit organization had experienced back-to-back leadership “failures” and, as a result, was losing their clientele, talent, funding.
After surveying with BCWI, the new president gathered the staff together to solicit specific strategies for improvement.
He made some key leadership changes, promoting leaders who typified the organization’s values and biblical servanthood.
“Through it all the president demonstrated consistent honesty, transparency, careful listening, humility, collaboration and trustworthiness. In short, he modeled inspirational leadership. As a result, the staff became excited about the organization’s future, believing more in the mission and vision, and experiencing more fun at work.
7. Sustainable Strategy is an organization’s deliberate, effective approach to provide the solution of the compelling, mission-focused need that unites its core constituents
See for Yourself!
“I remember a leadership team that was very mindful to measure their organization’s goals. The problem was they didn’t communicate any of it with the staff. Thus, the employees didn’t see how their work was impacting and meeting the organization’s goals. Naturally, they couldn’t row in the same direction for the betterment of the organization and their own wellbeing.
“Once leadership saw the value of shared the organization’s goals and what was required of their staff to meet them, their people aligned creating a much more productive workplace.”
8. Healthy Communication is the purposeful exchange of information. It’s effective when leaders involve employees, seek and act on their suggestions, explain reasons behind decisions, and create an environment of open dialogue
See for Yourself!
Giselle: “I recently had the privilege of working with a Christian K-12 school whose turnaround story took the cake. Their “before” story was dreadful, as they were losing students and teachers, left and right. “Final decisions” were being made in a vacuum, without faculty and staff being consulted. Leadership was viewed as authoritarian, at best.
“Fortunately, a gifted leader from a partnering ministry was invited in to listen and find out what faculty, staff and students needed. He formed action groups and gave them authority to make decisions.
He shared reasons for decisions he needed to make and was very transparent and open about how the school was doing. Rather than pushing conflict situations, he welcomed challenges and pushbacks. He coached the existing leaders on being inclusive and servant leaders.
And he made a difficult but important decision to change out one leader that couldn’t adjust.”
Result: “Employee engagement and communication increased, while student retention rose. In the words of communications guru and pastor of North Point Ministries Jeff Henderson, “The better you communicate, the better you lead.”
Now It’s Your Turn!
Which of these eight drivers sparks a favorite story of a person’s Christ- character, or a team’s amazing achievement at work? Which colleagues or departments might be encouraged and inspired by this story?
Coming Up Next Week on our Continuing Series
“The Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace,”
Jim Tomberlin, Founder & CEO of MultiSite Solutions, on
“The FLOURISH Model in Action”
Download the 8 Drivers Reference Guide for FREE.
One or more of these eight measures of workplace culture
is either strengthening (or weakening) your organization right now.
Al would love to address your questions about creating a flourishing workplace culture. Send an email to AskAl@bcwinstitute.org
Click here to learn more!
3 Leadership Styles to Build a Thriving Workplace Culture
The comprehensive Global Leadership Forecast 2018 report asked executives and HR professionals if the leadership at their organizations was of a high quality. Perhaps reflecting current attitudes toward leadership, neither group was particularly impressed.
According to the report, 42 percent of leaders said the quality of leadership was high, and just 30 percent of HR respondents answered the same. Taken at face value, that’s less than half of companies believing their leaders are getting the job done.
With today’s organizations struggling with talent acquisition, retention, employee engagement, and creating a positive workplace culture, a more thoughtful approach to leadership can yield benefits throughout the business, even reaching out to the customers served by that business.
Every leader has the power to shape a workplace culture that enables employees—all employees—to thrive. Great workplaces make their employees feel valued, empowered, and heard. Characteristics of a thriving workplace culture include:
- Trust: Employees feel safe and respected, and treat others with the same respect.
- A sense of purpose: Employees feel their work has meaning personally, to the organization, to customers, and to the world.
- The ability to contribute: Employees’ opinions and ideas are encouraged, valued, and considered.
How leaders bring out these feelings in their workers defines leadership style. Three styles in particular, highlighted here, give workplace culture a chance to flourish.
1. Servant leadership
The opening of Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results, a compilation of essays from a variety of experts in the servant leadership space, doesn’t mince words.
Editors Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell write, “The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. We all have seen the negative impact of self-serving leaders in every sector of our society.
Why is that? Because these leaders have been conditioned to think of leadership only in terms of power and control.”
Servant leadership turns this “traditional” leadership model on its head. The core concept emphasizes that leaders should be serving their employees’ interests rather than employees existing just to fulfill their leaders’ requirements.
Servant leadership boosts workplace culture by diminishing the “us versus them” mentality, building trust, and placing the focus on the people who make or break a company: the front-line employees.
Blanchard writes, “The servant aspect of servant leadership is all about turning the hierarchy upside down and helping everyone throughout the organization develop great relationships, get great results, and, eventually, delight their customers.
” Companies from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to Marriott International to Southwest Airlines to Starbucks have seen great success from adopting servant leadership.
2. Positive leadership
Employees at all sorts of companies complain about work. Although many people chalk this up to human nature, it often is also a sign that an organization lacks positivity.
Positive leaders and companies effectively motivate their employees to go above and beyond through affirmative outcomes. Robert Quinn writes in The Positive Organization: Breaking Free from Conventional Cultures, Constraints, and Beliefs, “To flourish is to grow and thrive.
To exceed expectations is to successfully do more than people expect you to do; it is to move toward excellence.”
By embracing positive leadership, managers and executives stop focusing on constraints and, instead, empower people to imagine the best possible outcomes.
This psychology creates a sense of purpose in employees and motivates them to grow within and potentially beyond their roles—which benefits the entire organization. As Quinn writes in The Positive Organization, “Most authority figures do not understand how to imbue an organization with purpose.
This means most organizations are highly vulnerable. Recognizing this blind spot could be a golden opportunity for you. You can use the ideas here to become a real leader.”
3. Humble leadership
Everyone in the organization brings a unique perspective and contribution to daily operations and the overall workplace culture. Humble leadership promotes the idea that conversations between leaders and employees must be two-way and that both parties must respect one another as equals.
Through authentic inquiry, humble leaders bring everyone into the fold to solve complex problems and nurture relationships trust and compassion.
Edgar and Peter Schein, authors of Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust, write, “As a manager, if you personize, you will minimize ‘subordination’ in order to emphasize collaboration, joint responsibility, and your own willingness to help your direct reports to succeed. … We don’t need to become friends and learn all about each other’s private lives, but we have to learn to be open and honest around work issues.”
When trust, rapport, and respect are established as the baseline for any conversation, the sky’s the limit on what employees can meaningfully contribute. Humble leadership recognizes the intrinsic value of each employee and makes sure each employee knows how valued they are.
These three leadership styles are rooted in trust, respect, and striving to think beyond the chain of command—a new leadership paradigm.
Business leaders can be influential in creating a workplace culture in which people are bringing their talents, passions, and interests into every minute of their work. When this happens, something amazing follows: Employees start treating each other and customers with the same trust and respect.
This evolving environment is more than a feel-good byproduct of smart leadership; it drives bottom-line results that are impossible for the organization to ignore.
How to Cultivate Work Culture
Creating an outstanding work culture that accurately represents a company’s values begins with strong leadership. When leadership creates and embodies a work culture that matches the company’s mission and vision, it becomes part of the company DNA.
In today’s workplace, company culture is a major factor in attracting and retaining employees, and a lot of companies are working to create an engaging work environment that stands out against the more traditional workplaces and appeals to newer generations.
Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and when you factor in the workplace entrance of Generation Z, it will only increase the complexity of managing across multiple generations in a way that engages and resonates throughout the current and future workforce.
For inspiration, a lot of companies try to mimic workplaces Netflix, Google, and Zappos who have reputations for being exciting, highly desirable work environments.
Consider, however, that their models may not work for companies in different industries, regions, or those with smaller budgets.
Instead, approach your own company culture by thinking about your unique business goals and values and how you can attract and retain employees who embody those things and will help you focus on the things that matter to your company.
What can you do that would make your work culture unique, but still stay true to who you are as a company? What is it that highly engaged workplaces have in common that’s missing from your strategy? We’ve compiled five strategies that a highly engaged workforce implements in order to stay authentic to the brand and employees a:
88% of employees who are well versed in company values say they are engaged. @ClearCompany has 5 ways to help engage your employees.
1. Align Company and Employee Values
When interviewing a candidate, ask yourself, is this candidate a good cultural fit for my company? You can train anyone on job skills, but you can’t change someone’s attitude. It’s imperative that companies and employees have shared values.
For example, a tobacco company or plastic manufacturer ly won’t attract a candidate for whom environmental or health issues are paramount. But, employees who are well-versed in company values are more engaged overall.
Employees who understand company values understand what they are there to represent within the organization’s culture and brand.
So, where do you display your values? Can candidates easily access them? Do they play a part in your performance culture? Are they listed on the website, in the lunchroom, on a T-shirt? Values should be far more than just words kept in a binder somewhere.
Make sure your employees understand your company values with these steps:
- Define your values: Clearly outline what your values are and what they mean. Go beyond the bumper sticker to ensure you can provide examples of your values in action within your organization.
- Add values to your performance conversations: Don’t just put your values on a poster in the breakroom and leave it at that. Discuss how your employees are demonstrating values in their performance, and how those values matter and contribute to individual success.
- Put your values on the website: Make your values known to your employees before they even apply. Placing your priorities front and center will help attract candidates who hold similar values and want to be a part of what you’re doing.
- Add important values to your employee email signatures: Are there 2-3 values that really mean something to you? To your team? Put them on your email signatures. This does a few things — first, it creates a shared language, crucial for bonding and camaraderie. Second, it shows that you embody the company values yourself. As an added bonus, clients can easily see your values and find common ground there, too.
2. Foster Positive Relationships
A highly engaged workplace fosters events and gatherings that help employees connect with their coworkers and build relationships. They create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where employees can step away from their desks and engage in a casual way. People with a friend at work are 7x more ly to engage fully in their work.
Many managers don’t realize the importance of internal relationships. Building these relationships can come in a lot of unique shapes, so here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Start a company-wide book club. This is something that works whether you’re all in the same office or spread across the country. Whether you choose business books or popular fiction, your employees can use the same technology they use during the day to connect on things not work-related.
- Volunteer opportunities. Social responsibility is one of the best things a company can do for its employees’ well-being and engagement levels. Working together to build a house, serve a meal, weed a garden, or connect with an underserved community not only brings people together, but it also gives back to your neighborhood, city or region.
- Create affinity groups. If you are part of a large company, it can be tough to know that Sam in accounting is frustrated by the same issues with puppy training that Bailey in marketing is struggling with. A great company intranet can help employees who aren’t in physical proximity get to know one another. Encourage employees to talk about themselves and create spaces to discuss hobbies and interests.
- Plan regular outings. Company outings offer a chance for new interpersonal connections, and they’re an easy way to facilitate interactions outside of the conference room.
3. Invest In Your Employees
A fundamental part of creating an engaged work environment is making it clear to your employees that management cares about them and their future. Be transparent about developments happening within the business; it will help foster an environment where employees feel they are needed.
You can also show your employees that you value them by investing in their individual development, too.
Assign them to mentors who can help them meet their goals, build out performance plans to reach promotions, treat everyone equally, and provide them with unbiased managers who will evaluate them fairly.
Ask them about the things they need to be successful, and what they want for their careers. When you put their future as a priority, they know you’re investing in them for the long term, not just the company’s immediate needs.
What can you do that would make your work culture unique, but still stay true to who you are as a company? @ClearCompany has the answers for you:
4. Recognize Accomplishments
Employee recognition is a low cost, high impact strategy to boost engagement. An employee wants to know that when they’ve put in their best effort, someone’s going to notice.
It can be as simple as their manager directly informing them of a job well done or an email shout-out from a peer. Consider what kind of recognition your employees respond well to; whether it be rewards and bonuses or private praise.
The important thing is that you demonstrate that you see your employees and appreciate the work they do.
5. Foster Employee Pride
It’s important for employees to know how their contributions help to accomplish the overall goal of the company. When an employee can see how they are contributing to the success of the company, they take more pride in their work.
Use a system that visualizes and tracks goal alignment to increase employee engagement by helping employees see how their efforts and work fit into the company as a whole. Goal alignment helps everyone from entry-level to C-Suite understand how their place fits into the organization.
Instead of feeling a cog in the machine, employees can see exactly how their work brings value.
ClearCompany helps provide structure and organization to the process of building your company culture from the ground up. Get your custom tour of our Talent Management Platform to see how you can go beyond employee management to a thriving employee culture. Sign up for a demo with our experts today.