When Christian leaders first consider Best Christian Workplaces as a potential ministry partner, they often bring a list of questions and concerns. If an organization is growing and moving smoothly, why rock the boat? Sniffing around with inquiries about job satisfaction, workplace culture, and employee engagement might plant seeds of dissatisfaction or uncover grievances; why create unnecessary drama in the workplace?
It's not unusual for the first phone call with a soon-to-be ministry partner to be filled with questions like these. Leaders often comes armed with a list of reasons not to survey employees or consider workplace health:
We can’t afford to spend the money.
I don’t want my employees distracted from their work.
A simple survey can’t fix our problems.
Workplace culture has nothing to do with our mission.
These are common questions—and we have good answers. Best Christian Workplaces has solid, research-based responses for each of them, built upon decades of stories, facts, and data.
But as we continue the conversation, we typically discover deeper matters underneath these early questions: vulnerability and empowerment. After all, no one knows the specifics of our quirks better than the people we spend time with each day. The people who work for us are well aware of our strengths and weaknesses, as well as both the bright and troubling spots in the organization. Offering these men and women a chance to use their voice, to share their perspective and see that it makes a difference, that it matters, is an act of empowerment and trust.Honest conversations can begin and improvements made. The mission of the organization can be clarified, and all the good things they accomplished together can be celebrated.
While it may be initially uncomfortable for a new leader to see a mirror reflecting on what can be perceived as the truth of their performance and the organization as a workplace, naming the truth everyone already knows doesn’t create trouble—it avoids trouble by providing a path toward a healthy, hopeful future.
There are countless benefits to be gained in listening to feedback, but deciding to begin the process can be daunting. Do you want to know what your employees think about their experience working with your organization? Is there value in hearing how they feel, what a day on the job is like for them, and what they need to be successful and engaged?
One unspoken concern is often the true underlying hesitation, and it is much harder to tackle until it can be named out loud. Quite often, the real fear is something like this:
"I’m anxious I’ll discover that my employees don’t like me, or they want me to make changes I don’t have the skills or resources to manage. I’m afraid to hear what people really think about working here…or how they feel working for me."
This is an understandable worry! Few of us enjoy confrontation, and opening the door for people to speak honestly can be frightening. But consider the words of Proverbs 27:6 “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Discovering the truth—whether about ourselves or the workplaces we lead—is a gift, for it provides the opportunity to grow, to fix what is broken, to aim towards health. Closing our eyes to what is broken will only cause our wounds to fester without a chance to heal.
If you are a Christian leader grappling with these concerns, I invite you to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to take the next step towards organizational health. Click the link below and download our free e-book that will give you the tools you need to overcome your hidden objections, or at least understand them better.
Reach out to Robert Wachter, global marketing director with Best Christian Workplaces, for more information about our employee engagement survey. Schedule a meeting today.