Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Whitworth named a "Best Christian Workplace" by national survey

Whitworth University has been named a "Best Christian Workplace" among higher-education institutions based on a national survey of employees at Christian businesses and nonprofit organizations. The 22 Best Christian Workplaces for 2012 were announced Jan. 5. This marks the third time in the past decade that Whitworth has participated in the survey and been recognized as a Best Christian Workplace.

"I'm very pleased that Whitworth has once again been recognized as a Best Christian Workplace," says Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor. "Our collective desire is that Whitworth supports an environment that fosters trust, relationship, transparency, excellence and professional development, all within a community dedicated to elevating our Christ-centered mission. Cultivating a vibrant and rewarding workplace is so important to us that we placed this priority at the heart of Whitworth 2021, our 10-year strategic plan. I am looking forward to working with Whitworth employees to accomplish the important goals we have set for ourselves, and I am grateful for how our employees help to sustain a wonderful working environment."

Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI) conducts annual employee surveys across a range of industries to recognize those organizations that meet predetermined standards of excellence. Employees confidentially respond to an online survey with more than 50 questions on topics such as job satisfaction, personal development, management, commitment, and pay and benefits. The institute's vision is that Christian workplaces would be the world's best and most effective workplaces. The survey has been conducted in the U.S. and Canada for the past 10 years and made its debut in Australia last year -- surveying more than 100,000 employees to date. Each participating organization has a stated Christian mission and/or values.

Al Lopus, president of BCWI, says, "We salute this year's Best Christian Workplaces for doing far more than just surviving despite the challenging economy. These organizations set the bar in terms of employee engagement and serve as an inspiration for all. While overall survey trends indicate employee engagement is struggling to recover from the shock of the financial recession, these leaders recognize the importance of nurturing healthy organizational cultures to better achieve their vision. They understand that healthy organizations are fruitful."

All participating organizations have access to detailed results of the surveys completed by their employees to support ongoing improvements of their workplace practices. According to the survey, 61 percent of Whitworth employees strongly agree that Whitworth is an exceptional place to work.

"Whitworth faculty and staff identified a high level of trust between senior leadership and employees," says Dolores Humiston, associate vice president of human resources at Whitworth. "They also feel strongly that we recruit, hire, and retain highly qualified employees. We will use the data to improve in areas where we're already strong, and to address areas that will make us an even better place to work."

Employees also rated the university strongly on topics that included the organization having a clear consensus on its mission and goals, the organization having good teamwork across departments, the organization involving employees in decisions that affect them, and the organization seeking the suggestions of employees.

Whitworth's 2021 strategic plan includes a goal of investing in Whitworth's employees and creating a culture of continuous improvement. Over the next decade, Whitworth will be participating in the Best Christian Workplaces survey regularly and using the results as a benchmarking tool to assess the progress the university is making toward achieving its goals in this area.

Best Christian Workplaces Institute is a research-based organizational and human resources consulting firm based on Mercer Island, Wash. For more information, contact BCWI at (206) 230-8111, alopus@bcwinstitute.com or online at http://www.bcwinstitute.com/.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Dolores Humiston, associate vice president of human resources, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4320 or dhumiston@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, Public Information Officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.