"I love my job." What crosses your mind when you hear someone say this?
I've heard some people proclaim it. I've also heard others privately admit, "I have no idea what people mean when they say that. I've had decent jobs, some more satisfying than average, but I can't imagine ever 'loving my job.'"
Over my working years, sometimes I've loved my job and have said so. Sometimes I've just liked it fairly well. Sometimes I've been dissatisfied or even outright hated it.
I've come to believe that loving one's job is a fine ideal that a few people often experience, some of us sometimes experience, and many people never experience. But I've also come to learn that there's something more important than loving my job if "loving" here means delight.
There's another kind of "loving my job," and that's "loving" more like commitment, willingness to sacrifice, deeper-level contentment and reward. Another word for this is engagement. Delight helps with engagement, but delight flickers in and out. Engagement is more durable.
I learned all about engagement from my friend Al Lopus, the president of Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Al spent decades as a human resources consultant in the corporate world before God led him (pretty dramatically, actually) to do something new. Al had been one of the minds behind the sort of lists you sometimes see of the "100 Best Places to Work," which are actually the results of rigorous surveying. In his new endeavor, Al sought to do the same thing with Christian organizations and for-profit companies led by Christians.
That was almost twenty years ago. Since then, BCWI has surveyed hundreds of organizations and consulted them on how to improve their workplace culture. By intensely analyzing the results, Al and his team have scientifically validated eight keys to a flourishing workplace where employees are highly engaged in what they do. And they've demonstrated the link between an engaged workforce and outstanding results for the organization.
The keys to workplace flourishing spell out FLOURISH. (Clever, eh? BCWI's idea.) They are:
I didn't learn this because I brought BCWI into my organization or I read about it in a magazine or I'm Al's son-in-law. I learned about it because I was privileged to help Al put what BCWI has learned into a new book, The Road to Flourishing: Eight Keys to Boost Employee Engagement and Well-Being, which was just released today by IVP.
This is a pretty special day for me, because it's only once every year or two that a book I've worked on pops out for others to read. I'm so glad that Christian leaders far and wide, including the many I call friends, get to benefit from Al's wisdom and expertise. He has a rock-solid model that will help all kinds of organizations fulfill the mission God has put them on earth to do.
What drives Al is a vision to see Christian organizations set the standard as the best workplaces in the world and bring glory to Jesus that way. Amen to that. I sincerely hope that this book helps make that vision a reality.