Best Christian workplace: Olivet awarded title

Student Accounts Cashier Heather Hathaway is one of many Olivet employees working at one of 2014’s Best Christian workplaces. Photo by Lindsay Hathaway.

By Jada Fisher

Olivet was recently named one of 2014’s Best Christian workplaces in the United States, by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).

“To be certified, an organization must complete the BCWI employee engagement survey and meet predetermined standards of excellence,” according to a recent press release from Olivet’s marketing department.

Everyone from the maintenance staff, professors, and librarians o University President Dr. John Bowling completed the survey to evaluate Olivet as a place of employment and express suggestions for improvement. The survey was taken voluntarily and anonymously.

The survey contained more than 50 questions. There were also additional questions that allowed the survey taker to elaborate on his or her answers.

Olivet has received this honor consecutively since 2005. “The[faculty and staff] that work here and come every day are the reason for this honor,” Faith Newman, Assistant to the Director of Business & Human Resources, said.

The survey is taken annually during the fall semester, ranked in January, and reviewed by the administration team in the spring. There are rankings for each survey question, Director of Business & Human Resources, David Pickering, said.

For example, “My supervisor cares for me as a person” is a statement on the survey. Takers then respond with answers such as “strongly agree,” “agree,” “somewhat agree,” etc. Those that review the results are also able to compare the overall ranking to those of previous years, Pickering said.

Name recognition, example setting, and a letter from BCWI’s president Al Lopus are just three of many benefits this recognition gives Olivet as an institution. The honor speaks to the employees, departments, and the culture of our university, according to Pickering.

“Our desire is to be consistent in keeping our Christ[-like] culture.” Pickering said. The survey is not done for the honor but for the feedback from employees, he said.

The feedback from the surveys has prompted improvements in benefit packages and communication across departments on campus, Newman said.

The goal of the annual survey is to make sure employees are happy, and most if not all are happy, Pickering said.

The communications department, Chirstie Hanslik said the genuine care and respect from her colleagues has impacted her the most since she began working at Olivet.

“Being at Olivet is a calling,” Adjunct Professor of Music Kay Welch said. She values the freedom to express herself spiritually here. Welch believes Olivet naturally attracts people with a light from Christ who want to spread it.

“I have no problem meshing in with the faculty who have embraced and guided me. I think the BCWI honor fits perfectly with what happens here,” a communication department graduate assistant, Seth Major said. “Every teacher is not only able to assist in the education realm, but is also available to be a solid Christian presence in the community of the school.”

BCWI’s overall mission is to ensure that Christian workplaces are “the world’s best and most effective workplaces,” according to the marketing department’s press release.

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