Lutherans in Minnesota

Three Lutheran groups named among top Minnesota workplaces

The Minneapolis StarTribune has named three Lutheran organizations among its “Top Workplaces 2011.” The newspaper’s Top Workplaces initiative recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions about company leadership, communication, career opportunities, workplace environment, managerial skills, pay, and benefits.

The three businesses with ties to Lutheran church bodies named by the StarTribune are Ecumen, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS).

“Our participation in this survey began with a nomination by one employee and as the 53 percent response rate shows, a shared experience was expressed by over half of our employees,” said Joyce Norals, vice president and chief human relations officer for LSS.

“What we do is hard work, but it’s work of the heart,” Norals continued. “Our employees have passion and are dedicated to serving others; to be recognized in this way brings even greater value to what we do.”

Ecumen, established by Lutheran church groups in the 1860s, provides a variety of senior housing options and services from senior independent living communities to assisted living and long-term care and at-home and community-based services.

“Employees believe that their job makes them part of something meaningful,” said Robin Dunbar, Ecumen’s vice president for human resources. “They believe in the direction Ecumen is taking and in the leadership of the company.”

Comparing the 2008 and 2010 employee engagement surveys, Dunbar explained, Ecumen’s scores went up, even in the midst of recession.

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