The mission is more important than the money.
A little appreciation goes a long way.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.

These are just a few of the lessons that have emerged from the first Best Christian Places to Work survey, a landmark study commissioned by Christianity Today and administered by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). It is the largest survey ever conducted on the attitudes of employees at Christian workplaces, with more than 8,500 respondents across a range of industries.

We accepted applications from any organization with more than 15 full-time employees, a Christian mission, and an explicitly Christian product or service. Employees of participating workplaces filled out an online survey that covered various aspects of their companies' people practices; the organizations also provided detailed profiles of their human resource policies. And to ensure that the survey results would be statistically significant, we asked for high employee response rates from these organizations.

An independent panel of judges weighed the employee scores, the employee participation rates, and the human resource profiles in order to select this year's Best Christian Places to Work. The winners, listed on our site today, were announced at the Christian Management Association (CMA) conference earlier this month. (For more on how the judges picked the winners, see "Great Places to Work.")

People stewards

One of our most notable conclusions is this: Employee satisfaction has nothing to do with their employers' budget. The annual revenues of the top finalists range from $2 million to $33 million.

Treating employees well is less about offering creative perks and high compensation—and more about managers having the right mindset ...

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