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SBC DIGEST: GuideStone receives workplace award; OBU marks tornado anniversary

GuideStone named 2024 Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award winner

By Roy Hayhurst/GuideStone

DALLAS (BP) – GuideStone Financial Resources has received the 2024 Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award (GEWA). This award recognizes the most engaged workplace cultures in the world.

Gallup found that GuideStone continued to engage and develop its team in innovative ways.

“Congratulations to the 59 organizations that have redefined what it means to be a great place to work,” said Jon Clifton, Gallup chief executive officer. “Your commitment to creating environments where employees are listened to, valued and positioned to use their strengths every day is what sets you apart. Thank you for setting a new global standard in what it means to be a thriving workplace.”

The GEWA winners’ ratio of engaged employees to actively disengaged employees is 11 times higher than the global average. Worldwide, only 23 percent of employees are engaged – that is, committed to their work and connected to their workplace – and just 33 percent of employees in the U.S. workforce are engaged. Seventy percent of employees at winning GEWA organizations are engaged.

“We are thankful for Gallup’s recognition of what we have been doing at GuideStone for many years,” said GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck. “Our team members, in many cases, come from some of the largest names in insurance and finance, yet they are drawn here for our commitment to our mission to enhance financial security and resilience for those who serve the Lord. We do that in a Christian environment that exemplifies integrity, heart and skill, and in an environment of mutual respect, accountability and excellence.”

Gallup’s meta-analysis on team engagement and performance is the most comprehensive workplace study ever conducted, with data on more than 2 million employees in 276 organizations across 54 industries in 96 countries. Highly engaged organizations significantly outperform their peers in important business outcomes, including customer ratings, profitability, productivity, turnover, safety incidents, shrinkage, absenteeism, quality, well-being and organizational citizenship.

For a complete list of GEWA winners and more about the selection process, visit the Winners’ page.

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Oklahoma Baptist University to mark one-year anniversary of tornado disaster

By OBU Staff

SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) – In the darkness of April 19, 2023, a devastating EF2 tornado tore through the campus of OBU, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

As the one-year anniversary of this tragic event approaches, OBU is gearing up to remember the past and celebrate the future with a Renewal Era Service and Celebration Friday, April 19, 2024. Community leaders, volunteers and friends of OBU are encouraged to join the OBU community for the events of the day.

The Renewal Era Service is set to begin at 10 a.m. in the Recreation and Wellness Center. This event will serve as a testament to the resilience of the OBU community and the numerous volunteers who worked tirelessly to help with recovery in the face of adversity.

Following the service, a Renewal Era Celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a unique opportunity for the OBU community, friends and volunteers to sign new tiles that will be used to roof the iconic Raley Chapel.

Throughout the activities of the day, the OBU community will celebrate the accomplishments of the past year as the university has moved from the wreckage of April 19, 2023, to a renewal of the OBU campus.

Reflecting on the challenges faced since the disaster, OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas said, “Although the storm left in its path of destruction considerable damage to every structure on campus, God protected the lives of students, employees and the entire community. The tornado didn’t keep the university from moving forward over the past year.”

While continuing with disaster clean-up and reconstruction of buildings, OBU also made significant strides in meeting educational, employment, and societal needs through its programs and offerings.

To assist in meeting industry needs for qualified engineers, OBU launched new engineering programs in August 2023 enrolling more than three times the number of students initially projected. Thurmond Hall’s first floor was transformed into a high-tech, contemporary home for engineering programs where students experience state-of-the-art learning spaces and learn from professional engineers who serve as their professors. In the near future, the second and third floor of Thurmond Hall will also be renovated to provide additional engineering learning spaces.

To help meet healthcare needs and provide quality Christian education for the substantial number of graduate students interested in these careers, OBU announced the launch of four new graduate healthcare programs, pending accreditation, over the next three years: Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Master of Science in Physician Associate Studies and Doctor of Physical Therapy.

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