Overview

Welcome to ASPIRE

Aspire is an organisational development tool enabling you to obtain internal feedback on your organisation and to monitor the effectiveness of your Christian values in the workplace. It focuses on the organisational areas of Mission, Leadership, Organisation, Relationships, Development, Resourcing, Recognition and the Foundations of the organisation. In parallel, it also examines the values of Christ-Centredness, Individual-Awareness, Inclusivity, Interdependence and Integrity.

Organisational Areas

Aspire will produce reports of your organisation's strengths and weaknesses in these areas. You may further analyse your feedback to examine internal perceptions and to further explore areas for growth. Our aim is to help you aspire to greater godliness in the workplace and increased professional excellence.

You may have already looked into this issue using our handbook Distinctives or been challenged as a result of legislation (see legal page). This assessment looks in a fresh way at how to develop your distinctively Christian ethos and effectiveness.

Why are you at this point?

There may be a number of reasons why you may be considering Aspire

  • It may be prompted by a desire to look at your own organisation's values to see if they are consistently applied.
  • It may be a desire to raise standards as a result of issues you are facing.
  • It may be that you are keen to understand how your people management practices are perceived.
  • It may even be that people are feeling burned out in your organisation.
  • It may be for other more specific reasons.

Whatever your motivation, Aspire is designed to help you assess and develop your organisation as it aims to be professionally excellent, spiritually passionate and distinctively Christian.

A Christian ethos develops within an organisation as people live out their faith and Christian values. We recognise that ethos and culture define who we are and we know that when we get it right it is attractive to others because it reflects the love of Christ. Assessing the extent of Christian identity is a challenge as it is something that emerges from heart attitudes and inner relationship with God through Christ, which of course only God can see. However, a Christian identity in an organisation is manifest in attitudes, in approaches to work, in the direction of the organisation, in behaviour, in the way people relate and in the overall 'atmosphere'. These elements can be assessed, so Aspire seeks to measure these attributes of organisations.

There are many perspectives and expressions of the Christian faith, so the interpretation and application of a Christian ethos will vary between organisations. We have included a description of the values that we have drawn from the Bible and found to be foundational elements of the ethos of Christian organisations. These values are the basis for Aspire. If you find that you have articulated your own values and ethos very differently, you will need to keep this in mind as you consider your results.

The process

Aspire comprises an online questionnaire for your staff, customers and partners; with rich, in-depth reporting. It gives a baseline of where you are at in your organisation. It measures not only the professional excellence of the organisation, but also examines your underlying values and how your team perceives evidence of these values. The feedback session and report from your aspire adviser will identify areas of strength and also help take you forward in your organisational development and Christian ethos.

Although Aspire focuses on the inner-workings of organisations, this needs to be done in the context of your Raison d'etre. It will help you examine perceptions around the delivery of your mission and achievement of purpose, alongside issues of efficiency and effective use of resources and to what extent people feel the culture helps this.

Aspire is divided into eight organisational areas:

Organisational Areas

Leadership

Looking at themes such as vision focus, team approach, servant leadership, accountability and line management.

Relationships

Looking at themes such as communication, caring for and valuing people, handling conflict and well-being.

Mission

Looking at themes such as achievement of purpose, resource allocation, overall efficiency and service delivery. Customers / partners / clientel can also respond to the questionnaire with questions specific for them.

Organisation

Looking at themes such as governance, meetings and decision making structures.

Development

Looking at themes such as effective training, spiritual development, performance reviews and a strategic approach to development.

Resourcing

Looking at themes such as are we recruiting the right people, use of selection criteria, training in recruitment and a strategic approach.

Recognition

Looking at themes of financial and non-financial recognition in line with a Christian ethos.

Foundations

Looking at how much Christ is central to the organisation, a reliance on prayer and distinctively Christian culture.

These organisational areas are individually assessed alongside the following underlying values, which we believe are key and generic to most Christian organisations:

Values

Christ-Centredness

We have Christ at the heart of all that we do as organisations. This value expresses itself in areas such as seeking direction from God through worship and a reliance on prayer; showing dependence on God in our work, as we seek to put him first and placing value on a personal relationship with him through Jesus Christ.

This is the foundational value, with the other four flowing from being Christ-Centred.

Individual-Awareness (valuing each person)

We value each of our people as being uniquely made in God's image and recognise the importance of treating people as individuals while at the same time acting with impartiality. This value expresses itself in valuing relationships and treating individuals well: Treating them fairly, with compassion and understanding and supporting their holistic development.

Inclusivity (fairness and belonging)

We treat our staff without favouritism or prejudice and value their diverse gifts, experience and perspective. This value expresses itself in open communication, seeking input and feedback from all staff and involving them in the heart of the organisation, particularly as it relates to their lives. Bias will not be evident in the availability of training, or advertising of positions.

Interdependence (working together)

We recognise the need we have for one another and see this worked out in developing healthy relationships. You see this value in effective teamwork, in healthy team relationships and in an attitude of togetherness within a mutually supportive environment.

Integrity (in who we are and what we do)

There is a consistency between the stated Christian values and mission, and the attitudes and behaviours of the organisation's leaders. This applies both externally, in how they carry out the mission, and internally, in how the organisation is run and the staff are treated. The leaders are people of character and worthy of respect. The organisation's representatives are known to act with integrity in all that they do.

If you would like to know more about these values, then click here to read "Organisational Values: A biblical basis".

Please note: The data collected will be treated confidentially and will not be linked to a participant in your organisation by someone outside of your organisation. Your organisation's results will not be available outside of your organisation.