Catholic multimedia publisher cites new pro-life family leave policies and focus on employee feedback as keys to success.
Ascension, the leader in faith formation, is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place to Work® for the third year in a row. The prestigious certification is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working at Ascension.
“We feel very blessed to have once again been designated one of the best places to work in America,” says Jonathan Strate, Ascension’s president and CEO. “Starting with a healthy culture is our top priority so that we can achieve our company mission: to present the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith. This recognition from Great Place to Work is a testament to our team’s incredible work all year long. We’re honored to be certified for a third year in a row.”
This year Ascension earned a 99% Trust Index Score, up 3 points from its 96% rating last year. The Great Place to Work (GPTW) Trust Index Score “measures the level of trust in [the] organization and the consistency of the employee experience.” A typical company scores at 57% on this Index.
A Work Culture Responsive to Employee Input
“We are so excited and humbled to see these incredible scores,” comments Cassie Schmidt, senior manager of People and Culture [Human Resources] at Ascension. “It’s our primary goal in People and Culture to make each Ascension team member feel well-supported in their work. This year’s results prove that we are accomplishing that goal for our employees, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
When asked what these remarkably high marks could be attributed to, Schmidt said that the answer is a blend of both long-term and short-term initiatives for People and Culture.
“We are constantly soliciting input from our employees, and then acting upon that input. In 2021, the top employee request was for an update and standardization on our compensation packages, so the following year we partnered with Salary.com to make that happen. In 2022 the top issue raised was improved parental leave, so we instituted comprehensive Pro-Life Family Leave Policies, including paid leave for birth, adoption, miscarriage, family caregiving, and personal illness. When our employees raise issues to our attention, we take those concerns seriously and fix whatever is in our power to fix. Over time, we have worked incredibly hard to earn the trust of our employees and our teams.”
GPTW Certification is based on a 62-question employee survey distributed by GPTW. Questions are focused on the “5 dimensions of a high-trust company culture.” 3 of these dimensions ask employees to evaluate leadership in terms of credibility, respect, and fairness, and the other 2 dimensions ask employees about their pride and sense of belonging in the company overall.
In all, GPTW reports that “these 5 dimensions create a workplace culture where employees feel empowered and encouraged to do their most meaningful work.” GPTW shares that “high-trust cultures are shown [in our research] to outperform their competitors in recruitment and retention, productivity and innovation, and financial performance.”
In Their Own Words: “I Love Working Here.”
In response to an open-ended question, “is there anything unique or unusual about this company that makes it a great place to work?” Ascension employees shared:
- “This company is like no other company. I love working here.”
- “The mission. It’s not every day you get to bring your personal values into the workplace with you.”
- “This is the most caring, compassionate company I have ever worked for. I love the extra benefits that Ascension provides their employees. You truly feel cared about, and that you matter. I have never and will never encounter a company like Ascension…. I love everything about working here.”
- “The combination of high-performing excellence and human-first empathy cultivated here is a rare gift.”
- “Our leadership team is in the trenches with us and I know I can’t say that for any other company I’ve worked for. To see our leaders roll their sleeves up and work alongside us is inspiring and unique. Servant leadership in practice!”
- “The culture here is amazing and you can tell the company is intentional about that, it is even part of the interview process. Also, we always get clear honest answers to our questions from our immediate supervisor to our CEO.”
- “Having humility as a core value… It’s so much more productive and enjoyable to work with teammates who exhibit humility; you don’t have to waste time assessing people’s motives or endure someone else’s grandstanding to get ahead.”
- “The compassion, not only is this company invested in my career, they are also invested in my personal life.”
- “I have never encountered a company with such a solid, inviting work culture, and also such a tangible sense of passion and drive. It’s all the stability of a twenty-year company with the opportunity of a start up. It is exhilarating to work here.”
- “I have worked for both Fortune 500 and smaller companies and I can sincerely say that this company has the best work culture I have ever experienced.”
- “The company is very family-oriented and prioritizes work-life balance. For instance, we have flexi-time and our managers trust us enough with our time and getting our job done. Another example is that whenever we have company events like our Summit, our People and Culture team offers services to mothers who are breastfeeding such as milk storage and a mother’s room. As a mother myself, I recognize these efforts that the company makes to honor what we do not just as employees but as mothers.”
Interested in Working With Ascension?
Looking to grow your career at a company that puts its people first? Visit our careers page at: https://ascensionpress.com/pages/careers
Ascension is a multimedia network and the leader in Catholic faith formation and digital content. Over the past 24 years, Ascension has helped nurture the faith of over 10 million Catholics through award-winning books, the chart-topping Bible in a Year podcast, more than 50 unique faith formation programs, and Ascension Presents, which hosts the largest Catholic YouTube channel in English.
About Great Place to Work Certification
Great Place to Work Certification is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition that companies aspire to achieve. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place to Work-Certified.
About Great Place to Work
Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.