APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

All Together Now

Minnesota – Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, LSS Financial Counseling Service (LSS FCS) is a not-for-profit, full-service credit counseling organization devoted to helping people gain control of their finances. With multiple offices across the state, LSS FCS goes out of its way to bring employees together for meetings, training and retreats, all with the full support of management.

Regular face-to-face meetings allow LSS FCS employees to acquire new skills and build their professional relationships despite the physical distance between offices. The meetings are scheduled a year in advance so employees have sufficient time to make travel arrangements and coordinate with their personal and family obligations.

LSS FCS hosts a day-long meeting every other month and a two-day retreat twice a year. The spring retreat is usually held in the countryside, and in the autumn employees rendezvous in Duluth, enjoying daytime activities and a special dinner. In the not-for-profit financial industry, it’s not the norm to devote resources to frequent face-to-face meetings, but with this organization, employees count on it and the organization benefits.

During the meetings, employees have ample opportunities to break into small groups and really get to know each other on a personal and professional level. In every configuration, the goal is always the same – to get all LSS FCS employees from across the state on the same page. This strategy for improving employee involvement and training has paid off for LSS FCS – building strong professional relationships, ensuring consistency and promoting a strong focus on client outcomes.

"The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award was an excellent process, which provided us with invaluable information that will greatly assist us in moving forward with our initiatives in health, wellness, and safety. The bonus was that we won the award!"

Josie Ryan
Director of Health and Wellness
Northwoodcare Inc. and Northwood Homecare Ltd