Listening and leading

"Listening and leading" Continued...

Issue: "50 years after the bomb," Sept. 21, 2013

The work culture flows directly from the relational and communication skills the Yeps, both 60, have honed during 40 years of marriage. Christopher is naturally reserved and speaks after carefully forming his thoughts. Mary Anne is more outgoing and free flowing in conversation. After four decades together, they often finish one another’s sentences. They listen attentively, brainstorm together, and laugh together. Christopher says after their children grew up, the company improved because Mary Anne was able to offer more of her time and perspective. They’ve learned if they can’t agree on a decision, it might be the wrong thing to do.

Christopher says: “As I become more aware of my failings and weaknesses, and Mary Anne of her own, we become a little bit more humble, a little bit more accepting, and a little bit more able to see how God’s providence uses those struggles to draw us closer together.”

Forgiveness keeps both marriage and the workplace running smoothly, says Mary Anne. “People are human. They’re fully human here. People are not robots.” Turning to her husband, she inadvertently reveals another secret ingredient—praise: “Your patience has been fantastic. For everybody.”

Another one of Triune’s nurse case managers, Emily Camaioni, 63, says Triune has a team spirit and a focus on helping people she didn’t experience at her previous job: “I felt I was a money generator.” But at Triune, managers genuinely care. “When my mother passed away, Chris and Mary Anne Yep, along with my supervisor … came to her funeral.” Like the Yeps, Camaioni is Catholic, and supports the lawsuits “100 percent.”

The Yeps say they’ve never had a conflict with an employee over the lack of birth control coverage. When newcomers join Triune, they understand the company’s policies up front. Triune has workers who are Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, and “searching,” the Yeps say.

Mary Anne admits a few employees have left the company, abruptly and without explanation (she declines to say how many), but each position was immediately filled, thanks to the five to 10 résumés Triune receives each week. “I’m tired of working for companies who don’t value people,” one job hunter recently told her over the phone.

Even if the Yeps’ public stand for conscience rights scares off some employees or customers, they say they’ll keep fighting to preserve national religious liberty. They believe the contraceptive mandate is the biggest single attack on that liberty in American history.

“If we don’t fight these battles now, our children, our grandchildren, will pay the price in an entirely different country,” says Christopher.

Daniel James Devine
Daniel James Devine

Daniel is managing editor of WORLD Magazine and lives in Indiana. Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanJamDevine.


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