Shouldn’t ‘Inclusiveness’ Include the Religious?

Isn’t it curious that in the well-intentioned desire to be “inclusive,” companies expect employees to check their faith-life at the door?  Is there a place for religious expression from the employees of a large, publicly traded corporation?

.

Faith can be a tremendous source of strength for many people, including employees dealing with job stresses. Conversely, subordinating – even hiding – religious convictions can be disorienting and disempowering.

.

Meet the faithful, the next group of disenfranchised employees to seek support from enlightened and progressive employment policies. 

.

“Although in its early stages, the ‘faith-at-work movement’ is beginning to demand serious attention from employers,” notes The Conference Board’s latest executive action report “Faith at Work: What Does it Mean to be a Faith-Friendly Company.” 

.

“Faith-friendly” companies welcome all faith traditions without recognizing or favoring a particular religion.  “Faith-friendly companies … are respectful of all faiths by creating a culture of respect, diversity, inclusion and tolerance.”

.

Companies that do not discourage employees from finding appropriate expression for their religious convictions may find a competitive advantage in the marketplace – not only in the recruitment of faith-filled employees, but in helping these employees reach their full potential by allowing them to tap into an important sense of strength and calm.   

.

Happy holidays, everyone. Merry Christmas.

- Jon Harmon

Comments

  1. Todd says:

    Good article. Wondering if there are any studies out there that show a relationship between someone’s faith and their contribution to a business’s success (including intangible measures like loyalty, work ethic, integrity, and so on).

  2. Ed says:

    I think this effort initates a welcome dialogue for many of us who’ve felt stymied by our current corporate policy of hiding all religous expression. I hope we can develop the necessary amount of tolerance and openness to allow this to grow.

  3. Randy says:

    Jon, after reading this article, I am going to put out some religious items in my office in hope others will follow suit.

  4. Jon H. says:

    Todd:
    The short answer to your question is, yes. “There has been ample emperical evidence that spirituality in the workplace creates a new organizational culture in which empoyees feel happier and perform better…employees are more creative and have higher morale, two factors that are closely linked to good organizational performance,” concludes Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamar in “Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance” (published in Public Administration Review, May/June 2003). I can’t find an Internet link; you can find it in the old-fashioned library!

  5. Sarah Kincheloe says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. What baffles me is that in a society that pleads for open-mindedness, petitioning for the rights of social and political minorities, the spiritual populations are either ignored, or worse, shunned. With the exception of some religions, these groups of people are those who will prove the most peaceful, the most faithful, and essentially, those who are the most true to themselves and what they do. They live by a code of specific moral standards and are held accountable by the peers that share their beliefs.
    These circumstances should produce the type of person who is predictable and easy to understand–simply research their faith values and you should learn a great deal about who they are. Why wouldn’t an organization want to not only understand their employees, but also be able to understand how they will most likely react or perform in specific situations?

Speak Your Mind

*