Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Faith in the Workplace - A Guest Post

At Networking Results, faith is as integral a part of the company as IT itself.

By Steve Moreau

If your faith is genuine, and it helps guide your professional and personal decisions, how could you not introduce faith into this thing that consumes so much of our lives? Our entire management team is Christian and we make no apology for it. We believe that we have been entrusted with a company that provides the support for many employee families, customers, partners, and vendors, so it should be run in a way that will maximize success.

Success is more than the bottom line, although that’s how we measure our success. But we also measure success based on the lives of our employees—both personal and professional. On the professional side, we want to provide opportunities for training and the ability to be in a position where they can shine, which manifests itself in job satisfaction. This is how we live out our faith in what we do.

But we realize that there is more to a person than just his or her professional self, and from my experience, most everyone has some sort of spiritual belief, and we are not ashamed to have created an atmosphere in which it is safe to talk about it. When we bring in food, we take time and say a prayer before we eat, for example, and employees feel comfortable asking if we would remember them or someone they know in our prayers. In those instances we don’t then gather everyone and say a prayer, although there have been a few times in management meetings when we get word that someone has been in an accident, and we will immediately take some time and pray for a safe recovery.

To us that’s extending our human compassion. We are working with individuals and in relationships, and in the end, even though we are a technology company, we’re more of a relationship company.

We have no formal process, and we are not in people’s faces about spirituality. Our actions and the way we live our lives scream a whole lot louder than anything we could say. For us, faithfulness comes from living out what we believe and allowing other people to exercise their faith as well, without any pressure to do anything they are not comfortable with.

There has not been a case when we have felt a need to restrain anyone in the company from talking about faith. What I do try to encourage, as I mentioned, is rather than just talking about it, let’s live it. Our actions will show what we believe. But if you are living it, you might as well have the option of talking about it as well, so we certainly don’t want to discourage that.

Still, we are a regular bunch of people who have lots of good times together. But there are guiding principles we follow, and those tend to align with traditional Judeo-Christian precepts of integrity, justice, fairness, and stewardship, by which we mean looking out for what has been entrusted to us.

Even from the owner’s standpoint, is this his business? Well, it is as far as ownership is concerned, but it has also been entrusted to him. There is a purpose in everything, and at this point in time, God has entrusted us with the employees in the company and our customers and partners, and we have to make sure we’re doing the right thing by all of them. We have to be accountable and compassionate. These are all straight out of the Bible.

There is such a big concern with trying to be politically correct in this world that we lose some of the compassion of trying to be a good person. If I really believed what was in the Bible and yet was not able to offer compassion to others, then I would be pretty shallow. This has been a tough economy, with lots of people out of work, and our faith helps us deal with it. Our belief is that God knows much better than any of us and he’s going to see us through it.

People find themselves in some difficult circumstances, with some very difficult challenges. Life is messy, but there is hope out there; there is hope that this isn’t all there is.

Thanks to Steve Moreau for sharing this post. It really defines NetRes and many other companies in the small business field. Problem is, too many don't have the backbone to let their faith show. We hide things and want to "fit in" rather than be the light we are called to be. Kudo's to Jeff, Steve and their team in Texas for all they are doing to be salt and light!

1 comment:

Stuart R. Crawford said...

Arlin, I spoke about faith in the workplace last week here in Calgary at a Youth Employment Conference to a bunch of HR consultants. I got the response that I expected from HR folks that this soft of openess to faith is not right. But what shocked me the most was a response from a muslim women who shared that this is the problem in western culture. We try to be to pasty. She claimed kudos to companies like this. Ulistic employs people from all faith backgrounds and it is a regular conversation piece in our work life. Hats off to such a great example.

Stuart Crawford
Ulstic Inc.