Recognizing and supporting employees to integrate their faith and work is just good business.
Many companies are taking steps to become faith friendly. According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey in 2007, one third of companies are developing explicit policies on managing religious beliefs in the workplace. Proposals to form affinity groups, prayer breakfasts, and the introduction of corporate chaplains are among the common employee requests.
Since the 1980’s, spirituality has begun to move into the workplace and it means finding ways to integrate faith and work to recognize that many employees desire to live an integrated holistic life. Dozens of companies from Coca Cola to Microsoft are becoming “faith friendly” allowing groups to meet for Bible study or to discuss ethics from a religious perspective. Ford Motor Company, for example, embraces faith as part of an employee’s lifestyle and a compliment to their diversity program.
A NYC law firm is making headlines with their diversity programs by expanding them to include faith related matters. Instinctively and by common sense one might conclude that work life programs are effective ways of attracting and retaining good employees and enhancing a company’s reputation but research conducted at WFD (formerly Work/Family Directions) has the data from the DuPont and Hoechst Celanese studies to prove it.
At DuPont it was found that 45% of the employees who used the company’s work life programs were more likely to agree strongly that they will go the extra mile and least likely to feel overwhelmed or burned out. At Hoechst Celanese, 60% of those surveyed reported that their ability to manage the work life balance was of great importance to remain with the company and employees who were aware of work life programs were 39% more likely to expect to stay with the company.
Employee work/life programs and faith friendly work environments are good for business and good for the employee. For those companies who embrace religion at work instead of fearing it or fighting it may come out ahead of the competition.