Religion or Faith may be the last thing you expect to hear about at work. Faith is still seen as something private and something which has nothing to do with your work life. But think again.
Religion or Faith can inform someone’s values and how they move through the world. This, in turn can impact leadership, team work, and work ethic (to name a few). So it’s closer than you think. Many decades ago, when most people in Canadian workplaces were Christian, we arguably didn’t need to talk about it, since there was (assumed) common ground and holidays were acknowledged and taken care of.
A few days ago I wrote about Ramadan and some of the things employers can do to acknowledge this holy month for Muslims – and I used the word accommodation.
I can’t help but think that accommodation has become a bad word – at least for Human Resources. I can imagine the eye rolling, the heavy sighs and the resignation: “One more thing we have to accommodate. When will it ever end?”
All of this has me thinking about a conversation I had a few weeks ago. If we understood each other better; if we understood what Ramadan (for instance) means to our Muslim colleagues who are observing, then “accommodation” would just become a matter of fact and respect; not a burden or an inconvenience. Likewise for other faiths and beliefs that matter to our co-workers and impact their way of being. But then we’d have to ask… and sadly we still seem to have trouble with that.
Want to learn more?
Check out the upcoming Faith@Work conference put on by Skills for Change and expand your understanding!
copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder