In the past several weeks the coronavirus COVID-19 has experienced exponential growth, and not only in Wuhan, China, where it is thought to have originated. Cases have been identified in at least 52 countries internationally, including 59 in the United States. And, in mid-February 2020, one Harvard professor, Marc Lipsitch, of the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The Wall Street Journal that he predicts that in the event of a pandemic, “40–70% of people worldwide are likely to be infected in the coming year,” admitting that not all carriers may be symptomatic.
As of 28 February, the WHO reports that more than 83,647 cases have been identified, and more than 2,858 deaths have occurred. The JAMA Network is currently reporting a 2.3% death rate based on survivability of victims.
First and foremost, we need to take steps to protect not just the safety of our employees, clients, and customers but their families as well.
COVID-19 Symptoms & Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), patients with confirmed novel coronavirus infections (2019-nCoV) are reported to experience mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure, based upon the estimated incubation period of MERS viruses. However, Reuters indicates that the Chinese Provincial Government now reports that the COVID-19 incubation period could range as long as 27 days. As individuals not exhibiting symptoms can still be carrying it, precaution is certainly in order.
Prevention & Education
Promoting a clean environment and advocating for employee wellness is imperative, as prevention is key to stopping the spread. Employees need to be reminded to wash their hands—and wash them well—and to sanitize often. Provide them good guidance on healthy workplace habits.
It may sound like basic common sense, but many people are not alert to simple hygiene practices, such as covering their nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing and using a hand sanitizer afterward, to prevent the spread of germs. Help employees access the important steps necessary, such as the CDC’s guide to flu prevention. Even discouraging the practice of shaking hands can help. (It has been reported that Japan’s risk of spreading the disease is lower because of their cultural practice of bowing instead of hand-shaking.)
Data shows that people who are healthy and active have a much greater chance of survival, if infected. This is a call to people to start or continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it relates to nutrition and cardiovascular exercise.
Brush up on your current absenteeism policies concerning both exempt and non-exempt employees. What do your policies require you, as an employer, to do regarding time off? Go further and investigate your local, state and federal compliance regulations as well. Are you large enough to have to comply with FMLA?
Be prepared to answer questions from people who could be quarantined or prevented medically from returning to work. This is where it gets problematic. Will they be paid? Unpaid? Eligible for PTO or sick time compensation? Naturally, this depends on your organization, its policies, and the rules that govern your local, state and federal employment. Now is the time to prepare, to get ahead of these questions, instead of waiting to react when under the pressure of a potential pandemic.
Employees Returning from Highly Infected Areas
What should you do if you suspect an employee or a member of their family has traveled to where the coronavirus is prevalent? We recommend that you have the employee check in with a physician prior to returning to work and provide you with a return-to-work statement, clearing them to return to full duty. The last thing you want is someone to enter the workplace who has been exposed and could potentially spread the virus to your other employees. This will mitigate concerns expressed by other employees and help stave off any rumors or innuendo.
The sudden speed and geographic spread of this virus has caught the world off-guard. As HR professionals, these are the times when gaps in our policies and procedures become evident. The idea is to prepare as much as possible rather than reacting under pressure.
We opened this posting by reminding you to not panic, and we would like to close with that reminder. If you feel you or your leadership team is not equipped to face this current crisis, don’t wait—contact us today. We are here to support you.
All organizations have Core Values. Few organizations memorialize them; almost none manage them.
Organizations tend to be meshed together by a unique blend of personal and corporate values. These values are important to its employees, leaders and stakeholders.
What exactly is a Core Value? A Core Value from our human resources perspective is one that reflects the heart of your organization. It is what makes your organization tick; it defines your organization. It is how your vendors view your behavior toward them; it is your culture when dealing with customers.
It is what employees tell their neighbors and friends when they ask what it is like to work at your organization.
One of the most important aspects of Core Values is where they come from. Core Values need to be shared across the organization, but they also need to have a reference point. Your Core Values should include a statement highlighting that reference point.
We are a family-owned and operated organization. As such, we respect each other and collectively support the following Values in the way in which we do business and treat each other both internally and externally to the organization.
Efficiency: We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Individual Responsibility: We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises and we always endeavor to use good judgment.
Quality: We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Ownership: We own our decisions, we own our mistakes, we own our achievements.
If you have not yet defined what your Core Values are, it may be time for you to solidify an agreement on which Core Values are important to your organization. This should be done with care, because, by now, leaders and employees have created their own values, and they are not always aligned with the owners or senior managers.
In the development of Core Values for a seasoned organization, the process should be shared, not just top down. Brainstorming should include several layers of employees and are often best done in focus group format, where groups of employees nominate a representative to meet with the facilitator, and the ensuing Core Values should be agreed upon and understood.
Naturally, there are some Core Values that are nonnegotiable, such as Trust or Integrity but the core value, the true heart of the organization, is what is valued collectively by employees, and is not necessarily always what the top leaders think or want.
How many Core Values do you need?
Some organizations have as many as ten Core Values. We believe that ten Core Values is too many. Instead, we recommend three to five Core Values. Fewer Core Values not only ensures that these are your true core principles but, also makes it easier for your employees to remember them easily. It is also easier to manage within your HR processes.
Below is a laundry list of the Core Values we have compiled that we find most valuable, to enable you to best select what is truly most important to your organization.
Accountability — We are responsible for our actions, which, in turn, influence our customers, vendors and coworkers. We hold ourselves and each other to a high standard of accountability.
Balance — We create a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates family-work balance for employees.
Biblical Principles — We are a company founded on Biblical principles, therefore, all we do we entrust in God.
Civic Responsibility — We honor our coworkers and our communities by our motivation, knowledge and ability to actively participate in our communities as volunteers and leaders.
Compassion — We show kindness for others by helping those who are in need.
Courage — We face difficult situations with confidence and determination, standing up for our convictions, even when some of the decisions we make are right, but not popular.
Commitment — We are committed to ourselves, our vendors, and our customers; it is through commitment that we will all achieve.
Community — We are committed to the communities in which we do business and our employees live, work and love.
Consistency — We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistency.
Diversity — We respect diversity of race, gender, thought, interests, and ideas.
Efficiency — We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Empowerment — We create an atmosphere that allows others to achieve through their unique contributions.
Fairness — We pride ourselves on having a work environment that emulates fairness. We treat people equally and make decisions without influence from favoritism or prejudice.
Fun — Work does not need to be painful or joyless.
Honesty — We believe in consistently seeking and speaking the truth in the workplace. We believe in a workplace devoid of lying, cheating, stealing, or any other forms of deception.
Individual Responsibility — We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises, and we always use good judgment.
Industriousness — We realize the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of putting forth efforts to achieve our goals; we celebrate our team’s unique abilities to contribute to prospering our organization.
Innovation — We create before others do!
Integrity — Without integrity, we are nothing!
Justice — We consider the perspectives of others and demonstrate the courage to be consistently fair while treating all with equal dignity and respect.
Leadership — We lead with conviction and understanding.
Ownership — We own our decisions; we own our mistakes; we own our achievements.
Passion — We love what we do, and our heart goes into our work.
Quality — We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Respect — We maintain a work style of trust in all our interactions.
Respect — We value our vendors, our customers and ourselves; we treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated.
Risk Taking — We take calculated risks, learn from our mistakes, and grow in our successes.
Safety — We are accountable for our personal safety and helping our coworkers maintain a safe environment.
Service Excellence — We provide best in class service to our internal and external customers every day.
The best Core Value is one that you and your teams identify and create together. Please post below what your experiences have been with Core Values and share a list of those values that you think are integral to every organization.
During this crisis, one of the greatest at-risk groups at every Christian higher education institution is your greatest intangible asset—your employees, the faculty and staff who so faithfully serve your students.
Balancing fiduciary responsibility while caring for your employees is a serious challenge at most of our Christian higher education institutions. Gain key HR insights from the CEO of In His Name HR, Mark Griffin, on options for employee pay and relationships as you financially navigate these uncharted waters.
We will cover the following 5 crucial points:
- Reduction in force – What is the difference between furlough, layoff, and reduction in force? How do you approach changes with grace, respect, and dignity?
- Communication keys – Over-communicate with employees with transparency, addressing emotional concerns, decisions, and forecasts.
- Employee focus – Ensure all of your job descriptions are updated and understood, especially as duties shift.
- Organizational design – Update your organizational chart with current reality and future options.
- Vision and value driven – Energize employees in the importance of your mission, vision, and values
These and other issues will be addressed in this important 1-hour webinar by a keen partner and consistent High-Performance Human Resources blogger with ABHE, Mark Griffin. If you’re dealing with employee relationships during this crisis, I hope you’ll join us for his invaluable counsel.
Our featured speaker will be: Mark A. Griffin, MBA
President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC
Thursday, April 30, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
All successful organizations have a Mission. Without a Mission, well, no one will know what it is they are doing and why. Another problem organizations have when absent a Mission is that their customers and vendors often end up confused, having mixed expectations.
I have worked for many organizations in my time. Probably more than most, and I consider this to be a good thing. The reason I consider this a good thing is that the experiences that God has given me in these numerous and diverse organizations has made me a far more competent counselor to businesses across the marketplace than if I had occupied one narrow niche for most of my career.
One common denominator I have identified is that the businesses that are successful all have an established Mission for their organization, a Mission that is co-developed by all of their employees and is ingrained into the culture of the organization. In fact, in high-performing organizations, candidates are exposed to the organizations ’s Mission before they’re even hired. Vendors know the Mission and Customers are aware, as well.
When Vendors know the Mission and Customers understand it, that’s enormously positive, but the most powerful and impactful group are your Employees. In my wealth of experience, I have discovered an absolute truth by simply listening to employees for more than 20 years. Fully 99 percent of all employees who come to work every day, want nothing more than to do a good job; in fact, most want to exceed your expectations. It really is the American way. Work hard, play hard and love your life. The problem, though, that many organizations suffer from is a lack of leadership to help steer the organization.
Specifically, they lack leadership in creating a Mission that employees own and strive to achieve.
What is a Mission?
Your Mission is simply what you do best — every day — and why. Your Mission should reflect your customers’ needs. Having a Mission is the foundation of turning the dreams and potential of an organization into reality. So, in a nutshell, your Mission
simply affirms why your organization exists!
So what does a Mission consist of? Well, it really is not rocket science. It is simply what your organization collectively — yes, I said collectively — not top down management, or board of directors to management — developed. It works like this:
- The senior management team develops a framework of what they believe the Mission is and should be.
- Line management then takes the draft document to the line supervision.
- Finally, employees and a good HR rep facilitate a roundtable session using the draft Mission as a guide.
You have a couple of reiterations, meetings back and forth, and then it’s time for “Congratulations!” because you now have a consensus on your Mission. Now, of course, when it is being facilitated, the facilitator must be skilled in getting everyone on board with the final product.
Key is letting your employees know that each one of them has an opportunity to challenge it, provide their personal input and suggest changes, but that, ultimately, when the majority of the employees and management agree to the final document, then it is up to all employees to respect it and support it.
Benefits of Creating or Revisiting Your Mission.
The benefit of creating a Mission or revisiting a current one is that it opens up the communication process inside of your organization. An effective Mission is based on input and commitment from as many people within your organization as possible. A Mission statement should not be an autocratic version of Moses and the Tablets. All of your employees must feel and understand your organization’s Mission. Only then can they make the necessary personal commitment to its spirit.
Tips for great Missions:
- Keep it short.
- Describe WHY customers will buy from you.
- Define your product or service clearly.
- Identify WHO is your ideal customer.
- Specify WHAT you offer your customer — benefits, services, advantages, etc.
- Delineate what makes your product or service different from that of your competition.
Google: “We organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Starbucks: “We inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Share with us your experiences with your organization’s Mission. How was it created? Who was involved, how would you have changed the process? Is the Mission applicable to you and your coworkers? Share with us and help the community to learn and grow.
The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) Annual Meeting
February 12–14, 2020 | Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, Florida
Read The Press Release Here
In HIS Name HR, in conjunction with ABHE, is excited to announce the 2020 Annual Meeting presentation topics.
How to Develop a More Effective Employee Search Process
It’s no secret that your higher education institution wants to succeed. It should come as no surprise that your employees also want to succeed! Naturally, there’s often a strong, positive relationship between the two—when employees succeed, so do the institutions they serve.
A key question: How can organizations most effectively find, train, motivate, and encourage employees’ success?
Primary Topics Covered
- Marketing your institution in today’s difficult labor market
- What makes employers attractive?
- Where do institutions find the best employees?
- What are the three most important steps of an effective hiring process?
This presentation helps prepare not only those in HR but also anyone who might have an effect on hiring in your organization. The presentation is highly interactive (including table exercises) and gives participants the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations and professionals.
The Art of Employee Evaluation and Transition/Separation
Here, we examine the concept of a high-performance review process, and how your institution can optimize performance levels through an effective and enjoyable employee review process—a process that your employees will enthusiastically embrace and enjoy instead of dread.
We also discuss performance improvement plans that transition underperforming employees either to more suitable roles or out of the organization, and how to separate employees with grace.
Primary Topics Covered
- Taking steps – simple, impactful, and timely – to make the process gracefully effective
- Executing a comprehensive communication plan to all employees
- Avoiding the common pitfalls in other organizations
- Setting expectations
- Employee policy manuals
- Codes of conduct
- Counseling and disciplinary procedures
- Labor law overview
The training is highly interactive (including table exercises) and gives participants the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations and professionals.
Learn More Here
Visit us- Booth 119 – ABHE Annual Meeting!
About The Speaker
Mark is an accomplished HR expert with a fresh perspective. He believes in challenging people to think differently when presented with obstacles in any situation. His passions are inspiring, motivating, and helping others. Peers describe Mark as creative, proactive, determined, and eager to learn. Just a few of Mark’s professional skills include organizing, presenting, and problem solving.
Mr. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Administration from Saint Leo University. He earned his MBA from Bloomsburg University while interning for Congressmen Kanjorski as a military liaison during the first Gulf War. Mark has completed several executive education programs at the University of Michigan.
Prior to leading In HIS Name HR, Mark worked for Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., and Merck Inc., and private companies Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and Valco Companies Inc.
In addition to helping people professionally, Mark also believes in helping people personally through volunteer work. Mark has coached leaders on “Business as a Mission,” traveling to Eastern Europe, India, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Whether you are in the C suite at a large organization or working at a nonprofit, a college, ministry, or church, one of your most critical tasks is to ensure that your colleagues work in a safe, comfortable environment. Surveys consistently show that workplace culture is directly correlated to organizational success. Because of this, you must pay close attention to how your employees feel, and whether they are positioned to do their best work at your organization.
Therefore, as we enter a new decade, it is worth taking the time to explore some of the most important HR trends for Christians in the workplace. Even if you do not interact with HR on a day-to-day basis, understanding these trends can go a long way toward creating a terrific workplace experience for all of your colleagues.
Upcoming HR Trends for Christians in the Workplace
One upcoming HR trend for Christian ethics in the workplace centers on the rise of soft skills. Much of the media discussion regarding the war on talent focuses on the technical skills necessary for a particular role. And, clearly, your HR department and hiring managers need to ensure that your team members can successfully do their work. That being said, some of the largest skill gaps are behavioral, rather than technical. Soft skills like emotional intelligence and creative problem-solving are extremely valuable, regardless of your type of business or the services you offer.
Embracing Christian ethics in the workplace gives you and your organization a distinct advantage. The Christian faith naturally calls for followers to work on their emotional intelligence skills, for us to recognize that everyone around us has their own desires, dreams, and needs. Christians in the workplace stay true to a set of principles and values, and apply them to their colleagues.
Ultimately, it is difficult to hire for “soft skills.” They are difficult to identify on a résumé/CV. That said, having already incorporated Christian ethics in the workplace, you should leverage the emotional intelligence and other soft skills of your team. Even though technology has changed the world as we know it, these soft skills can help set your organization apart from its competitors. Make sure you take advantage of them in 2020.
From the rise of soft skills, 2020 will be the year of diversity of location and schedule. More of your current and new employees will be looking for flexible working schedules, whether that means having the option to work remotely several days per month or something else. Flexible working schedules can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they increase employee morale. Some studies also show that flexible working schedules result in increased productivity. On the other hand, flexible working schedules require a significant amount of trust in your workforce. It may also be logistically difficult, depending on your particular organization.
While you and your colleagues must make the final call, Christian ethics in the workplace may tip the scales in favor ofallowing for flexible working schedules. Your colleagues, in all likelihood, will not abuse this freedom and be intent on doing the best possible work they can outside the office. Once again, it is a judgment call, but this is a fact that you may want to consider.
Finally, a key trend in HR for 2020 will be the rise of mental health services to employer benefits. While it may have been overlooked in past years, employers are increasingly looking for enhanced mental health options for their employees. The modern-day workplace is stressful. Clients can be demanding. Not only that, but employees may be dealing with other stresses in their non-work lives.
Whether or not your company adopts Christian ethics in the workplace, allocating part of your budget to mental health care for your employees can go a long way. Not only can it make your colleagues happier, but it can increase productivity within your company.
As Christians, we believe that the most important aspect of our health is spiritual health. The best benefit you can offer employees is access to a chaplain. Corporate Chaplains of America, a workplace chaplain network, provides employees with 24/7 access to the largest nationwide network of full-time workplace chaplains. These chaplains are professionally trained and prepared to care for people in crisis. Chaplains can help in circumstances where you, as an employer, cannot. Chaplains assist employees with hospital care, family and marriage care, substance abuse, stress management, and interpersonal conflicts. They are a great benefit and we have personally witnessed the impact they can make on morale and the eternal security of your employees.
Preparing for the New Decade
These near-term trends for Christians in the workplace are important to monitor. By taking advantage of these trends, you can help create and maintain a wonderfully positive and supportive workplace culture at your organization.
Therefore, as the new decade looms, keep these HR trends in mind. Gather your team to determine how you can leverage any or all of the trends mentioned above. By doing so, you can help ensure your organization starts off on a strong foot in 2020.
In HIS Name HR provides results-oriented human resource outsourcing services, professional recruiting services, and leadership development utilizing behavioral and talent assessment tools, as well as solutions to reduce HR costs and create more successful, productive employees. We help you develop a high-performance organization.
Over my 25 plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are four reasons skillful workers will leave for another job.
(1) No opportunity – When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, employees look elsewhere for better options.
(2) Not knowing the dollar value of their benefits – Pay and benefits is a topic often avoided in many workplaces. Many organizations, however, offer competitive pay and often benefits that cost thousands of dollars, and employees haven’t a clue. (Think PTO, like legal holidays, sick days, and vacation days; life insurance, long-term disability (LTD), and short-term disability (STD) programs; health insurance, including vision and dental; and wellness programs.) The costs of all these programs add up. When organizations take the time to periodically make employees aware of the total cost of all the benefits at their disposal, employees gain a greater appreciation how much value they receive in their job.
(3) Feeling unappreciated – When employees receive little or no gratitude or acknowledgment for their contributions, it feels demoralizing — no wonder they seek more rewarding work elsewhere. The biggest surprise? Many times, during exit interviews, departing employees disclose that a simple, verbal “thank you” would have made all the difference. However, in many organizations, too often managers fail to do even that.
(4) Sheer Boredom – Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture, employees don’t see concrete, interesting ways to contribute, outside of the ordinary scope of their jobs. Things grow tedious and employees hunt for new challenges to make work feel more meaningful.
So, while you might think your employees only want higher pay and a corner office, or that the trend among employees is to feel “entitled,” the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more basic and fundamental management approaches—and a better explanation of the benefits they currently have.
Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased company loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?
What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? Consider asking them. That’s right. Simply spending time with employees in focus groups and roundtable discussions can help you to help them by making basic changes to ensure you keep your greatest asset happy and encouraged.
One more thing…What’s the Top Reason People Quit?
This 2017 Inc. magazine article reveals that the primary reason employees quit is:
People leave managers, not companies.
Marcel Schwantes, while researching the topic of turnover, found that 50% of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”
Keep in mind that as a new generation of workers comes of age, the issue of turnover will continue to grow. Many employees now look at their lives differently than workers did 20 and 30 years ago. Most value relationships above all else, and when a manager starts stealing their joy, they won’t hesitate to look for work elsewhere.
The workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will invariably choose a desirable manager over monetary or organizational rewards.
If you are concerned about retaining talented employees while also saving time and money in hiring and training costs, remember these top 4 reasons and the new trend that makes talented people quit. It could make keeping the great people you need a lot easier than you thought.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
It’s almost impossible to open a news website without seeing a headline regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace.
Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein… They represent organizations that have just gone mad, that have failed to protect their people. The list of organizations and accused persons continues to grow. I find it particularly offensive when I consider how I want my family—both men and women—to be treated in the workplace. I am dismayed to discover the extent to which organizations are failing to protect their employees from predatory and exploitative behavior.
Those of us who are Christian professionals in the workplace have an obligation to not only live by the law but also demonstrate behavior that is biblical, and not a reflection of the current aberrant culture. We must ensure that all we do, and all the policies we institute and the responses we make to issues are above reproach.
I am in no way claiming that Christian organizations are perfect. Some have also failed (some, spectacularly) in this area. This is not just a Hollywood or industry-specific issue; it is a moral issue, a sin that knows no bounds. The Christian community has had its own share of scandals. Church leaders have failed us, and international mission leaders have failed us as well.
At In HIS name HR, we serve organizations across all professional sectors. We have served for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, higher education institutions, including Christian higher education institutions, churches, and ministries. One thing is for certain, when you get two or more people together, issues and conflicts inevitably arise—at the very least, innocent misunderstandings—which, when not handled well, can lead to complete pandemonium.
The Three-Prong Approach
What should organizations do to protect their employees from harassment? We at In HIS Name HR believe that it is far easier to do than most realize. We suggest a three-prong approach:
Have a good policy in place that is easy to understand by both employees and managers. Have it embedded into your employee handbook and ensure everyone has signed for it. We promote having only a handbook. Most organizations can cover every topic in one handbook without adding additional policies. Having additional polices creates confusion, especially when you have to update multiple documents in multiple locations.
A best practice is to have the handbook online with a date embedded in the footer and have all employees in an employee meeting sign a receipt that they have been informed of the version and location. Then follow up in an email with a link to the handbook and a return receipt memorializing the fact that the employee has received the updated version.
Training should include awareness for all employees, and awareness, detection, and prevention for leadership. Employees need to know what is and is not acceptable in the workplace. For instance, there are two separate types of sexual harassment in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: a hostile work environment and quid pro quo.
A hostile workplace is just that: a workplace that is hostile and what the average or “reasonable person” would deem inappropriate. The complexity derives from the interpretation of an offense—what is offensive to one person might be considered the norm by another person. What good training does is help both the offended and the offender navigate how to abate a situation that risks elevating to explosive.
The second type of harassment, quid pro quo, derives its name from the Latin expression meaning “this for that,” doing a favor for a favor, as it were, where something is given in exchange for something else. In its most negative connotation, in terms of harassment, it is used when a person in a position of authority exploits their power to pressure or manipulate a subordinate to submit to behavior or activity, typically sexual in nature, which either promises a favorable outcome or threatens them with repercussions. Such favors include promotion, pay increases or bonuses, while threats may be made to compromise employment, reputation, or future opportunities. Both employees and leadership must be able to recognize the signs of such quid pro quo, and have sufficient ability or recourse to safely put a stop to it.
One aspect of the training is to “be real,” to let everyone know that certain behaviors are not acceptable, whether in the workplace or anyplace. Let them know that they should not do it, tolerate it, or ignore it, and they should personally help make the workplace an environment we would want all the people we love to work in.
When a complaint is raised, it must always be taken seriously. One aspect we have built into the complaint approach is to formally let the complainant know that we take their complaint very seriously, and that it will be thoroughly investigated immediately.
“People are denying the reality that most women grow up and live their lives being harassed, if not assaulted, and being propositioned or being pursued inappropriately,” Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior says. “Almost every woman I know, including myself, has had something like that happen to them. This is just the world we grow up in.”
We must honor and trust all complaints that are brought forward, while explaining that if the complaint is found to be untruthful, the accuser may be subject to discipline up to and including separation. This might seem harsh, however, it is important that the accused be equally protected before and during the investigative phase. I have led more than one investigation where the person who was accused was able to provide evidence to prove their innocence. In this instance, “Innocent until proven guilty” applies to both parties, the accuser and the accused, and both are entitled to fair and confidential treatment during the investigation.
The investigation itself should be swift, and conducted by trained professionals. The best practice, if the investigation is performed internally, is to ensure the person investigating has no reporting relationships with anyone involved in the compliant. Ensure copious notes are taken and the privacy of all involved is protected. This is paramount to prevent anyone who is accused or involved from filing charges against the organization for false accusations.
The best way to list the contact for complaints is to employ consistency by supplying a title versus a name. You should, however, make sure there are two ways for people to bring forward an issue—have both a female and a male as points of contact. This helps any complainant to feel more comfortable bringing the issue forward. Oftentimes, the person who feels harassed prefers to talk with a like-gendered person.
Finally, if your organization is small, consider hiring a third party to operate as the point of contact. Our firm offers this to its clients, which gives their employees increased confidence, knowing their issue will be dealt with swiftly and objectively by a third party.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.
Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
HR practices that can best help your “Kingdom-Minded” organization and business protect its mission in todays’ hostile world.
Teague Learning Commons
Thursday November 14, 2019
Presenter Mark Griffin has seen it all in his more than 25 years of Human Resources experience gained by working with a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to Christian Colleges, Ministries and Churches.
Presenter Randall Wenger Esq. has a myriad of experiences from all his years of working on religious liberty cases in Pennsylvania including the Conestoga Wood Specialties case that resulted in a landmark victory in the US Supreme Court for religious liberty and the sanctity of life. Randy understands the pressures and dangers that are facing those who want to run their businesses and organizations in line with their Christian values.
Let Mark and Randy help you by sharing their experiences in helping a variety of organizations manage their beliefs in the reality of today’s workplace.
Leading an organization with Christ-centered values makes organizational sense.
Mark will share why he believes Christ-centered organizations experience:
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher quality products
- Less employee morale issues
- Safer work environments
- Better perceptions by customers and vendors
Mark will also share how he helps organizations develop HR practices that reflect their core values and still build a high performance organization.
Topics To Be Covered
- Legislative and policy dangers
- Current state of religious liberty in court
- Creating a high performance culture through practical HR competency development
- Where most organizations go wrong engaging employees
- Setting expectations
- HR tools for creating success
- Employee policy manuals
- Codes of Conduct
- Employee relations and communications
- Performance management
- Counseling and discipline procedures
- An overview of labor laws
Click Here For Tickets
Teague Learning Commons (Map)
About The Pennsylvania Family Institute
The Mission of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society. It is the only full-time, professionally staffed non-profit organization representing family values—your values—in the state capitol. It encourages responsible citizenship and involvement in civic affairs to promote respect for life, family, marriage and religious liberty.
About The Presenters
Randall L. Wenger, Esq. – COO & Chief Counsel
Randall Wenger is Chief Counsel of the Independence Law Center in Harrisburg, a pro-bono law center affiliated with the Pennsylvania Family Institute and dedicated to maintaining those liberties that have made America great and free. He has litigated in federal courts all around the county, and his cases have included the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, bodily privacy, and pro-life issues. In addition to his role with the Independence Law Center, he is COO of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Randall has an economics degree from the University of Chicago and earned his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Lancaster County, and he and his wife Tina have seven children.
Mark A. Griffin, MBA – President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC
Mark is a human resources professional with 25-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces by utilizing best practices while leading organizations with strong values.
Speaker, accomplished HR consultant, and the author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, Mark A. Griffin encourages leaders to build values-led organizations during these increasingly complex times.
Today’s churches sit empty. More than any other time in history, your employees spend increased amounts of time commuting to and from work, working in their workplaces, and working evenings and weekends, disengaged from their families and communities. These increased hours have resulted in employees spending more waking hours at work than they spend at home with their families, with friends or volunteering in their communities. Because of this, we all have an opportunity and a mission: a mission to reach those who need saving. This is the world’s untapped harvest, a field of opportunity. And, as God proclaims, we need more workers into his fields.
Matthew 9: 35-38 (NIV) The Workers Are Few 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
According to Pew’s 2014 Religious Landscape Survey, those who say they go to church or another house of worship at least once a week fell from 39 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2014. This number is probably misleading because many people may have embellished their attendance a bit out of a sense of guilt or obligation! However, assuming it is accurate that would leave a whopping 65% of U.S. residents not attending any religious services each week. This is a concern, because it clearly proves that, statistically speaking, your employees are probably not spiritually grounded.
This is where Christian business owners and executives
must step in to help God fill the void.
As a human resources professional with 25 years of experience in both public and private companies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the lack of faith in our workplace affects every aspect of the workplace. Employees’ lack of time to focus on their own spiritual needs will undoubtedly affect productivity, quality and safety. Harder to measure but just as important, it affects their own and their coworkers’ morale. Employees lacking in faith will bring far more problems to the workplace than those who are seeking God or are Christ followers.
You can try to run your business without God.
Or you can include Him in your plans.
I urge you to include Him.
God is the ultimate business partner!
Therefore, those of us that are hesitant to embrace Christianity in the workplace must really look at it not only from a spiritual perspective, but from a business perspective as well. Far from being self-serving, this shows the attitude of a responsible business owner, attempting to prosper their business for the financial security and future of their employees and employees’ families.
If you are a business owner, sometimes you might feel like your the only christian in the workplace. Often times these feelings are not necessarily accurate. They are real feelings, but we find many organizations have faithful Christians working along each other, they just are not aware of it because of the fear of talking about faith at work. We are not in the business of creating “religious companies”, on the contrary we are in the business of helping to create a “Kingdom Minded” company. There is a big difference.
Makes Financial Sense
Leading a company with Christ-centered values just makes good business sense. I believe that Christ-centered organizations can experience:
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher quality products
- Fewer employee morale issues
- Safer work environments
- Better perceptions by customers and vendors
What I have found to work
You must have a Vision, Mission, and Core Values. Many business professionals stop there. I urge all of you to go further. Integrate your core values into your Human Resources practices. This will:
- Memorialize your standards
- Provide guiding principles in all you do
- Make your values easily understood by employees
- Drive a values-based culture with your customers
Don’t just hang your Vision, Mission, and Core Values on the wall! Integrate, Integrate and then Integrate some more. Get your values into your culture and make it an intrinsic part of the way you work.
I believe that employees who work for an outwardly faith-based Christian organization are committed at a different level than those in non-faith-based organizations. Employees are more likely to go the extra mile, to trust their leadership, to deliver on their promises and be led by those who demonstrate Christ-like servant leadership, because they can!
Feel free to reach out to me and ask for my assistance in helping you develop and prosper a “Kingdom Minded” company. Contact Us
Have you worked for a company that has been outward in their faith? What were some of the obstacles the leadership faced? What were some of the benefits that the company enjoyed because of their desire to lead with principles? What’s your opinion? we would like to know.
Post your comments below-