It would be the understatement of the century to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the flow of information in the workplace. It hasn’t simply disrupted communication in the workplace; it has rewritten the landscape of how managers and employees interact daily and how employees do their work. When it comes to a productive, efficient and effective workplace, nothing can replace robust communication between everyone. It builds trust, sets realistic expectations and gives everyone a sense of orientation, even—and perhaps even most importantly—when times are tough.
That is why it’s more important than ever to not only maintain communication with employees but improve it, as much as possible. HR departments, managers and employees all play a critical role in making sure that the lines of communication stay open and are used often. How do you do that? Consider this.
The pandemic has left people detached, distracted, and hopeless beyond belief. The unpredictable layoffs, dismissals, lack of income security, and compromised productivity have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. One report suggests that about 655 million full-time jobs worldwide were lost in the first two quarters of 2020 alone.
This lingering fear of losing a job or business, or negative changes in monthly income has affected the psychological well-being of employees and employers alike. Adjusting to the new form of work while maintaining one’s sanity and staying safe from the virus is a huge challenge that has negatively affected communication within most organizations.
If you are experiencing some or all of these same difficulties and need some winning tips, we can help. This article brings valuable insight to help employers learn communication development ideas from a Christian perspective as well as effective tips for employees to acquire the support they need from their employers.
Acquiring Support the Right Way
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, employees worldwide have experienced a lack of support from their employers in the area of communication. This has greatly affected employees’ mental framework and productivity.
Many employees and managers alike have chosen to keep communication to a minimum, assuming it would prevent unnecessary conflict. But keeping concerns bottled up inside is an exhausting way to handle a situation. Speaking one’s mind will help relieve stress and also reveal unrealistic assumptions. But concerns must be appropriately voiced for effective results. To avoid a negative impact, follow these 5 strategies:
1. Voice Your Concern in a Timely Way
The first thing for workplace harmony is choosing the perfect time to share a concern. Discussing issues during a meeting or when leadership is interacting with others may be a big no-no at your organization. The most effective way in ensuring non-confrontation is to schedule a time with your leader and have an honest one-on-one discussion with them. Make sure the time is right, as it will set the course for productive conversation, allowing your employer to listen to you attentively and respond. Many leaders are more receptive in an individual setting vs. a group format when an employee goes out of their way to communicate.
2. Avoid Being Vague
If you are intent on finding a solution or you have concerns, be specific to avoid sounding negative or unserious. Instead of generalizing the problem, discuss the details, as generalizing diminishes the seriousness of your case. The more specific and clear you are, the more benefits you will likely achieve.
3. Keep Solutions Ready
The most effective employees are those who see a problem come up, identify a solution, and seek approval to implement. Employees who repeatedly raise problems without suggesting solutions tend to diminish their reputation, so try to be solution oriented. Suggesting a solution along with the problem will make you look like a problem solver and helps leaders be more receptive to considering your point.
On the other hand, those who perpetually complain hurt only themselves. Complaints are not limited to employees; leaders can be negative as well, especially given the pressures and restrictions of Covid-19. So you need to know when best to present something as a problem and when to visit your superior to seek their opinion and advice before you work on something.
4. Let the Employer Decide
You cannot force an idea or a solution upon your organization. Voice your concerns in the form of a request vs. a demand, present some suggestions, and leave the final decision to senior leadership. Even if you do not get your request approved quickly, it will be on the record for future concerns. Most employers want to hear concerns, and presenting them respectfully creates a greater chance of implementation.
5. Ask Others to Voice Their Opinion
If it’s an issue that affects others, encourage them in a respectful way to speak up for maximum results. When more people are affected by a problem, the chance of leadership taking action also increases. Together, all can help leadership understand the totality of workplace obstacles.
Communication Ideas for Employers
To make sure the organization is operating well and heading towards its intended goals, employers need to pay attention to the communication within their organization as it relates to the development, care and support of its employees. This is most important during this difficult Covid-19 pandemic period.
Below are 9 critical takeaways for leaders and human resource management to ensure added productivity and development, even in times of crisis.
1. Communicate Often, More Than You Think Is Necessary
Over-communication is rarely the problem in any organization. That is why is it important to communicate frequently. According to the Harvard Business Review, those who work remotely don’t feel like they are being treated equally. This is where consistent communication can make a dramatic difference.
Communication is key to success, especially during tough times. Constant reminders, motivation, and communication reduce employees’ concerns and help them stay on top of their tasks. The way communication is maintained with employees can have a dramatic impact on an organization during tough times. So, keep it transparent and regular. Consider developing a communication strategy that allows your HR team to take the lead to communicate key information on a regular basis. Doing so can help reduce the stress your employees may have of the unknown.
2. Have One-on-One Discussions With Your Staff
Having one-on-one discussions with your staff allows you to put your Christian values to work. Being tolerant and treating employees with grace shows that you value their growth and are willing to helping them develop to their full potential, regardless of circumstances in the outside world. Your staff grows, your company grows.
3. Be Empathetic
Empathy goes a long way and can buy you a lot of goodwill. Remember, everyone is working and building their careers, and concerned for their future and stability. People will continue to make mistakes in their work. This is where empathy can show that you care and are worthy of their trust. This leads to more honest and open communication.
4. Watch for Nonverbal Cues
The signs of stress or impending problems are often more easily seen than heard. In the age of video calls, watching for nonverbal clues can give you an edge when anticipating challenges. By being alert to and addressing these clues, not only are you being proactive but you show that you care enough to pay attention. That can go a long way toward bolstering communication between employees, managers and HR.
5. Give Employees Options to Have Their Concerns Addressed
Communication is a two-way street and by making it easy for employees to have their concerns heard and addressed, you are proving with your actions that you care. One-on-one conversations, suggestions boxes, easy access to HR and an open-door policy to managers are ways to show that employees matter. When people believe their voices matter, they speak.
6. Develop Feedback Mechanisms
Create a secure channel to communicate and encourage feedback from employees. To gain organizational feedback, allow employees to utilize several means of communication, such as reaching out to HR, talking to a senior or manager (open-door communication), or providing anonymous suggestion channels. Offering various methods allows the concerns to reach the right authorities and encourages the employees to give feedback, which helps immensely in professional development. For more intense leadership development feedback, consider HR Impact 360, a program where leaders are assessed by their direct reports, peers and superiors.
7. Ease the Work-from-Home (WFH) Experience
As we all know, maintaining productivity is challenging while working from home. Therefore, employers who can arrange for equipment to support working at home will help employees succeed. By now, most organizations have implemented software and tools (Zoom, Slack, etc.) to help employees perform without much hindrance. On the other hand, holding meetings and discussions on time that limit the effect on their family can ease the WFH experience. Opting for audio vs. video calls when few people are needed can also speed up things.
8. Provide Job Security
One of employees’ greatest fears, based on our conversations with them, is the possibility they might lose their jobs and have their careers derailed. Being a leader, it is difficult to navigate this territory. Many states are “employment at will,” which means employers and employees can part company at any time for very little reason. And employers must be careful not to insinuate job security in precarious times. Be cautious about assuring employees that their jobs are secure. And if you know it not to be the case, let them know in advance to give them enough time to prepare.
9. Keep Plans Transparent
These unprecedented times call for leaders to be extra composed as their subordinates look to them for cues often timed for strength and inspiration. When appropriate, share strategies and planning with employees and communicate the organization’s performance focus so that employees can, if need be, modify their work accordingly.
10. Encourage Participation in Group Conversations
A study done by Baylor University, a private Christian school, found that younger staff were less likely to offer an opinion or participate in a discussion if the more senior staff remained silent. Due to the perceived hierarchy and their “place” in the organization, people didn’t feel free to speak. By making it clear that participation is encouraged and expected, you can improve the quality of your group discussions.
Need Specialized Guidance?
The pandemic has transformed the way organizations operate, and for these changing times, you need better and more specialized strategies. In HIS Name HR helps implement effective HR plans and programs for organizational success. Our experienced HR leaders ensure that your organization enjoys improved productivity and better employee relations in just a short period of time.
If the pandemic has you stressed out, let our 10 years of serving clients nationwide benefit you. We are the leaders in human resource consulting and outsourcing services from a Christian perspective. Let our experts assist you in these hard times and save yourself from unnecessary pain and stress!
Mark A. Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In HIS Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.
Often we are asked how best to support family values and protect our freedom as Christians when doing business. The same extends to churches, Christian colleges, ministries and camps. The following organizations do just that.
Find an organization that operates in your state and support them. Connect with the leadership; attend functions in person and virtually. Help them get the word out to the community about what they are doing to promote Christian values within your state.
We can all make a difference—but we must be active to do so.
National Focus on the Family
National Alliance Defending Freedom
AL – Alabama Policy Institute
AK – Alaska Family Council
AZ – Center for Arizona Policy
AR – Arkansas Family Council
CA – California Family Council
CO – Colorado Family Action Foundation
CT – Family Institute of Connecticut
DE – Delaware Family Policy Council
FL – Florida Family Policy Council
HI – Hawaii Family Forum
IN – Indiana Family Institute
IA – The Family Leader of Iowa
KY – The Family Foundation of Kentucky
LA – Louisiana Family Forum
ME – Christian Civic League of Maine
MA – Massachusetts Family Institute
MI – Michigan Family Forum
MN – Minnesota Family Institute
MT – Montana Family Foundation
NE – Nebraska Family Alliance
NH – Cornerstone Action
NY – New Yorkers Family Research Foundation
NC – North Carolina Family Policy Council
OH – Citizens for Community Values
OK – Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma
PA – Pennsylvania Family Institute
SC – Palmetto Family Council of South Carolina
SD – Family Heritage Alliance
TN – Family Action Council of Tennessee
TX – Texas Values
VA – The Family Foundation of Virginia
WA – Family Policy Institute of Washington
WV – Family Policy Council of West Virginia
WI – Wisconsin Family Council, Inc.
Worried about your HR programs at your organization? Reach out to us to discuss having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence.
Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.
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.
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Recorded Live Tuesday, February 4, 2014 7AM EST on 1180 WFYL-AM Philadelphia PA
Listen while Mark discusses how Christian business owners can prosper their businesses using sound HR Practices while being outward in their faith.
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A Little bit about: “It’s a New Day”:
It’s a New Day is live weekday mornings from 7-9AM. Broadcasting conservative news-talk radio, talking about your liberty and subjects that matter:
• One Nation Under God
• Faith, Family, Freedom, Flag, Founding Fathers and the Future of this Great Nation
• Truth, Honesty, Integrity
• Godly Heritage
• Traditional Values
• The Constitution
• Justice in the Land
Tune in and receive encouragement at the voice of freedom in the Delaware Valley….WFYL1180AM.
A Little bit about Mark:
Mark has a Bachelors degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College and an MBA from Bloomsburg University. Mark Lives in Lancaster Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail. Mark and Gail attend LCBC Church. Having spent over 20 years working in Human Resources, Mark has encountered many changes in the workplace. Mark leads a HR Consulting firm he launched in 2011: In HIS Name HR LLC .
Having authored the book, “How To Build Kingdom Minded Organizations”, Mark has become an authority on Christianity and the workplace.
Mark is passionate about the workplace, and especially Christian business owners’ opportunity to reach their employees. He believes employees and companies should work closely together to prosper the company for mutual purposes.
8You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
How long must we manage our organizations absent of God before we realize that prosperity comes when we include Him! Having met with hundreds of Christian business professionals, I seem to run into the same common thread: we go to church on Sunday and “turn off” our Christianity on Monday. How long must we all go until we come to the realization that Church is every day?
Christian Business Leaders Are Modern-day Apostles.
Christ ordained his apostles and sent them back to work. Their work included fishing, accounting and even tax collection. Christ did not demand that they stop working; they ministered in the marketplace. So, today, all of us who are Christian Business Leaders are modern-day Apostles. If you’re Christianity doesn’t stop on Sunday nights, if you instead build it into your leadership and your organization’s values, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
What has your organization done to bring Christianity to the daily workplace? What steps must you continue to take to break down the barriers? We would like to know, so that our community will grow.
1 Timothy 6–10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
In this passage we learn that, if we have food and clothing, we will be content. But many of us are not content. Christian Business Leaders must recognize this and take heed: we are to be the light to our employees, to be the beacon and the example.
Church should not be the only place you grow the kingdom for God.
How many times do we fail ourselves and our people when we don’t take the well being of all of our employees into consideration when making decisions? How often do we think only of growing the kingdom for God at our church, but not at our workplace? Where is our heart when it comes to making the hard decision in benefits design, and, rather than encouraging and developing healthy behaviors, we instead punish and increase premiums without appropriate consideration?
If you first love your brothers and sisters within your companies, if you truly care for them by engaging them in the decision making and future building of your company, if you partner with them for the good of themselves and their families, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Help our community of readers
How have you engaged your employees in the decision making and future building of your company? What advice would you give to those who have never done so? Thank you for your thoughts. Your contribution helps others.
Stewardship of Treasure
This blog series has been dedicated to introducing you to the concept of Stewardship. Stewardship takes on many forms: time, family, faith, talent, prayer and, finally, treasure. In the last post, I described stewardship as it relates to prayer. In this post, I would like to introduce you to the concept of Stewardship as it relates to treasure.
Most people don’t like to talk about money. I remember my parents squirming in the pews when I was a kid as the priest talked about needing to extend an existing building. Not quite what they wanted to hear! But over the past several years and, especially shortly after my mom died four years ago, I have received greater revelation of what my perspective is as it relates to the Stewardship of treasure.
This revelation is not really all that complicated. It’s simply that none of our stuff is ours — it belongs to God. Once you get that, the rest is peripheral! After my mom passed, I felt a strong sense of her presence in spirit, her warm embrace and her guiding heart. When my father was liquidating her earthly treasures, I respectfully declined taking anything. Nothing really meant anything to me. It was her spirit, her life song, her memory that I cherished.
I think that’s all God cares about. He cares about our devotion to Him, our release of earthly treasure, and our focus on HIM.
Over the past few years, my leanings toward materialism have declined considerably and I find myself much happier. Don’t get me wrong — I still like my iPhone and I’m tapping away on my MacBook right now, but I consider these tools, not treasures.
With this concept in hand, that God owns everything and none of it is ours, I don’t feel so compelled to die after having accumulated the most I can. I want to die doing the most for HIM, not myself. This does not mean that prosperity is bad, that wealth is dirty—remember it is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money. It also does not mean that success should be shunned. It just means that, if it occurs, it is an outcome, not the goal.
I do believe it is Biblical to tithe. I also believe a joyful giver is a joyful recipient of all that God has to offer.
I could go into all the Biblical references that support tithing, but I am sure that there are some who could show what they believe to be Biblical facts against it. As for me, I support it. I have been blessed to have heard a message from the pastor, David Ashcraft, at my church home LCBC, who describes the 10-10-80 plan. David explains that a great way to manage your finances is to tithe 10%, save 10% and spend 80% on your living expenses. It makes much sense and is especially easy to remember and follow.
This wraps up this series and this posting. We would love to hear your comments on Stewardship of Treasure. This is always a topic that sparks a lot of interest and debate. The community values all opinions.
Stewardship of Faith
This blog series has been dedicated to introducing you to the concept of Stewardship.
Stewardship takes on many forms: time, family, faith, talent, prayer and, finally, treasure. In the last post, I described Stewardship as it relates to prayer. In this post, I would like to introduce you to the concept of Stewardship as it relates to faith.
It has been my experience that many people are just too afraid or uncomfortable to talk about their faith. I can empathize. I, myself, was caught up for many years, struggling to talk about faith and my difficulties with the tenets of Catholicism with anyone. I was, perhaps, conditioned not to question authority, but instead to accept what was told to me blindly as truth.
I was a coward and did not pursue a relationship with Christ.
When I look back at my cowardliness, I am relieved that, at some point, I made a turn toward the truth. That point was when I heard for the first time the clarity of the salvation message from Pastor Powell at NorthRidge Church. Many devout Christians will argue that it was not the pastor speaking, but the Holy Spirit. I agree that the Holy Spirit does, in fact, breathe life into those who are ready to receive. Sometimes though, we are not ready to receive for many years, and sometimes, because of our upbringing, it is much sooner. There really is no recipe for success; it is a God thing, a preordained date and time that you will become a faithful servant of Jesus.
“15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15 – 16 (ESV)
I have learned in these past eighteen months that many denominations carry the same message, that acceptance of Christ as your Savior is your ticket to eternal security. What is my advice to those who seek faith? Don’t confuse the message with what man has added to it. Find Christ. Find a like-minded Bible believing Church that fits your personality and style of worship, connect in a life group of other Bible believers and serve in your community as an ambassador for Christ. That, my friend, is being a Steward of your Faith. Of course, these are my opinions. And my opinion means nothing to the way you decide to be faithful.
“17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:17 (NIV)
What are you going to do to be a good Steward of your Faith? Post a few notes here; we would love to know.
Stewardship of Prayer
This blog series has been dedicated to introducing you to the concept of Stewardship. Stewardship, as I have explained before, takes on many forms: time, family, faith, talent, prayer and treasure. In my last post, I described stewardship as it relates to talent. In this post, we will explore the concept of Stewardship as it relates to prayer.
When we devote time to prayer, we deepen our relationship with God and become better prepared to offer ourselves in service to God and others. Many people approach prayer as a tool to use only when they want or need something from God. The prayer often sounds like, “Lord, help me through this problem and I will do X, Y and/or Z for you.” This becomes somewhat transactional and is the way that I found myself praying in the past. When I took a deep look into the way in which I approached prayer, I realized that I was not humbling myself before God, but simply trying to process a business transaction.
In reality, praying like this could be considered “Acts” Christianity or nothing more than quid pro quo, Latin for “this for that.”
The past several years have just been mind-numbing with change in our communities, our country and overseas as well. We have been bombarded with WikiLeaks, stock market ups and downs, record level unemployment, a housing crisis, threats from North Korea and Iran, and political turmoil in the USA.
However, as we navigate through all of this, we still find one part of our lives that has remained constant —God’s love for us. Regardless of issues we face or turmoil we navigate, we all have been blessed with a God who loves us. We should also be grateful to God that we have shelter, food, and clean water to drink. In addition, we have family and coworkers who love us.
Another aspect of Prayer that I shamefully admit that I have only recently learned is the opportunity for us to do a self-reflection of what is in our heart. I mean, I had heard of the concept, and embraced it superficially, just lightly reflecting on it, but never really made it something that I was going after with tenacity and vigor.
I have had the blessing of being coached by some incredible prayer warriors who have instilled in me the importance of searching areas of my heart that I have yet to release to God. Places of sin, despair, worry and lack of faith. This takes time to do, and it is actually fairly upsetting when you consciously outline to yourself the areas you have left to let go to God. It’s not easy. It takes humility and the willingness to release any amount of control thinking, but it is the most rewarding and liberating aspect of being a fully devoted follower of Christ.
As we approach probably what will be increasingly greater times of difficulty, I know that I am going to concentrate on thanking God, hopefully more so in my prayers than asking God for a good deal. So, personally, over the next few months, these are a few thoughts I will be praying and reflecting on:
- When I pray, do I thank God more than I ask God for a deal?
- Do I reflect and give thanks before every meal, regardless of circumstance or location?
- What can I do for God and the advancement of His Kingdom?
- Do I believe that everything I have is a gift from God?
- Is prayer simply a task on my schedule that can be postponed or canceled?
- Am I willing to make a commitment to prioritize prayer?
- Do I believe that prayer consists simply of words and phrases, or do I believe that it impacts my relationship with God?
- Have I considered inviting friends or family to join me in prayer?
Therefore, my challenge for you is this: Do you know what you are thankful for? And are you willing to thank God for all He has done for us, even in the face of all the adversity we experience? What are you thankful for? We would love to know. Please share your thoughts here with our community of readers.
Stewardship of Talent
This series has been focused on introducing you to the concept of Stewardship. Stewardship takes on many forms; time, family, faith, talent, prayer and treasure. In the previous post, I described stewardship as it relates to family. In this post, I will examine the concept of Stewardship as it relates to talent.
All of us are blessed with talents. These talents are what make each one of us unique, different from one another. It continues to amaze me as I grow older the stark uniqueness and individuality of all of us, regardless of our similarities in where and how we grew up, where we were educated or where we worship or work.
We clearly are so different from one another!
I believe that our Talents are created by God and are so special that they were determined before we were even put on this earth. Because of this, I think it is important that if we were all created uniquely for a special purpose, that we respect and understand our unique Talents and differences.
Having worked in HR for over twenty years and having witnessed some of the most unimaginable demonstrations of lack of leadership, I believe the most damaging are those leaders who fail to appreciate the Talent differences among the people who work for them and the organizations they lead. God created artistic people and God created analytical people. Without the stark difference of the Talents offered by each, we would still be living in primitive conditions. We must recognize the Talents of others and make an effort to lift all Talents up, and not just some.
The most damaging act a leader can commit is one of diminishing one’s Talents not only directly to the person but to the person’s co-workers. Several years ago there was a highly talented, big-thinking, out of the box, strategic manager who was leading the accounting department for a company I served. This guy would have never been able to get the company to where it was without the Talents he was given by God. His lack of resources, people, and finances were made up for by his sheer devotion and imagination as to how to get more done with less, and make it work. Unfortunately, he fell victim to a new boss. This new boss came into the organization accustomed to having large amounts of staff, resources, and finances. He quickly dismissed anything the big thinker was doing, often ridiculing him in front of others and embarrassing him ruthlessly for weeks. Ultimately, the accounting executive was pushed to the side. To this day, I don’t think the new leader has any concept of what his lack of appreciation for Talent had done to the organization.
That organization had potential, but now it barely gets by and people hate working there. How do I know? The employees keep calling me asking for help to get out!
My challenge to you, therefore, is to think deeply and consult with your loved ones on discovering what your Talents are. What Talents make you unique? Most important, how will you use these Talents within your family, your church, and your community?
My next challenge is for you to uncover what Talents your coworkers have. What makes them unique? How do they like to spend their time when they are not working?
As we continue to grow and prosper as the body of Christ, let us do so by understanding others and ourselves at a greater level, so we can rise above our differences and continue to build the Church for a better tomorrow.
Stewardship of Family
This column is dedicated to introducing you to the concept of Stewardship. Stewardship takes on many forms; Time, Family, Faith, Talent, Prayer and Treasure. In the previous post in this series, I described stewardship as it relates to our time. In this post, I would like to introduce you to the concept of Stewardship of Family.
As I researched this article, I came across St. Patrick’s Church in Largo, Florida, that outlines seven signs of a stewardship family. They are:
- time together
- family prayer
- worshiping together
- supporting one another
- shared responsibilities
- service to others
I would like to write about two of these areas, time together and supporting one another. The first one, time together, means just that, spending time together with no distractions, no cell phones, no TV and no Internet. It is hard to do with a culture so inundated with distractions, but it is important. I know one family with teens that has a “no texting” policy in their car. That way, the teens and their parents can have focused conversations, without distractions.
Time together can also be accomplished by volunteering in the community. What better way to demonstrate compassion than to help the elderly or the homeless together as a family? What is especially inspiring is when we hear stories of employees’ families who support other employees’ families in times of need. This is done not in a formal way, but out of concern for another employee’s situation.
Families helping families — what a wonderful way to share your family’s kindness.
The second area, supporting one another, can easily be accomplished by sharing household responsibilities. Shared responsibilities means that no job or household chore is restricted to parents or children. In order for a family to operate, it needs teamwork, which means that everyone pitches in, using their unique talents to help better the family. Children should not rely solely on the parents to do everything, and neither should parents rely solely on their children to carry the burdens of managing the household. It is so encouraging when we experience a family where each member feels it contributes to the good of the whole. A good example would be a family where the smaller children set the table, the teens help with dishes or cleaning, and the parents show their appreciation for this.
Living in Lancaster County has exposed me to the plain life of Amish and Mennonite people. When you spend time with a plain family, you quickly realize that the family functions are interdependent, all the way down to the four- and five-year-olds. Each family member has responsibilities, chores, and oftentimes if a chore is missed, it could result in a late meal or spoiled crops!
One aspect of helping to be a good Steward of your family is to instill a motto, a word, or a saying that can help guide the family though difficult times. A few years ago we had a series at church that was based solely on the word, “Others.” The organization of this series stemmed from one family’s experience with the word. You see, this word was so important for one family; it was the one word that was passed on to each new generation. In my family I use the three words, “God, Family, Education,” to try to keep us focused on what is important.
In closing, it is important to note that families almost always default to stewardship behavior because it is natural behavior, and most family members want to support each other. It is important to know how your family relates to these forms of Family Stewardship and in what areas your family is strong and what areas need work.
Please take some time thinking and discussing this with your family, for we only have one life to share with each other.
It is important that we all feel we contribute together with uplifting attitudes and, most important, with purpose and good intentions for our families.
Please help our community of readers by sharing experiences that you have had in your attempt to be a good Steward of your family. We appreciate your comments.