Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization? Contact Mark and make it happen.
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.
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-
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
~ Matthew 9:37-38
This was so very true when it was written and still so very true today. The workers available to bring the good word to the world of Christ’s saving blood are few. This piece of Scripture is the foundation of what it is that we do here at In HIS Name HR. We help create the workers; we develop Christian business leader, to be the worker to gently get the message out to the workplace. I have worked for organizations where we took care of employees’ financial needs by paying them. We took care of their medical needs by providing health care benefits. But we hardly come across any companies, even Christian-owned companies, that provide a venue to reach employees’ spiritual needs.
Christian-owned companies should feel obligated to provide spiritual benefits
We can no longer go to church on Sunday and work on Monday without addressing our faith. We are obligated to develop our organizations in a way in which it is comfortable for employees to be led to Christ.
If you are sharing your faith with your teams, if you are developing ways of integrating Christ into your workplace, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
For those of you in the “Marketplace”, How do your share your faith at work? When do you know you have gone too far? We would love to know your experiences.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Follow Mark and In HIS Name HR on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Special for the month of May 2016
Kindle pricing $2.99 and half off Softcover $5.49
This month we are celebrating our 4 year publication anniversary. In How To Build “ Kingdom-Minded” Organizations, author, speaker and accomplished HR consultant Mark A. Griffin gives Christian leaders encouragement in building values-led organizations during these difficult economic times.
Most importunately Mark shows you how to make it happen. Using a model he developed through years of organizational development experiences, Mark demonstrates how to integrate your Mission, Vision and Values into all of your HR practices. This ensures your Christ centered culture is integrated into your organization and maintained into the future.
[youtube width=”300″ height=”200″]https://youtu.be/5ngrHVM3GZA[/youtube]
With over 20 years of Human Resources experience at both fortune (Kodak, Quaker Oats Company, and Merck Pharmaceutical) as well as small and mid-sized companies, Mark has seen it all. Enjoy reading Mark’s thoughts on how you might best build “Kingdom Minded” Organizations in today’s “politically correct” business world.
Let Mark inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith, by ensuring Christ is in your workplace.
About The Author
Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In HIS Name HR LLC, a human resources outsourcing and career coaching firm created to help companies pilot the complex issues of managing HR.
As a human resources professional with 20-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 through utilizing best practices while leading companies with strong values.
While serving in the United States Air Force, Mark 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 and is a certified practitioner of the Myers Briggs Type Instrument MBTI®.
Mark and his wife, Gail, have two adult children, and will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary June 2016. They attend LCBC Church. Mark has traveled the world coaching leaders on “Business as Mission” in Eastern Europe, India, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Mark is an author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation.
Speaker and accomplished HR consultant, Mark A. Griffin gives Christian leaders encouragement in building values-led organizations during these difficult economic times.
Contact: Mark A. Griffin, In HIS Name HR LLC, 717-572-2183, MGriffin@InHISNameHR.com
11Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Have you watched a business grow quickly and reap much cash and then, just as quickly as it grew, come crashing down? Oftentimes, when you dig deeply into what happened, you find there were dishonest business practices occurring, misrepresentations of products, and not much substance surrounding the basis of the company’s success. Although some fail quickly, some dishonest businesses seem to go on, regardless. But they will fail at some point, and the failure may be far greater to the owner after a sustained period of time rather than if the company had crashed within the first year.
All good ideas need time to grow
My experiences tells me that, when leaders are deliberate in making choices, and slow in the development of their strategies and plans, favor seems to come from God. Any good idea needs time to grow, and any great business was not developed overnight, but little by little, as the Scripture states. Take your time, dear Christian business leader, and don’t rush your plans for prosperity. If you are enjoying the little-by-little approach to earning your profits, if you are content in building deliberately and with faith, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
How do you develop your ideas? How does your company ensure success in decision-making? Have you done any really interesting inclusion lately with your employees? Inspire our readers. We would like to know.
Faith in the Marketplace is designed to help those in leadership integrate our faith into the marketplace and see that our vocation is far more than a profession – it’s a calling of God. We will begin at 7:00 a.m. with breakfast and adjourn promptly at 8:30 a.m.
Evangelical’s Myerstown Campus, 121 S. College Street Myerstown PA 17067-1299
Doors open at 6:30, Breakfast 7:00, adjournment by 8:30.
Guest Speaker: Mark A. Griffin, President of In HIS Name HR and author of How to Build a Kingdom-Minded Organization. Mark knows what works and does not work, and most importantly he sees the world through the employee’s perspective! He believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect, because after all, your employees are part of your company family.
Register online here.
10Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Generosity is oftentimes a word we steer clear of. We hate the thought of tithing — is that before or after tax? The awkwardness and evasiveness never seems to dissipate. But what would happen if your organization viewed all of its revenue after expenses and taxes as God’s and not that of the owners and top leadership? Could you do that? Could you convince yourself and the rest of the decision makers that you should consider it to be God’s first?
If you are a miser, your employees will act in miserly ways
If you are a miser and your employees can sense that you are, that attitude will be contagious and more will follow your lead. You see, in reality, employees who work for misers are more likely to act in miserly ways themselves, but employees who work for generous leaders will be generous themselves. Be generous today, Christian Leaders, for if you act ungrudgingly and with generosity, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Company.
Help our community of readers
In what ways does your company attempt to be a good steward to its community through its employees? Are there easy ways to do this that you can recommend to companies just starting to look outward in their commitment to generosity? How does your company view stewardship?
35Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.
It goes with out saying that, as Christian Business Leaders, we should always manage using Christian principles. The sometimes subtle shaving or rounding of numbers can get out of hand. We all immediately get defensive and say we would not be involved in it, but I am sure that, statistically speaking, we have all been involved in matters that we are not proud of. One overlooked area of potential dishonesty is having goals and objectives or production quotas that are just simply unreachable by employees. Having witnessed this firsthand, the following is a likely scenario.
A new manager comes on board. The new manager does not like a certain subordinate. The subordinate, although a long-term employee and well liked, is now under increased scrutiny of the new manager. The new manager shows a negative bias as to the employee’s personal activities, education, and even their personal life activities. The new manager not only demands unreasonable objectives from the employee, but they also eliminate any support positions or staff that support the subordinate’s function. The employee begins a spiral downturn of poor performance, crying out for assistance until the new manager gets his twisted objective met and fires the employee. The manager then hires someone at two-thirds the pay and rationalizes his decision on a warped sense of “lack of performance”.
This, dear reader, is dishonest, but practiced in some organizations.
The best solution to setting unrealistic goals and standards that lead to termination is simply to never get there at all. But, if your organization has, now is the time to correct it, ask for forgiveness and move on. If you are honoring God by managing an organization beyond reproach, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
What dishonest practices have you met in your career? (Please do not include names of individuals, organizations or companies.) What God-honoring processes, as they relate to goals and objectives, have you witnessed?
19When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
When we live our lives in a compassionate and giving way, God has a way of replenishing our supply of resources. Oftentimes what you will find is that, the more you give away, the more you gain. Sounds absurd perhaps, but I have experienced it several times, not only in personal lives but in many careers as well.
This is very important in the workplace. The more you coach and mentor your employees, the greater the reward they will reap, and you as well. Don’t let yourself be selfish with your time. Having met many selfish leaders who have never connected with their direct reports has led me to understand the grave consequences that are felt within the organization at the employee level.
Allow your employees to enjoy the company’s harvest.
Connect with your people daily, share objectives with them, and create excitement within your Team. Excited and passionate teams reap results. Most of all leave many sheaves behind for them. Let them enjoy the fruit of the company’s harvest. If you will do this, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Company.
Help our community of readers
What does your organization do to make sure your employees are left some sheaves? How do you share in the success of the company? Do you know of a company that does this? What do they do that makes you smile?