9The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
How many companies give thousands away but their employees can’t afford to buy their medical coverage? This happens more than you might realize.
Having worked at a variety of companies, both secular and Christian-owned, has given me the opportunity to witness a similar thread of generosity absurdity. Oftentimes our tendency to be generous involves looking outward to our communities, our nation or other continents. However, we should, as Christian Leaders, look first inward before looking outward.
Take care of your employees and they will take care of their communities
Let me explain in simple terms — help your employees first so they may be prosperous and go forth to help build the Kingdom. Not paying your employees correctly for the sake of having more dollars to give to a foundation, a foreign mission, or local charity is self-defeating. Ultimately, your employees will grow bitter and their fruit will never ripen.
Help our community of readers
What has your organization done to help your employees? Have you set a good foundation for them to grow, support their families, and build the Kingdom in their communities?
11Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
One of the seven deadly sins is sloth. Many leaders look at their people and accuse them of sloth-like behavior, yet, if they examined themselves more closely, they would discover that they are equally guilty of being sloth-like, maybe not in the sense of their rate of production, but in the time spent in fantasizing about their business objectives.
Sloth-like leaders dream too much and yield little
We all have lofty dreams — big dreams and pie-in-the-sky thoughts. And organizational vision is paramount to the success of every organization! The problem is that dreaming all day won’t satisfy your customers or get the widgets out the door! As Christian business leaders, we all need some time to ourselves to dream big for the creation of our goals and vision for our companies. Sometimes, though, we have witnessed leaders getting so caught up in big picture thinking that they lose their way in daily transactional business leadership, and their teams go astray, feeling they have no leadership. Leaders: if you find yourself disconnected from your teams and your businesses because of your lack of attention, focusing only on your lofty goals, wake up! If you can balance both day to day focus and big picture thinking, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”
Christian business leaders should speak to their people where they are
In this verse, Paul brought himself to where the listener was. He spoke to where “they are.” This is important, because he did not rush into the conversation with judgment and condemnation; he actually praised them for being “very religious.” As the book continues, Paul brings to light what and how they needed to correct themselves. We learn a lot about Paul as a leader. How many times do you as a leader immediately jump to the negative with your people? Why not praise them first when it is appropriate on what it is they are doing right.
So, Christian business leaders, what say you? Do you compliment for effort, but guide your people back to the right direction with grace and peace? If you do, they will perform incredible acts of commitment for you and your organization. If you do, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.
Help our community of readers
Tell us about a leader that you have admired in the past, what they did to help you develop in the areas that you were weak. What was their approach? Why did you respect them?
Our Mission trip to the Ukraine was a success! Much was accomplished and the foundation for further advancement has been set. Our Mission was simple: Develop the region’s businesses so that they can prosper and support their churches. The churches will in turn grow and prosper, and be able to develop schools for the orphans who are currently lost spiritually and educationally. During our trip, we specifically focused on helping to develop businesses in support of the trade school programs offered through the New Hope Center.
As our first order of business, we conducted an outreach luncheon during which my good friend Dave Balinski (Regional Director CBMC Central Pennsylvania) spoke on the topics of “Asking Good Questions” and “Developing SMART goals.” He closed the session by asking the most important questions that we all need to answer.
Besides the significant interest in the topics, there was also receptiveness to the invitation to consider the claims of Christ. We thank our incredible interpreter, Olga Rubel, who interpreted our English presentations into Russian and helped us deliver our message.
Dave and I visited a Christian Trade School which had just opened within the past few months prior to our visit. We were greeted by the first seven attendees of that school. Each of the students, all orphans, is fully engaged in career training and the Bible. At first, the students were very reserved, but as we shared our hearts with them, they warmed up.
The most difficult aspect for me personally was the realization that these teens never had earthly parents and will never understand that bond and security. In fact, it took me several weeks to get my arms around it. After randomly crying on the flight home, and then enduring several days of a heavy heart, I realized how hard it was on me emotionally.
But what saved my heart from further pain is that although they are absent an earthly father, they have one through their savior Jesus Christ.
You see, sometimes, even when you have an earthly Dad or Mom, you really don’t because they never loved you or respected you like God does.
We are plagued with kids that have parents who are incapable of loving them and helping them to develop to their potential.
So if you are in that circumstance, know that you have the greatest Father for eternity – a father who will never let you down, God our Father.
In Zaporozhye, we immersed ourselves into the culture. We ate with, shopped with, participated in Bible study with, and enjoyed companionship with a wonderful variety of people in a very short period of time. It seemed everyone around us was enamored with the U.S. and current events. And it seems the whole world continues to watch us to see how we will be leading the world into the future. Will our approach be principled? Moral? Will it reflect the foundation that the U.S. was founded on? Will God’s hand remain on us?
We had an incredible time meeting with a couple, Yura and Tanya, who recently started a Boys home to help male orphans as they leave the orphanage at the age of 15-16 to start their lives on their own. Their selfless dedication to helping these boys was breathtaking. For a young couple to do what they are doing is such a beautiful gift.
In addition to the luncheon, I presented an all-day seminar to over a dozen attendees on how to create a “Kingdom-minded business.” The seminar was based on my recently published book. I also spoke on the idea of “Servant Leadership,” which generated interest to the point of me being asked to speak in a local church the following morning!
During our stay, our host Vova (Vladimir Kiyanenko) was gracious and extremely informative about the culture, the business climate and the orphan situation. I am very grateful for his hospitality and look forward to partnering with him in the future.
So in closing, over the next few months Dave and I will be strategizing how we can take our next visit to the Ukraine to the next level. Hopefully advanced marketing and networking will help us increase seminar class size but also help to get the message out about how these few people are making such a great impact on Children’s hearts. Want to help? Contact us, I would love to have your support and commitment moving forward.
Enjoy listening to this recent recording, “People: Treat Them Right” – How did God intend for us to run our businesses? What can we do to influence the culture of a organization? Mark Griffin of In His Name HR brings his expertise to Tandem Radio.
Tandem Radio on the Bridge FM Saturday, May 5th with Featured Guest: Mark Griffin, In HIS Name HR
The New Career Normal * Living the Word With Glenn Mertz WHKW-AM Cleveland Ohio Interview
No doubt about it, we are living in tumultuous times. Mark will discuss how changes in the economy coupled with the daunting amount of changes in the community, state and national levels has had a compounding impact on employees and business owners.
A Little bit about Glenn:
Glenn Mertz hosts Living the Word, a program with a purpose. Glenn talks with people both nationally and locally who are Living the Word. Be encouraged and challenged as you discover how others are living out their Christian faith.
Glenn Mertz guides you through an incredible line-up of Bible teachers each weekday morning on WHKW. Glenn started in radio at Baldwin Wallace College and has worked at stations including WMJI, WWWE and WEOL. He’s now at Salem Communications at AM 1220 ‘The Word’ (WHKW), and hosts the daily Christian talk show ‘Living the Word’ (weekdays 10:30am). Glenn lives in Elyria with his wife, Jackie and his children Rachel and Evan.
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 Manheim Township Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Emily. Mark attends LCBCChurch and also leads a Career Ministry in which he helped start 6 years ago. Mark is really 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.
Mark is Chief Consultant, In HIS Name HR LLC, a Christian Business Consulting firm that he created to help Christian business owners prosper their business and engage their employees. Join Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
So there you have it. The past few blog postings have given you plenty of ideas on how to integrate your MVV into the culture of your organization through your HR practices. There is a lot to digest, especially if you are not an HR practitioner. Don’t be overwhelmed by the possibilities before you. Simply work out a plan with your Team.
The first step is to create your Mission Vision and Values. Always include your employees in the process. Hire a good facilitator if necessary, but get this done for the sake of your organization.
The second step is to document what HR practices you currently have in place and what practices you still need. This may be a good time to bring in an HR expert to, at minimum, consult with you to help you understand what practices would serve your organization best.
My firm specializes in conducting a thorough examination through a rigorous HR assessment. Contact us today if you are interested in powering your organization to the next levels of performance through the development of HR practices that drive yourMissionand support your Vision in a way that personifies your wonderful Christian values.
Wrapping It All Up
Family-owned companies, as well as non-profits, have a distinct advantage over their secular counterparts. This advantage is the flexibility to state where they are coming from and how and why they are founded, without being accused of proselytizing in the workplace. Simply stating that your organization is “founded on Christian principles” is enough to let the public know where you are coming from and clear the air that you are not requiring your employees to commit to a certain faith’s principles.
We all have choices to make as leaders. We can choose to leave behind a legacy that our families, employees and communities can remember, or we can take an easier route, put our heads down, and reflect the politically correct agenda to which we have all been assimilated. The decision is yours and yours alone. Of course, the Holy Spirit has a lot to do with it, and I am confident that, when you consult with Him, you will choose the right path — the right path to avoid worrying about sharing your faith through your MVV with your employees, community, customers and vendors.
Having met with hundreds of people regarding the process of building Kingdom-Minded organizations, one thing is for certain: many recipients of this are frightened by the thought of sharing the message of Jesus with their employees. They are even frightened at the thought of insinuating that they are believers. I try to comfort them; I try to console them; I pray with them and I pray for them. But, at the end of the day, they need to make the decision for their organizations. They need to decide that the message of Jesus Christ is and will always be first and foremost, ahead of their companies and their own uncertainties.
When I started my HR consulting firm in April of 2011, I, too, had a decision to make. I could take the easy route and mask my purpose under a secular type of business model, content to secretly connect with Christian leaders to help them develop their companies to be Kingdom-Minded, or I could step out in faith and “out” myself as a Christ follower to my world of secular business associates. Having friends and contacts in senior level positions at some of the most politically correct organizations in the world made me understandably somewhat nervous as to how they would perceive the path I had chosen to take. Some of these executives are at such companies as Pepsi, Merck, Kodak, Armstrong, PayChex — the list goes on. Although most of what I do does not fit within these organizations, most of these specific executives have helped by connecting me to Christian-minded business people who could help prosper my business.
Ultimately, I decided to “out” myself, and, since then, I have received incredible, gratifying, heartfelt compliments spanning across my secular business network. What made me decide to go outward and name my firm “In HIS Name HR, Christian Business Consulting” was my reflection upon the passage of Matthew 25:14–30 NIV Edition
His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’shappiness!”
So, let me ask: if this was your last day and you were to meet God tomorrow, would you feel as if you had shared the message of Jesus with all whom you knew? Are you truly a good and faithful servant? I know that, when that day comes, I want to be able to look in God’s eyes and ask, “Father, was I pleasing? Was I a good and faithful servant?” I want to hear that, yes, I was.
As a manager and HR professional, I encounter a lot of foolishness and hatefulness in the workplace. Passive-aggressive behavior, back-stabbing, finger-pointing, laziness, discrimination, bullying and flagrant insubordination are all too real! This is part of the reason I enjoy working in HR. I get to help find justice for wronged individuals; I get to help train and develop other managers to overcome these same issues and prevent them for the future.
There are times, however, when the responsibility to protect the employer I work for and mitigate potential liability feels like it clashes with my faith. There are times where I feel like a hitman sent to take out a pesky adversary like something out of mobster film. Terminating employees doesn’t feel good. Negotiating ‘no-fault’ separation agreements doesn’t feel good. Denying employee requests doesn’t feel good.
So what do I do about it? Why do I keep going to work and doing this stuff every day?! How have I managed to stay in this career for almost 15 years?!?
I adhere to the rules and the spirit in which they were intended.
NLT Romans 15:4 – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning”
In the workplace, this verse of Scripture applies to the policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. These governing documents are the ideal way for the business of the workplaces to be conducted. The documents are typically not written with the intention of causing hurt, harm, danger or confusion. On the contrary, they are written to be consistent, effective, efficient and fair in our workplace dealings. They are written for our learning.
Therefore, I choose to believe the processes and practices that derive from them are also intended for the good of the people in our workplaces. I see God in the order which comes from enforcing and upholding the standards set forth in policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. So I focus on that as I handle the challenges which come my way (Philippians 4:8).
When someone violates regulations that are intended for good, that person is out of order and should be corrected. When someone is violated by someone who misused regulations to cause harm, there is a responsibility to correct that also. But that may not necessarily mean the wronged individual can keep working. And it may mean more than just a warning for the person who broke the rules. It may mean letting people go. And, no matter how often you do it, that never gets easier – especially in these times where our economy is suffering and unemployment is so high!
In those moments, I focus on the fact that God is able. He provides for me and He protects me. And I know He does the same for others! I remember that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) and what may seem like a terrible outcome could be part of God’s plan to bring about good things in the future (Genesis 50:20). And I pray before, during and after major decisions for His will to be done, even when it doesn’t feel good to me and/or when I don’t understand.
My hope is that this is enough. Amen.
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com
High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.
What Is an Organizational Vision?
A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision. The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be! The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”
Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision:
1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years?
2. How will that create opportunities for the organization?
3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision?
4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share?
5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?
Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
What is the difference between Mission and Vision?
The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.
There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations. That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!
When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition. Why? We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision. Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance. In fact, where is All Sport today? If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!
The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.
If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input. If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!
Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.
We Value your Comments. Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I believe that, in today’s tumultuous business times, we must remain diligent in our obligations as Christian business leaders. Now, more than ever, Christian Business leaders must acknowledge that employees want, need and crave an environment in which they can be not only productive but trust that their leadership is attempting to provide them and their family stability, a “hope and a future.”
We must remain diligent in our obligations as Christian business leaders.
So what about you business leaders? What are you doing to demonstrate to your employees that you are setting the foundation for tomorrow’s growth? Are you giving them hope and a future? If you do this, if you honor your employees by properly managing your businesses and lighting a path to their future, you will be creating a “Kingdom Minded” company.”
What have you witnessed in your workplace that has created a culture of creativity, inclusiveness and productivity? Please share your thoughts and help our community learn from your experiences.