Your organization faces novel challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has created turmoil for you and your most important resource, your employees. We want to help you. Now is the time to reset the old ways, decide how to restart, and move forward.
The first step is to reflect on why you exist as organization, what you stand for, and how you can best work with your employees to ensure mutual prosperity while advancing the ministries you support, the communities in which you live, and the families of the employees who make up your organization. Ensuring a workplace that promotes Christian values contributes to all of that.
This month celebrates the 8-year publication anniversary of the book How To Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations. In it, author, speaker and noted HR consultant Mark A. Griffin illustrates how leaders can build values-led organizations and maintain Christian workplace ethics designed to help weather difficult economic times.
Mark doesn’t just explain why establishing Christian values in the workplace is important—he shows you how to make it happen. Using a model he developed through years of organizational development experiences, Mark demonstrates how to weave your organization’s mission, vision and values into all of your HR practices. This ensures your Christ-centered culture is integrated into your organization and maintained, now and in the future.
Take advantage of this special anniversary discount to benefit from Mark’s guidance on how you might best build successful, lasting “Kingdom-minded” organizations in today’s politically correct business world. Mark will inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith, and ensure that Christ is in your workplace.
Special for the month of May 2020
1/2 off Retail Price
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 resource professional with 20-plus years of experience in both private and public companies (e.g., Quaker Oats, Kodak, Merck), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces that utilize best practices and lead with strong values.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mark earned his MBA 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 Indicator, MBTI®. He has also coached leaders on “Business as Mission” onsite in Eastern Europe, India, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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. or 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.
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?
Action Steps 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes the best way for employees to develop an appreciation of what they have is to take a closer look at what other people have. I would like to introduce to one program that does just that.
Employee engagement is not only concerned with aligning employees to the goals and objectives of their organizations. Engagement can be just as much about aligning their hearts to the organization’s vision, a vision we hope has a Kingdom impact. Employees who perceive a greater good in what is being done in addition to their daily roles have a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction. All of us, at one time or another, have experienced that longing for a true sense of purpose. Having an engagement program that helps employees fill that void will benefit not only the organization, but also the world we live in.
Imagine a company that generates an impact not simply on one child’s life but an entire village.
Meet Elexio. Elexio makes a difference, not just in their Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania community, but also in Honduras. Today, we’ll talk to Jeff Hostetter, the CEO of Elexio, to learn more about their commitment to community,
Mark: Greetings, Jeff. It’s an honor to spend time with you this morning. We know already that you have a wonderful story to tell us about how you impact the world through employee engagement. But, first, please tell me a little bit about you, how you came to occupy your role as CEO of Elexio, and a little bit about the history of Elexio.
Jeff: Thanks, Mark. It’s a privilege to talk with you. I’m a simple guy who wants Christ to use him for His glory. Diane and I have been married for 24 years and have an 18-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. In high school, I took two years of computer programming and got a job as a software developer at the age of 18. Software has been the track I’ve been on ever since. Along the way, support, sales, and leadership crossed my software path, and then, in 2008, I was asked to become CEO of Elexio. Elexio began in 2002 and, in 2009, we merged People Driven Software into Elexio.
Elexio provides church software for people to come to know Jesus. Exclusively for churches, we have a database, check-in, website CMS, mobile, and giving—all integrated. We help churches in all fifty states and in thirty-two countries. God continues to amaze us with what He has in store for us.
Mark: That’s a great story. I’m always intrigued by how organizations develop, grow, and change over time—how it all comes together. Let’s talk about the organization you support. What organization is it and when did you start supporting them?
Mark: Out of curiosity, why did you choose Compassion? Tell us a little bit about your selection process.
Jeff: I created a profile of the type of Kingdom-minded organization we were looking for, and then worked with our other leaders to finalize the profile. I shared it with our entire staff to ensure they had a picture of the ideal organization. Our criteria included items like: make a big impact in one location rather than a small impact in many places, involve our staff in more than just giving money, and to avoid being self-serving in any way, to name a few. I asked our staff to submit recommendations for organizations, and Compassion was the most highly recommended.
When I contacted Compassion and learned they had an established initiative for strategic partnerships with businesses, and that they matched our profile and beyond, I knew God was at work and this was meant to be.
Mark: How many children did your company ultimately sponsor?
Jeff: Praise God, we currently sponsor thirty-five children, all in the same church and community! We also work with the pastor of that local church, which partners with Compassion and cares for 225 children altogether. In 2012, through Compassion, we sponsored a Leadership Development Program (LDP) student.
Her name is Arely, and someone had sponsored her through Compassion in her younger years. Now we are sponsoring Arely through college at the University of Honduras, where she majors in computer science. Arely loves the church, computers, and software, so we have a lot in common.
Mark: Besides sponsoring children, in what other ways have you worked to tie employee engagement into this process?
Jeff: We have a big vision for this, so a few years ago we began inviting our staff to go to Honduras to meet their sponsored child. As giving money is available, we send a team to Honduras to visit our kids, their families, the church partner, and the pastor. We are hoping that, when it is time for Arely to do an internship, she can do her internship at Elexio, so that our staff can invest even more into Arely and growing her in her field.
Mark: Tell me how you engage employees to support Compassion.
Jeff: First, we setup a co-sponsorship where the staff person pays half of the monthly sponsorship and Elexio pays the other half. Sponsoring a child only costs $38 per month, so the staff member pays half, $19 per month. Since we pay our staff twice a month, it’s only $9.50 from each paycheck.
It’s an outstanding return for the investment. Also, a security wall was needed to protect the children, so Elexio decided to match dollar for dollar, the total of what our staff donated. Our staff raised $2000 so Elexio added another $2000 on top of that. Now, the security wall has been built and is protecting our sponsored children in the community. We have also helped our Honduran community get clean water and upgrade their electric service.
Mark: Many leaders miss the effect that positive employee engagement activities can have on an organization. Tell us in what ways your organization has been impacted by having adopted these types of employee engagement activities.
Jeff: It gives us another thing in common that we can rally around, share, and talk with each other about. Our team knows that, beyond the work they do at Elexio, they are making a difference in another country and, more important, in someone else’s life. Our team members write their children letters and also receive letters. It’s life changing for each child.
When a trip is coming and our staff has the opportunity to go or send gifts to their children, there is a buzz in the office because of the encouragement it will be to our long distance family in Honduras. As far as the gifts we send along, it is tough to manage our people’s generosity. It’s a good problem to have.
Mark: What suggestions do you have for other organizations that are interested in adopting policies of employee engagement in order to make a difference in the world?
Jeff: Create a profile of what an ideal employee engagement might look like for your team and make sure there’s nothing about it that’s self-serving or a marketing tactic. Involve your team in the process and strategic planning. Focus on fewer initiatives and make a big impact in those initiatives. This also builds momentum. Remember, it’s not an expense, it’s an investment, so put time and capital into it. God may surprise you with the ROI.
Mark: Jeff, thanks so much for spending the time and sharing your insights with us today, despite your busy schedule. We do appreciate it. By sharing this, we hope to encourage other great organizations to follow your example, and to build Kingdom-minded organizations through their human resources practices, encouraging activities with meaningful aspects, like solid employee engagement programs such as yours.
I was blessed to spend the early part of my career as a staffing manager for light industrial jobs. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was not to judge people’s work ethic or abilities solely on their aptitude in filling out a job application or writing a resume. Some of the hardest working, most loyal and dedicated employees had the most difficult time writing an explanation of their previous job experience.
Resume writing and everything else that goes along with the job search is stressful. Most people are not taught how to track their performance and work product to build a comprehensive professional profile. Admittedly, my own resume was a hot mess until I reached out to a professional friend to give it a much needed makeover! Struggle in this area is commonplace. One would think this would make recruiters and hiring managers less critical of applications and resumes.
However, when I made the switch to more traditional HR, I found the exact opposite to be the custom. Candidates were being discarded for minor errors and/or choosing unsophisticated descriptors.
John 7:24 (NLT) – “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly”. In screening and reviewing resumes to find suitable candidates for open positions, look for 3 things:
Experience. Does the person’s work history establish practice in the same or similar type of role? Has the person ever worked in the same or similar industry? Did the person perform the same or similar tasks in a past position? (Romans 2:6 [NLT] – “He will judge everyone according to what they have done”)
Education. Has the person taken courses that would prepare him/her for this position? What kind of coursework has he/she completed that would teach the problem-solving skills necessary for success at this job? (Proverbs 18:15 [NKJ] – “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge”)
Enthusiasm. Does the tone of the resume display a positive attitude about work? Are there accomplishments which demonstrate excellence? Is there a pattern of progressive responsibility in the work that shows ambition? Do the projects outline the ability to both lead and provide support within a team? (Colossians 3:23 [NLT] – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”)
Do not be so concerned with superfluous things like formatting, stylized punctuation or accidentally typing “manger” instead of “manager.” Focusing heavily on unessential things will cause us to miss those diamonds in the rough.
We all make errors, both before and during our employment journeys. We have to use caution in judging others too harshly – especially knowing our own skills, abilities and practices are not necessarily at the best level they can be (Matthew 7).
Instead, by focusing on identifying the potential talent in the resumes we receive, we can rest assured we will yield good candidates and build a strong team of staff members to complete the work.
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.
New Book Provides Christian Inspiration for Business Leaders and Professionals
Contact: Mark A. Griffin, In HIS Name HR LLC, 717-572-2183, MGriffin@InHISNameHR.com
LANCASTER, Penn., May 7, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — HR consultant and career coach Mark A. Griffin has worked for more than 20 years in a corporate world where the bottom line is king and often anything goes in the pursuit of profit.
Mark believes, however, that there is another, better way to do business and in his latest book, How To Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations, he provides inspiration for Christian business leaders who want to create a values-led organization that brings Christ into the workplace.
In the last decade, the global corporate world has endured some of the toughest economic times since the Great Depression with business leaders and employees alike enduring increasing pressure s
imply to survive. Too often the workplace has become somewhere devoid of hope and of genuine purpose and yet the workplace is still where many of us spend the majority of our time.
Mark’s human resources career over two decades in the marketplace has encompassed both Fortune 500 companies, such as Kodak, Quaker Oats and Merck, and small and mid-sized companies and his knowledge and expertise of the corporate world is unrivaled.
It’s his experience of a business world that has lost its way and is out of touch with its responsibilities to both workforce and clientele that has led Mark in a different direction, one informed and inspired by his own strong Christian faith.
Mark’s remarkable book will empower business leaders to be bold and brave in bringing their own faith into their workplace. He understands that it takes great courage to step away from the normal business practices that continue to dominate America’s corporate world but his book provides simple and effective tools that will integrate the teachings of Christ into an organization.
Through his own organization, In HIS Name HR LLC, Mark is on a mission to provide world-class business consulting that allows clients to be prosperous but also to be “Kingdom-Minded” by instilling a Christian ethos and establishing goals that reflect that ethos.
How To Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations provides the starting point for those who want to create, build and develop their own values-led business that is profitable and is also a stable, positive environment in which employee wellbeing is enhanced, thus improving quality and increasing productivity.
Radical, inspirational and affirmative — Mark A. Griffin’s template for “Kingdom-Minded” businesses is an idea whose time has come.
I have always worked in small HR departments where I am one of 2-3 staff members, wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities all day, every day. I am generally orderly and mindful in my work and in my record-keeping. That is an essential skill in this profession where historical data can be called upon at any time for analytics or legal scrutiny. When my staff asks me how I keep it all together and remember to start, track and finish all these tasks, I jokingly say “I don’t remember anything. I just do what the Outlook reminders tell me to do.”
Still, there are times when I sit at my desk and look at the piles, issues and emails that all need to be addressed and I have no idea where to start or how to get it all done! When that happens, I take a deep breath, pull out a piece of paper and make a list.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time”
Written plans set priorities and give focus. Once you have dumped your brain and written down everything, you can organize the list according to what is most urgent and important. You may be able to get help or delegate tasks. You may find that there are items that can be postponed or removed altogether. You may find tasks that can be merged together. However, when thoughts are just rolling around in your mind and piles of work are all around, you have no idea of any of these things! Deadlines get missed and important items get forgotten. This is not what God would have for us. God wants us to be productive and meet needs through our work (Titus 3:14). Being deliberate and logical in our work can help us achieve this.
Written plans make it easier to measure effectiveness. When you maintain a list of to-do items or another type of action plan, it is easy to see not only what needs doing but also what has been done. There is a great feeling that comes from conquering tasks on your list (Proverbs 13:9). It gives us a sense of accomplishment that can help keep us motivated to continue working hard in pursuit of our goals (Galatians 6:9).
There are two clear pitfalls to avoid in when preparing the lists and plans for our work.
Complicated, confusing objectives. The Scripture calls for us to make things “plain” so our plan is easy to follow. Keep things clear and concise.
Lengthy, lofty outline. The Scripture calls for us to create plans for “an appointed time.” This is why long lists without clear time limits are ineffective. Keep things specific and finite.
Whether it is a strategic plan for the organization, a meeting agenda or to-do reminders for the day – the ability to create and follow a written plan is critical to consistent performance and long-term achievement. God wants us to be effective in our work. He also wants us to be organized and methodical. And when we look to Him for strength and guidance through prayer and meditation, we can rest assured that He will direct and keep us on a path to success (Proverbs 3:1-8).
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.
Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach on, HR Practices, what are they? Let Mark inspire you to be bold in your faith as you learn to navigate the complexities of faith in the workplace. Be encouraged as you learn how to develop a high performing organization through your HR practices.
“Praise HIS Name” in partnership with “In HIS Name HR LLC” announce the launch of a twelve week radio series highlighting faith in the Christian owned workplace. Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach, exploring twelve inspiring weeks of Christian Business topics.