Engaging with the Business – by a Christian HR Manager

Workers by Tower of London
Hi – I am a Christian HR Manager. I love Christian Workplace Groups (CWGs) and I think they are a huge benefit to Christians, enabling them to bring all of themselves to work. However from an HR Manager’s perspective, having Christian workplace groups also makes great business sense. There are many reasons for this and it is this rationale we should draw on when we are setting up new groups or seeking formal recognition from HR.

Firstly, CWGs form a core part of the diversity strategy businesses across the globe are adopting. The businesses which fully align their business strategy to this model develop a competitive advantage that is difficult to imitate. Many organisations are focusing on the diversity agenda for external business reasons such as good public relations but also internal reasons to drive employee engagement.

HR Directors develop HR strategies to increase employee engagement because it ultimately leads to a more motivated workforce who are more productive, leading to a more profitable organisation. Through establishing CWGs, employee engagement can increase. This may be directly for the Christians but also indirectly across the organisation. Firstly there is a positive brand encouraging diversity. In addition, those in the group (or other groups who interact with it), will build a variety of relationships across departments. This breaks down silos and encourages knowledge transfer across the organisation and leads to larger, more connected networks.

In addition the CWG can add to the health and wellbeing agenda and in some companies there may be an opportunity to fulfil a pastoral care role which is largely missing in large corporate organisations. Employees who are going through difficulties such as redundancies may really appreciate informal support through such networks. In addition the Christian workplace group can organise a variety of internal and external events inviting employees and people outside of the organisation. I have previously been to events on stress which have contributed to the health and wellbeing agenda. I have also witnessed events such as ‘Demystifying the moderation process’ run by Christian groups helping individuals to understand and cope with the annual appraisal and ranking process where the ‘bottom 10%’ may be managed out of the organisation! I have also seen external events work well where Christians and Non-Christians from other businesses are invited. For some organisations such as consultancies this generates connections and even clients of the future.

Ultimately these examples highlight how CWGs can add real value to the business. It is these benefits that need to be highlighted to business leaders when we are building a business case for the organisation to accept the group. So whilst Christian Workplace Groups are highly beneficial for Christians, we need to widen our vision and mind-set as to how they can really drive positive change and increase employee engagement across organisations. Through this vision, real transformation can be released across the organisation. Ultimately a more positive culture will result hopefully benefitting all!