One of the key building blocks to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is empowering employees to bring their whole self to work. If you are anything like me then you will know how powerful this is if you have ever been in a team where everyone knew each other really well, had developed a high level of trust and accepted the different abilities and experiences each person brought to the team. This goes a long way to creating a high performing team!
Over the last couple of years I have been exploring the possibility of establishing a new staff network for those employees within the company I work for who have a faith. Faith is one of the features of life that can lead you to being in the minority at work, in a social group or country.
I would like to try and establish a safe space for people of faith to raise their hand and find others that belong to that faith for mutual encouragement. I myself have a Christian faith and have benefited enormously from the group of 70+ Christians that are connected through Yammer. We have been meeting once a month since June 2019 and have found it really helpful, especially this year with all its challenges to share our concerns and pray for each other, our company and our leaders.
At the start of 2020 I put out some suggested religious festival dates that we wanted to encourage people to celebrate with their Wood colleagues, its been great to see some of these celebrated this year.
My guiding principles in this journey have been to:
- Accept people as they are, knowing that it is in the company’s interest for us to each be our unique selve
- Agree to disagree – we will never agree on everything, especially when faith and religion are involved, we must be generous and think well of those that have different beliefs from us
- Advocate for our own passions – each person can decide what they are passionate about, without pressuring others to advocate for their personal interests
- Welcome all faiths and those who are curious and want to know more.
If you would like to know more about this initiative then please get in touch.