With holidays upon us, I think it’s important to hit on a topic that many people may not want to talk about: religion. This time of year is filled with people taking time to reflect on their religious beliefs and engage in religious activities. In the office, however, we need to be mindful of how we approach this.
Between federal law and common decency, management needs to make sure to respect the religions of all employees. Grant your employees appropriate days off so that they may be able to spend time with their families and celebrate in ways that work for them. Recognize the need for spirituality in the lives of some, and that November through January may be extremely important to them.
On the flip side of this, we should also keep religion out of the office. Religious beliefs are deeply personal and have no room in the workplace. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and practices, and should never feel like they need to justify that to anyone at their job (or anywhere, for that matter).
On a side note, some companies place their fundamental values on religion. They pride themselves on being focused on a particular religious belief system. While this can alienate some potentially excellent employees, it can be a good way to show others that you have a core that centers around positivity. In these cases, it’s obviously going to be a bit different regarding keeping religion out of the workplace.
Ultimately, in the grand scope, this all comes down to respect. Be mindful of others, and the respect will be returned.