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More US Firms Provide Faith-based Support for Employees

Companies in the US are now including faith-based support for their employees. An AP examination showed that more than 20% of the Fortune 100 have incorporated faith-based employee resource groups in their companies, reports Crux Now.

The top 10 companies which value the spiritual well-being of their staff are: Google’s parent company Alphabet, Intel, Tyson Foods, Target, Facebook, American Airlines, Apple, Dell, American Express and Goldman Sachs.

Corporate America is at a tipping point toward giving religion similar attention to that given the other major diversity categories. —Brian Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

“Corporate America is at a tipping point toward giving religion similar attention to that given the other major diversity categories,” said Brian Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

Google’s Inter Belief Network is composed of separate programs for major religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. According to their website, “The Inter Belief Network (IBN) aims to create a culture of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual understanding at Google for a diversity of beliefs, where Googlers of all beliefs feel welcome, included, and supported.”

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods established a pastoral care program in 2000. The company has 98 chaplains to provide comfort and counsel to more than 122,000 employees, regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs. Karen Diefendorf, the team’s director, was a United Methodist minister and a U.S. Army chaplain.

“When I pastor, I only represent my denomination, my faith tradition,” she explained. “As a chaplain, I can support people who come from very different backgrounds…I ask them how their beliefs are helping them cope with what’s going on.”

For other companies which are considering a chaplaincy service, Diefendorf advised that, “You want a person who has maturity, who is secure in their own faith but not spiritually conflicted in allowing others to pursue their faith.”

In the article, A New Approach to Faith at Work by Todd Henneman, Rev. Thomas Sullivan, director of spiritual life and professor of business ethics at Babson College, said “The new conventional wisdom is that we still don’t want proselytizing pressure in the workplace and we don’t want people to feel unwelcome, but we know that folks who feel like they can bring their spiritual values to work are happier, are more productive, stay longer and help the company more than people who don’t feel like they can bring their values to work.”

He added that finding a balance between providing spiritual-based support without proselytizing will be beneficial both to employees and the company.

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