How to Practice Faith at Work Without Offending Others

Several employers have successfully integrated religion into the workplace.

ByABC News via logo
July 18, 2007, 7:27 PM

July 19, 2007 — -- The United States has a work force that mirrors the global economy we live in, where diversity, including religious, is more evident than ever before.

We have a president who talks often and openly about his faith on the job. And as a society, more people who don't identify themselves as particularly religious are saying they crave a greater connectivity to spirituality. Employees as a whole are just more comfortable talking about religion today, and many don't believe they should have to check that part of their identity at the reception desk when they arrive for work.

Advocates of programs that support religion in the workplace truly believe that when you embrace an employee as a whole person, which includes his or her religious convictions, you get a better worker one who is loyal, happy and productive. It's the same theory behind offering benefits to working parents.

Most companies tend to be faith-friendly more so than being faith-based, and they're offering ways for employees to honor their religions.

They may meet regularly with agendas ranging from Bible studies to the development of service projects that honor God. Sometimes they may take on specific workplace causes that are rooted in religion.

For example, at Ford Motor Co., its Interfaith Network, which represents all faiths, lobbied executives to install special sinks and washrooms to accommodate the prayer needs of Muslim employees. Other companies have small areas designated for private prayer.