RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY in the WORKPLACE
Listen to the video snapshot of Deborah Levine’s keynote and scroll down to see more about Managing Religious Diversity at Work with Religious Literacy
Who Can Benefit
HR managers working with diverse teams and clients. Especially relevant for corporations, community, education and healthcare sectors.
The topic of Religious Diversity is one of the most challenging whether in the executive suite, the HR department, or the diversity office. I specialize in strategies that help manage religious diversity and avoid mistakes that can fester and divide. 1. develop a buffer of goodwill using Common Values, 2. Accommodate Sacred Times to demonstrate religious literacy, and 3. Building awareness of Faith traditions to show respect.
The workplace needs religious diversity expertise to manage diverse employees, attract diverse vendors, and reach diverse markets. Build goodwill internally by appealing to common values – no easy feat in today’s environment. According to the Pew Research Center, religious affiliation is decreasing, but the affiliated are more intensely engaged. The unaffiliated are increasing, including atheists, spiritualist, and humanists. Yet, both groups are invested in good works, as are most religions. Incentivize joint collaboration in community building and charitable projects.
Build on that collaborative goodwill with religious literacy, beginning with Sacred Time. For centuries, diverse cultures used harvest seasons and phases of the moon to mark holy times. Religious communities retain those calendars which don’t always sync with the secular calendar. Before you require attendance at conferences, meetings, or exams, learn about these calendars so that you can demonstrate respect of major religious holidays.
Religious literacy should also include knowledge of diverse Faith Traditions and the 3 Fs: 1) Food – know the taboos and don’t serve them. 2) Formality: don’t grab people’s hands to shake them if not offered. 3) Female: don’t take gender-related traditions, like clothing, lightly. These details can symbolize entire belief systems.
Check out the Quick Reference Religious Diversity Cards in my book, Religious Diversity at Work. Use it to guide you through 1. Common Values, 2. Sacred Time, and 3. Faith Traditions.
Participants Will Learn How To…
1) Understand why religious diversity is one of the most difficult areas of cultural diversity to address.
2) Manage conflict by developing personal relationships across religious differences.
3) Accommodate religious diversity in your scheduling.
4) Develop religious literacy to improve communication and problem solving.
“I want you to know how blown away everyone was with your presentation today. It was impeccable. You hit it out of the ball park. I don’t know if we’d had anybody who engaged the group like you did. The enthusiasm, the expression and animation, the eye contact. You were truly where you described – whether in college or in Bermuda. We were with you. That’s skill my friend. It’s always a pleasure to watch a pro at work. And a pro you are.”
~ Glynn Hodges: Executive Director, John Maxwell Team.
“Thank you beyond words for this time we had together. Truly your wisdom – each piece of your education and experience and life have combined – with your teacher’s heart, healer’s spirit – to bring to us the core of working with diversity. You take us to the heart of the matter. You have given us wisdom and knowledge and tools that will only impact our ministry – it will touch, change and grow each of us. Thank You for Religious Diversity at Work!
~ Shari Hofstetter: Pennsylvania Chaplains Association Annual Conference
Deborah Levine is an award-winning author of 15 books, Editor-in-Chief of the American Diversity Report, and host of the ADR Podcasts. She has 33 years experience in diversity training and Thought Leadership coaching. Deborah has a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology, Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Religious Studies, and Research Fellowships in Arts & Culture. She founded the Southeast Women’s Council on Diversity, and duPage/Chicago Interfaith Resource Network. Her pioneering work has been recognized by the TN Economic Task Force on Women, American Planning Association/Chicago, and Forbes Magazine which has honored her as a top Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazer.
Contact me and let me know how I can assist you. It would be an honor to boost religious literacy in your workplace and develop sustainable strategies.
Also see Religious Diversity on the Road