This is a “what if” blog post. For the next 600 words/4 minutes, we’re going to suspend reality and imagine a different world, a different workplace and a different HR leadership environment. In particular, we’re going to imagine a world where religion was NOT taboo at work. Be it in the hiring practices, promotion pathways, terminating offenses, etc. Blank slate… we evolved differently through the years whereas work and religion are totally cool with one another.
For the sake of this post, I’m broadening the definition of religion to include all organized religions, atheists, agnostics, scientologists, indigenous religions, etc., etc., etc. Meaning, for anyone who believes in GOD in whatever way and all those that who don’t in whatever way. So, pretty much all human beings. And all workplaces… from SMB, to Federal to publicly traded to non-profits, etc. All!
Ready, Set, GO! What if…
- What if atheists would only employ other atheists?
- What if Jewish folks could screen out Muslim folks solely based on religious preference?
- What if Mormons would only promote other Mormons? Because they were Mormons.
- What if your Catholic boss only gave raises to folks who sported a cross in their cube?
- What if performance reviews also included knowledge of The Bible?
- What if to be considered for the leadership team of your organization, you had to be a “Born Again” Christian?
- What if compensation was tied to volunteerism with your church?
- What if you could bonus employees based on religious recruitment efforts?
- What if you could ask a candidate to prove how much they believe during interviews?
- What if you could fire someone for being an agnostic?
And so on, and so on, and so on… you get the idea of the scenarios… religion, in whatever form, is: noticed, appreciated, incentivized, etc. In this new world, work and religion are one.
How weird would that be?
Let’s go further…
Would “similar” religious beliefs at work be a good thing? What would our HR world look like if we could hire similar people? Imagine an entire workplace of Methodist employees. The values of the Methodist religion deeply woven in to the values of the firm, into each and every hiring decision, every HR process, everything HR related touched by the Methodist faith. Methodist, Methodist, Methodist. Would that organization have more HR problems or less HR problems? Would that organization outperform competitors? Make more profit, etc?
Conversely, what if “dissimilar” religious preference was valued? Meaning, everyone comes to the table with whatever they believe in (or not) and the organization celebrates said differences. Opposite to the imaginary Methodist workplace above. This organization would hire folks based on religion but from a portfolio perspective. They would want as many differing views as possible. Think: strength in diversity. Same questions as above… Would that organization have more HR problems or less HR problems? Would that organization outperform competitors? Make more profit, etc?
Again, this is a “what if” article… Can we imagine a world so different from our day to day?
Lastly, would you like leading / managing HR in a decidedly more religious work environment?
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email.
William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015).
William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.