Improving Organizational Culture: Acceptance of Religion and Orientation

Introduction

Spirituality and religion have been treated as a private matter within the confines of the American corporate world. However, a need to tap on the expanding global economy coupled with demand for global for international job candidates, have challenged by the influenced of religious diversity. Religion and spirituality have become a way of life, and hence, it cannot be ignored within the contemporary employment environment. It is essential to note that religious practices or observations such as wearing religious garb or symbols, proselytizing, abstaining from certain activities, praying or even displaying religious objects are generally restricted to small groups (religious organization) in the society. A change in religious beliefs or spiritual paradigm has brought with it challenges in workplaces. Religious differences and practices at the workplace have impacted organizational perspective towards how they handle employee-related issues. Other issues have been inclined towards gender and sexual orientation. For example, Fig Technologies, an international corporate, has identified concerns where differences and division based on religion and sexual orientation have taken a central role. Several team members have complained that the traditional company celebrations do not recognize the non-Christian holidays and LGBT celebrations or paid time off for observance.

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Thesis statement

The aim of this essay is twofold; first, it will compare the impact of different religious beliefs and practices, how these affect the organizational culture, and describe how a new plan and policy will improve corporate culture through the inclusion of different religious beliefs and practices. Second, it will Compare how belief systems of varying gender orientations and sexual orientations may impact the organizational culture, and describe the effects of discrimination against any of these.

The Impact of Different Religious Beliefs

Different religious beliefs and practices tend to cause varying degrees of impact on the community. Religious beliefs can be understood as a belief in the reality of supernatural, spiritual, or mythological. Religious practices, on the other hand, entails a devotion or commitment to religious observance or faith. Below is a comparison of three major religious beliefs and practices (Benefiel, Fry, & Geigle, 2014). Prayer, spirituality, and faith correlate to an increased level of motivation among employees — prayer influences employee perspectives on matters related to the workplace, equity, and fairness. Practically, prayer and spiritually has a positive correlation to intrinsic motivation as well as goal-setting as far as managers are concerned. Research shows that individuals who pray more often are more confident (Miller, & Ewest, 2015). They easily maneuver through their career ladder by making viable career decisions. Prayers further affect the relationship between employees and how their perspective towards their employer.

  Religious diversity, accommodation, and tolerance act as critical drivers of the corporate world. Different religions, such as Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, tend to provide a different framework as far as their beliefs and practices are concerned. As such, their impact is also disparate.  Christians encourage a material culture as long as an individual will never substitute it with God. Christian beliefs and practices encourage individuals to be prudent in their dealings (Benefiel, Fry, & Geigle, 2014). This generally affects individual efforts and organizational culture since the justification for material gain is allowed in the bible.

It has been a challenge for significant organizations to accommodate Muslims and Islam culture in the contemporary world. In most cases, Muslims tend to seek permission to wear hajibs, to perform ablutions or even have a place or time for daily prayers. Islam practices and beliefs prohibit adherence to specific activities such as pork handling as well as its consumption (Benefiel, Fry, & Geigle, 2014). Such practices can conflict with organizational policies and regulations.

Guided by the four major life purposes-salvation, righteousness, pleasure, and economic well-being, Hinduism allows individuals to pursue their dreams (Benefiel, Fry, & Geigle, 2014). Such believes extensively how Indians approach issues in the workplace.

From a general point of view, different religious beliefs promote the social welfare of individuals, their families, and the community at large. Research holds that there is a nexus between regular attendance as well as adherence to inherent practices and a healthy, strong family and well-behaved children. Religion plays a more significant role in minimizing social vices, such as crime, addiction, and substance abuse. It further affects the interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships in society. Such effects tend to be intergenerational.

  A new plan and policy will improve organizational culture through the inclusion of different religious beliefs and practices. Diversity and inclusivity at the workplace encourage tolerance, promote better communication, and guarantees an increased understanding. The policy will further determine the accuracy and robustness of the decision-making process. Leaders and managers will be in a position to avoid the presumption that a particular religious group is more dominant than the other.

Comparison of Belief Systems of Different Gender And Sexual Orientations

Inclusive organizations accord equal rights to individuals who are bisexual, gay, transgender, or lesbian. Such individuals can practice their own beliefs without fear of recrimination or discrimination. Acceptance and understanding create an atmosphere where people can offer their full energy and attention to their work; hence, productivity and morale shoots upwards. Inclusive organizations guarantee equal support and benefits for all its members. Just like their heterosexual employee counterparts, LGBT has access to similar advantages for their dependents and domestic partners. In an organization that does not tolerate LGBT, such individuals tend to suppress their sexual orientation. The assumption is that they are more likely to face prejudice, discrimination, and endure slurs or unwarranted jokes in a situation where their true identity is revealed to the significant others (Miller, & Ewest, 2015). In a situation where an organization tolerates homophobic behaviors and attitudes, morale, and productivity are more likely to suffer. Establishing an inclusive workplace eliminates toxic behavior and attitudes and hence creates an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance.

Discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation at the workplace causes socioeconomic inequalities. An explicit effect of discrimination is high turnover and job instability. The overall outcome is an increased unemployment rate and poverty among the members of LGBT. They lack a legal framework to protect their rights. The laws in some countries prohibit same-sex relationships making it difficult to acquire any legal redress to the issues experienced in the workplace (Miller, & Ewest, 2015).

Recommendations and Course of Action

Discussions related to sexual orientations tend to be difficult because they rotate around different values, diverse opinions, sexual orientation, and competing beliefs. Such arguments tend to create a feeling of discomfort. Based on this, this paper provides the following recommendations;

  To create an inclusive and safe environment for everyone in the workplace, both subordinate and dominant groups should foster acceptance and understanding. The assumption is that a friendly relationship will exist between heterosexual individuals and LGBT individuals. Such an ally will ascertain self-realization, self-awareness, and full attention to the organizational or company work.

Ascertain equality in terms of communication with LGBT co-workers to build trust and rapport. Always cease from making any assumptions on people’s gender identity and sexual orientation based on their behavior or appearance.

References

Benefiel, M., Fry, L. W., & Geigle, D. (2014). Spirituality and religion in the workplace: History, theory, and research. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality6(3), 175.

Miller, D. W., & Ewest, T. (2015). A new framework for analyzing organizational workplace religion and spirituality. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion12(4), 305- 328.

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