Faith in the workplace and the level of accommodations employers should allow is an increasing problem. Moreover, the influx of people from different backgrounds bringing with them different religious practices has caused organizations to seek help from organizations such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the courts, and legal firms on how to deal with this new reality. Thus, the complexities surrounding religion and spirituality in the workplace and recommendations on the cause and solutions were examined.
1. What are the possible explanations for the person’s behavior?
The need to be accepted or included is a fundamental tenet of the human race. Moreover, people express themselves through relationships. Examples include community involvement, work relationships, and religious affiliations (Baker, 2001). Also, acceptance by others improves a person’s overall well-being and improves their ability to give and receive friendship (Baker, 2001). So, when a person is or perceives to be degraded by others it can adversely affect their behavior (Lueders, 2011). Consequently, this is the genesis of a hostile work environment (Williams, 2011).
Offensive conduct can create a hostile work environment (Williams, 2011). Hence, a hostile work environment refers to, “any change that results in an alteration of an employee’s mood or behavior based upon the conduct” (Williams, 2011, p. 1). Thus, the unwelcomed comments based on negative stereotypes of Sonia’s religious attire by her coworkers caused her to feel self-conscious and withdraw.
2. How should management/leadership respond to this situation?
Religion is a federally protect...
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...reover, there are many people in my office who share the same faith. We have an online prayer page whereby people share prayer requests and praise reports. Happily, the number of people involved continues to grow. So, I know that my faith has made me a better supervisor, co-worker, and employee.
Faith in the workplace offers various degrees of complexity. The rights of individuals coupled with the requirements of organizations presents a daunting task. Hence, employers must utilize all the resources at their disposal such as the EEOC in order to fairly and adequately align business objectives with accommodating employee religious practices. Moreover, in order to manage conflict, resentment, and misunderstandings the organizational culture must transform into an environment of inclusiveness, understanding, and continuous communication.
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