Faithfulness in the Workplace
Faithfulness in the Workplace

Faithfulness in the Workplace

Greetings from Ghana!  So thankful for traveling mercies!  

I was recently asked to give a speech for a large international company on “Faithfulness in the Workplace.”  The company executives were looking to encourage their employees to be more faithful in achieving the company goals, but of course, the responsibility for employee faithfulness is not a one-way street.

As I considered the topic, I realized that we don’t hear the word “faithfulness” in the workplace very often anymore – we hear more about loyalty.  Loyalty is defined as a “strong feeling of support or allegiance,” but the word “faithfulness” is richer – it goes deeper than loyalty. 

There are two main components to faithfulness:  1. It is the willingness and 2. the ability to complete a job. 

And in this definition, the two-way street in terms of the relationship between employee and employer becomes very obvious. 

Let’s look at the employee first. 

A faithful worker is one who is WILLING to complete a job regardless of their personal feelings.  They don’t only do the jobs they like but they consider all the tasks that need to be done for the flourishing of the customer, the work environment, and the company.  Being willing is about our attitude and it is about the only thing in life that we can control.

It reminds me of the Circles of Control, Influence, and Concern by Stephen Covey (author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), which describes the largest circle in the picture as the circle of concern.  Unfortunately, this is where we spend most of our time but where we have the least amount of influence or impact.  The middle circle is the circle of influence.  That is where we spend some of our time, seeking to influence those in our inner circles.  The smallest circle at the center is the circle of control. This is where we often spend the least amount of time and when explored, we find that the only thing we really can control is our attitude and how we respond to things that concern us or deal with the areas of potential influence.  This is where willingness and understanding can be developed. 

But a faithful worker is also ABLE to complete the job.  They have the skills and resources to be successful in terms of their goals and the company’s goals.  Ability includes physical, mental, legal, moral, financial, and spiritual capacity.  It comes from education, training, mentoring, resources, networks, and access.  In our Christian walk, it is called discipleship.  And in our workplace, we also need the tools and resources to help us have the ability to do the job.  For Christians, understanding that work is to be done as an act of worship increases our spiritual ability to integrate faith into all aspects of life.  It then motivates us to be successful in all other abilities, as we recognize ourselves as co-laborers, co-creators, with the most high God.  

Companies need to help create an environment that allows their employees to flourish.  Employees need to challenge their personal circle of control, to strive for the customer to flourish.  The reality is that when the primary goal in a business is the flourishing of all, the company will do better.  Goals will be achieved.  Turnover will reduce.  

And so, on this Monday morning, we can ask ourselves, 

  1. How willing am I to do all the tasks on my list for this day and this week?  How willing am I, even if I don’t like my boss, colleagues, or the work itself?  Who am I working for today?  God or man? For my customer’s flourishing or only my own?
  2. How able am I to do the work that has been given to me to do?  Am I seeking to improve, to do it with even greater excellence?  If so, where can I get the help to grow in my ability?

Usually, if we are struggling in our work, there is a challenge in one of these two areas.  Remember that we can’t control our boss or our workplace, but we can control our attitude.  And when we turn our work over to God, and do it for Him and the flourishing of this world, it can get easier!  If you need a Biblical example of this, read about Joseph and Daniel – two men who worked as slaves and captives, yet worked with excellence and not only flourished for themselves but brought about flourishing for many others.

May God bless you in this work week, whether you work in the home or outside of the home!