Diversity and Inclusion: Religion

29 March 2021

Workplace diversity and inclusion are top of mind for many CEOs and HR professionals. While attributes like ethnicity and gender are frequently talked about, religion and faith are beginning to enter that conversation as well. A study by SHRM found that there are significant effects on employee morale (62%), retention (38%), and loyalty (37%) when organizations grant religious accommodation to their employees.

Employee morale, which is affected the most by religious accommodation, is a key driver of a number of measures that are critical to organizations. This includes employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Investing in activities that support the religious diversity of employees contributes directly to the financial and cultural health of an organization:

Recognize Non-Christian Holidays Equally:

The SHRM study found that very few companies are aware of non-Christian holidays and this creates inequity for non-Christian employees. One option to create more inclusiveness is to provide time off for all key religious holidays. This means that non-Christian employees will not have to use vacation time or unpaid time-off to observe their holidays. Another option would be to offer flexibility in which holidays are worked and taken off. For example, an employee can choose to work on Christmas and take off a different day instead.

Include Religion in Diversity and Inclusion Policies:

While diversity and inclusion policies are now very common, religion is not always included. The SHRM study found that almost half of companies have no policy on religious diversity. It’s important for companies to clearly include religion in their general diversity policy or create a separate policy. In either case, accommodations related to religion should clearly be stated.

Create a Designated Area for Religious Practices:

If space is not an issue, companies should provide a small room that employees can use for religious practices during the workday. This gives employees the space to practice or observe when and where they need to.

Provide Training on Religious Diversity:

Education on religious diversity is important for both leaders and employees. Training should be focused on helping employees understand how they can take steps to create a more inclusive environment at work. Recognizing religious differences and making accommodations for employees with religious beliefs is a key part of being an inclusive organization. Employers should use religious differences to their benefit by creating diverse teams. Diverse teams are proven to be more productive and higher performing than their non-diverse counterparts and this is proven to be a source of competitive advantage for organizations.

Sincron HR Software

Using the Sincron HR employee portal HR managers can notify employees about upcoming holidays, holiday shift availability, and diversity and inclusion policies. Our revised learning management module allows organizations to create online training sessions or post videos for managers and employees on topics related to inclusive environments, religious differences, and accommodations.

  • The platform allows organizations to integrate their strategic planning objectives and KPIs into performance management
  • Sincron HR configures the platform to ensure organizations meet or exceed industry/accreditation standards
  • The new HR Essentials platform is now available for just $2/month per employee
  • Training and tech support (call, text, video library, etc.) is included

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