A few different people talked today at my church about taking a leap of faith at work. The key focus is to be a generous, loving enterprise that puts God first. I was challenged even as our company is facing some tough times. God has been providing and giving us favor despite price pressures and competitive challenges. New products are starting to come on line, and I am beginning to feel a bit optimistic for the first time in months.
Michael Thaler, a local entrepreneur and leader in the church, shared about how God met Him time and time again as he took leaps of faith with his company. He runs a company called Equity Concepts (http://www.equity-concepts.com). It has launched a variety of service initiatives designed to reach the poor in Niger. Hearing Michael’s story caused me to stop and realize that my family business has just begun to scratch the surface of what it means to be a Kingdom company.
A Kingdom company is a business that really runs for God’s Kingdom and glory. The bottom line is not the driving factor. Honoring God is.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Encourage employees to put an inspiration word or thought on their e-mails and voice mail messages.
- Involve periods of strategic silent prayer and meditation in all planning meetings.
- Hold a weekly prayer and Bible study during office hours.
- Do a company mission project where the company covers the cost if the employee will donate the time.
- Adopt a special service project/mission emphasis as a company.
- Empower employees to lead service initiatives. Give the staff a budget and let them run with it.
- Create service and personal enrichment committees to help spear head spiritual and community service efforts.
- Encourage employees to go the extra mile by giving excellent customer service.
- Publicly recognize employee accomplishments and foster an environment where excellence is rewarded.
- Provide the employee a certain amount of money per year to donate to a charitable cause.
- Provide employees one paid day off per year to do a community service. Work with employees to allow flexible hours to do community service projects.
- Offer free counseling services with an office chaplain.
- Pray for employees by name ever day. Pray for customers regularly as well.
- Require employees to hold to ethical business practices and follow all necessary laws. Discipline employees that violate laws or company procedures in a fair and equitable manner.
- Avoid favoritism. Company leaders should set the example for all new initiatives.
- Managers should take personal interests in employee development and even personal problems as appropriate.
- Providing pro-bono service to non-profit organizations.
- Avoid negative promotion and competitor bashing. Speak ill of no man.
- Provide freedom of religion while honoring God as the CEO of the company.
- Encourage employees to show interest in the personal lives of customers and their needs at the moment.
- Listening is one of the best ways to show that you care. Encourage employees and management to really listen to each other instead of trying to talk over each other.
- Promote Christ via your Web site and other public communications, such as company newsletter.
The ideas are limitless. Now, I just have to figure out where to start because you can’t do everything in one day. And I know it will take a lot more than just me. It starts with management casting the vision and then releasing the staff to make it happen.