Originally published 4/26/2021 by Global Leadership Network, GLN Staff Writer
What happens when people have religious freedom in the workplace? It has greater impact on our societies than you might think.
Research shows when leaders create environments where their employees feel free to bring their whole self to work, including their faith, it proves to be better for business, economies and even whole societies.
…where people are free to bring their whole soul to work, you create stronger teamwork…
Brian Grim, founding president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, is the world’s leading expert on the relationship between religious freedom and the economy, having held leadership roles with the World Economic Forum, as well as the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. He was also instrumental in setting up the first western-style business school in Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union. Having spent 20 years in China, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the former USSR, Brian has acquired a wealth of research and first-hand experience which he now brings to his work to help leaders bring religious diversity, equity and inclusion into the workplace.
“In the data of religious freedom around the world, we see that religious freedom is being more restricted as we go on,” said Brian. “Even in this past decade, we’ve had religion related genocide in Iraq, Myanmar, China, etc.—and it’s harkening back to the holocaust. How can this be happening in this day and age? This is a blatant reminder that religious freedom is not respected, and as a result, people are killed because of their faith.”
A further dynamic found in Brian’s research was the realization that there are layers deeper than government restrictions at play in religious freedom. “It’s not just government restrictions, there’s a whole social dimension to whether or not people feel freedom. So, in my research, I began to include measures of the social restrictions that keep people from being able to fully practice, and it was the first time anyone had ever done that.”
These findings have led him to the important work he’s doing today. Brian explains that governments, advocacy and law have not been able to stop restrictions that lead to violence. So, who can influence this much-needed change? He believes it will be led by business. “Historically, religion has made its way through the world through business,” said Brian. “And where you have religious freedom in a business, where people are free to bring their whole soul to work, you create stronger teamwork, more investment in the company, more retention and greater motivation.”
Read full article at Global Leadership Forum.