#132 – Integrity Idea 006: Provide Humanity Resources

ESSENCE:  From time to time, we are devoting posts to describing specific actions a faithful leader can consider in leading faithfully through business a better way.  We are calling these Integrity Ideas.  

INTEGRITY IDEA: Provide Humanity Resources

COVERT-OVERT CONTINUUM (six Continuums for action):  Proclamation and Practices

COVERT-OVERT RATING (several levels from Highly Covert to Highly Overt):  Overt

STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees

Most Integrity Ideas are practical actions that will begin to Re-Align the organization with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities.  “Provide Humanity Resources” is about providing employees with faith-centered resources for their humanity–resources to help them flourish by living more fully at work and at home.  People are more “fully human” when engaged in meaningful work that unleashes their God-given productivity and creativity in a culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity.  “Provide Humanity Resources” involves Humanizing People by making available books, recordings, trainings and videos that reinforce business a better way in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities and also help people live healthier lives and become better spouses, parents, and co-workers. It is an easy way to show employees that they are valued as human beings–that faithful leaders care about their professional, personal and spiritual growth, about their physical and emotional health, and about the health of their relationships in and out of work.

From time to time, we are devoting posts to describing specific actions a leader can consider during the Re-Align step of Integriosity®–actions that will begin to Re-Align the organization with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities.  We are calling these “Integrity Ideas“.

Some Integrity Ideas will feel like a good fit, and others will not. The choice should be based on which approach is best for stewarding the organization toward its WHY.

INTEGRITY IDEA: Provide Humanity Resources

“Humanity Resources” is not the same as “Human Resources”.  “Human Resources” is a department that deals with humans as resources.  As we have said many times in many posts, in business as usual operating with Profit as Purpose, humans are, by definition, merely tools of production–resources just like natural resources.  “Humanity Resources” are resources FOR humans that help them become more fully human.

Post #099 (Restore–People Humanized) was devoted to explaining what we believe is one of the bigger WHY’s of business a better way–Humanizing People.  People are more “fully human” when engaged in meaningful work that unleashes their God-given productivity and creativity in a culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity.

Way, way back in post #009 (The Need–Workers Are Breaking), we pointed out that the United States is facing an epidemic of loneliness, isolation, confusion, distrust and dissatisfaction.  We also noted that over the last several decades there have been significant changes in the demands on workers in America, leading to increased hours and greater stress (and the impact of those changes on health, marriages and children).

It is clear that business as usual is not working for much of humanity.  Work is where we spend most of our waking hours, and it has moved far from its original design in Genesis as something good.  In posts #019-#023 we explored in detail the brokenness and toxicity of “work as usual“.   In fact, we have gone so far as to say that business as usual and work as usual are actually dehumanizing by undermining key aspects of our intended humanness–working against God’s design for work and for us.

Back in post #084 (Re-Imagine-Culture & People), we said God created humans to create organizations to organize humans to work together in relationship to create products and services that serve humanity.

People, People, People–Humans, Humans, Humans. God cares about His creation, particularly the one creation made in God’s image.  It seems only appropriate when considering how to lead faithfully through business a better way that faithful leaders explore ways to help employees restore the fullness of their humanity that God intended–at work and at home.  It aligns with a purpose of maximizing flourishing of God’s creation.

Jonathan Pennington wrote:

The desire for human flourishing motivates everything humans do…. All human behavior, when analyzed deeply enough, will be found to be motivated by the desire for life and flourishing, individually and corporately.

But becoming fully human–flourishing as a human–doesn’t just happen.  In the words of Dr. Skip Moen:

If I am going to become human, I must move in the direction of the divine design in me.  That does not happen by random chance or automatic pilot.

“Provide Humanity Resources” is about providing employees with faith-centered resources for their humanity–resources to help them flourish by “moving in the direction of the divine design” within them and living more fully at work and at home.  It involves making available books, recordings, trainings and videos that reinforce business a better way in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities and also help people live healthier lives and become better spouses, parents, and co-workers.

It is an easy way to show employees that they are valued as human beings–that faithful leaders care about their professional, personal and spiritual growth, about their physical and emotional health, and about the health of their relationships in and out of work.

Like so many Integrity Ideas, “Provide Humanity Ideas” embodies the second great commandment to love your neighbor.  In providing faith-centered resources for life, it also reflects the great commission to make disciples as we go.

CONTINUUM: Proclamation and Practices

The Integriosity model organizes “heart change” along six Covert-Overt Continuums.  There is nothing magic about these categories, but we believe they are helpful in thinking about practical execution of a Re-Imagined Purpose, Re-Imagined Values and a Re-Imagined Culture.  The Continuums are Prayer, Proclamation, Policies, Practices, Products, People.

Each Continuum represents an area in which leaders can begin to think about, plan and institute Re-Alignment changes to the heart of the organization.

“Provide Humanity Resources” is both Proclamation and Practice.  Proclamation involves actions that share Biblical faith messages with those who may not have a Biblical faith.  Practices reflect, and at the same time help shape and reinforce, an organization’s culture.  Purpose and values define the culture of an organization; the culture shapes the behavior of the people in the organization; and the behavior of the people drives the results of the organization.

“Provide Humanity Resources” is Proclamation because it involves making available resources that teach faith-centered approaches to leadership, work, family, marriage, parenting, relationships and life.  It is also a Practice that reflects a focus on cultivating a culture of Shalom with a purpose of maximizing human flourishing.

COVERT-OVERT RATING: Overt

The Integriosity model breaks the Covert-Overt Continuums into six gradations–from Highly Covert to Highly Overt–that we believe are helpful in beginning to pray and think about what is most appropriate for an organization at a particular moment in time.

Most Integrity Ideas will have one place on the scale.  Some can vary depending on how they are implemented.

“Provide Humanity Resources” is Overt (an overtly faith-based action known generally within the organization), but it can move to Very Overt (an overtly faith-based action involving suppliers, vendors or customers) if resources are made available to suppliers, vendors or customers or even Highly Overt (an overtly faith-based action involving community, website, sales/marketing materials) depending upon how openly and widely the organization publicizes its practice.

STAKEHOLDERS SERVED: Employees

When we categorize faith-based actions, we also consider the stakeholders principally impacted by the action: Employees, Customers/Clients, Owners, Suppliers/Vendors, Community and Kingdom.  “Provide Humanity Resources” is about teaching, caring for, valuing, and discipling Employees and their families.  It might also serve other stakeholders if the “Humanity Resources” are made available to them as well.

If I am going to become human, I must move in the direction of the divine design in me. That does not happen by random chance or automatic pilot. (Dr. Skip Moen)

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementing “Provide Humanity Resources” can be easy and relatively inexpensive.  For most organizations, because “Provide Humanity Resources” involves faith-centered resources, the use of those resources by employees must be voluntary (and whether an employee chooses to use or not to use the resources shouldn’t impact their employment).  It should be viewed as an added benefit like health insurance or wellness programs.

We believe a terrific way to “Provide Humanity Resources” is for the organization to subscribe to RightNow Media@Work.  RightNow Media@Work is a customizable online library of thousands of faith-centered videos on topics such as leadership, teamwork, ethics and integrity, marriage, mental health, parenting, and personal finance.  It also includes material specifically for men, women, teens and children.  Pricing is based on an organization’s size (number of employees).

Other ways to “Provide Humanity Resources” include:

• Creating a borrowing library of books, audio tapes and videos.

• Making available free copies of books, audio tapes and videos.

• Organizing trainings or hosting speakers on relevant topics.

• Holding gatherings to watch and discuss relevant videos or discuss books.

Back in post #130 (Promote an ERG), we described a video-series resource developed by PRS.work that thoughtfully merges “Public Reading of Scripture” passages from PRSI.org with Bible commentaries by the Theology of Work Project.  Although we originally wrote about it in the context of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), it could also serve as a faith-centered “Humanity Resource” for a voluntary group discussion series.

PERSONAL NOTE (from PM):   I was first introduced to RightNow Media in November 2012 when I attended their Work as Worship Conference in Dallas.  At the time, they only offered their church-focused product RightNow Media, which had a collection of work and leadership material.  They were often described as the “Netflix” of Christian videos.  I was so impressed with the excellence of their product that in 2013 I worked with Justin Forman (then the Executive Vice President of RightNow Media) to create an “NCS Channel” with a collection of New Canaan Society speaker videos.   Justin went on to work with Henry Kaestner in the development of the “Faith-Driven” family of ministries (Faith-Driven Entrepreneur, Faith-Driven Investor, Faith-Driven Athlete).

Last September, Integrous co-hosted (with NCS New Canaan and Stanwich Church) a “Watch Party” for the Faith-Driven Entrepreneur and Faith-Driven Investor Conferences.  We will do it again this September 28/29 at Stanwich Church in Greenwich, CT.  Click here to register.

Integrous has been a RightNow Media@Work subscriber since the launch of its beta in 2015.

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Photo Credit: Original photo by Juan Marin on Unsplash (photo cropped)