Armando Del Bosque Alanis is the Executive Director at His Way at Work. His Way at Work (HWAW) is an organization that helps business leaders and companies apply the Christian principles in their day to day work. Armando has been working full-time for HWAW since January 1st, 2014 and had volunteered for two years prior helping write articles on the companies they were coaching.
Could you take us through what it might look like to bring Christian values into the workplace?
Companies that want to bring Christian principles into their organization need what we call a spiritual strategy or a caring strategy. We ask, “What is your spiritual strategy? You have a financial strategy, a marketing strategy, etc. What is your spiritual strategy?” The spiritual strategy is WHY the company is in business because it isn’t only to make money. There is an ulterior motive – to bring your employees and other humans that touch your company closer to God – and this is your spiritual strategy.
Always keeping in mind that a company must make money to stay alive and stay afloat, we help identify where the company is helping people get to God. For example, we always say, “If you are driving on the road and see someone on the side of the road who is hungry and cold, if you throw him a Bible, he is going to burn the Bible to get warm.” We direct them to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and our spiritual strategy matrix. On this matrix, the vertical axis from bottom to top goes employee, family, community. On the horizontal axis, from left to right it goes physical, emotional, spiritual. Anything that we do has to do with either the spiritual, emotional, or physical component and has to do with either employee, family, or the community that they live in and work at.
All companies have events like weight-loss programs or trips to orphanages, but they have these events scattered all over the place. We tell CEO’s that there needs to be one piece of paper where they have their spiritual strategy and we help them put it together so they can see where they are on that matrix. We plug all the events in (what we call caring activities) and we can see where the empty spaces are. If you draw a line from the lower left corner to the upper right corner, you go from employee/physical to community/spiritual. You cannot just jump to community/spiritual if you haven’t gone through the emotional or physical needs. Kind of like the example of the person on the side of the road, the company needs to go through the process of fulfilling employees’ physical and emotional needs before getting to the spiritual components. As these are met, you go further out of yourself and become selfless. That is the process that we go through and we build a myriad of caring activities so that something covers each quadrant. We provide companies with the many caring activities that we have documented over the years. We have guidelines for these caring activities and we help them do it so they can avoid the mistakes that others have run into.
Where did these caring activities come from? From other companies’ experiences or HWAW?
The caring activities come directly from companies. We get best practices from companies, and we document and format them. We even see common denominators within industries or within geography. Then we make this available to companies. We are able to give them an array of options and how other companies have done it.
If a company is interested in implementing a spiritual strategy, the first thing you do is sit down with them and go through that matrix. Is there a followup step beyond that and how might that look for a company?
The core of what we do is the caring activities. But in order to have a plan for caring activities, you have to have clarity on the company’s purpose, mission, and values. The purpose is why the company exists, the mission is what the company does every day, and the values are how the company behaves. Once we have those communicated and aligned, we are going to figure out a handful of desired behaviors for each value the company has. This is because you can’t measure values, but you can measure behaviors.
For example, how do you measure respect? In a call center, you can measure it by the operator waiting for the other person to finish before he or she interrupts. You can make very clear and very specific behaviors for each company value. That will give you a very clear way to measure how the company is behaving. This helps answer, “How are the core values being lived? How are they helping people achieve what we do every day (the mission) and to achieve our purpose (which is why we exist)?”
Now, there are two types of return on investment (ROI): the regular financial ROI and then there is Eternal Return on Investment (E-ROI). For example, the E-ROI could be the number of couples that got married, the number of families that get reunited, how many are freed from drug addiction or the number of baptisms that take place. You have a number of ways to measure E-ROI one of which would be volunteer hours.
I once asked a CEO, “How about your ROI? I am sure you are getting better on turnover, etc.” He looked at me and said, “You know what, I don’t really measure that.” I said, “Why not?! I know that you are getting ROI.” He said, “The people who are doing all these activities are happier employees and happier employees are simply more productive.” I thought, “That’s true!”
Some other companies do measure for it. One company went from 30% turnover to 2% turnover over the years and their productivity increased by 50%. Their waste went down and their customer satisfaction went up. These caring activities really make a difference. If you want to invest a little bit of money into the business, this is going to be most profitable; it is the best investment a company can make.
We will go where people need us to help bring about implementing caring activities and a spiritual strategy. We might begin and see that the company needs clarity in their mission statement. If that is the case, we can help them to review their core values and mission and purpose statement, or they can have someone else help them. Once they have that in place, we can help them with the caring activities.
Now, how do we do all this? The way we reach as many companies as possible is through coaching. We train and certify coaches who then go coach companies. They work independently and coach as many companies as they want. They use everything we have learned and they share it with as many companies as they can.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about?
Yes. Another thing that we do is we inspire business leaders as well. Not only do we give them all these tools, but we also inspire them by bringing them together.
We use the analogy of a dark room in which there are many candles lit. The candles are scattered around, and some of the candles are lighting other candles. Each candle is a business leader who is on fire for the Lord. But in the same room, you have the Devil blowing out candles and discouraging individuals. So, we bring all those candles together and build a bonfire!
We bring business leaders to conferences where they can interact with one another and encourage each other; then the devil cannot blow them away because they are supporting and helping each other. That is what we are doing; we are transforming the world that we are living in one business leader at a time because when they get together, they encourage each other to continue on this journey.
Thank you Armando!