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Christian Principles Make For Better Business

hobbylobby-nyt

 

In June, a federal court ruled that Hobby Lobby, the art-supply chain, could not be fined for refusing to offer its employees morning-after contraception coverage. Hobby Lobby is not alone in identifying itself as a Christian business. What about bigger questions, like how management treats and how much it pays its workers?

Although this article is originally from Aug 2013, it is just as timely today due to the latest Supreme Court Rulings on Christian principles and health care benefits for small business, along with the continual arguments for lowering the overall standard of living for those in entry level jobs by raising the minimum wage

In preparing for an upcoming book on Christians principles in business, I came across this article and felt compelled to comment on the statements made by Douglas A. Hicks, a Presbyterian minister, the provost of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., and the author of “Religion and the Workplace,”.

While I really enjoyed the article and felt it was pretty spot on, I am NOT a huge fan of anyone who puts themselves out somewhere as an authority on something they have never done.

 

Mr Hicks makes a broad comment that I find typical of those who have never “done” business yet always manage
to have an opinion (usually based on an agenda that is anti business) on how those who do “DO” business are
doing it wrong.
He states that for a business to claim to be based upon Christian principles that it must take employee positions into account:
“Are people able to live out their own agency by making a contribution in the workplace?” is, according to Mr. Hicks, a question Christians should ask. Do employees have meaningful work, or just repetitive, low-paid, mind-numbing work?”
Which is just beautiful. Isn’t it? Almost made me weep, it was so beautiful
Until I came out of the clouds and tried to come up with an instance where this profound statement could be logically put into real world practice.I mean, how DOES a REAL business, producing things that the public WANTS to purchase manage to produce those things WITHOUT mind numbing repetition?

What about our oreo’s. Do we WANT them to all BE different in size and shape because each person at the bakery, decided to BE creative and even more important, will we Pay 3x more for customized cookies and the packaging issues it would cause? History says NO, unless they are artisan cookies and that is a totally different demographic. (so don’t even think about going there)

Don’t we WANT our underwear to BE UNIFORM in size, shape, fit AND PRICE so that when we make that purchase they ARE what we expected.

 

Well, to all but the clueless, how does one make inspector 31’s position to be mentally stimulating and riveting? Don’t know many french friers who would find their job exciting or meaningful nor (if they were honest) skilled and how (and why) does a business pay great wages for the positions?

Few could argue that most business is comprised of “work” done by “workers” and “real” work is usually mind numbing, repetitious, boring, sometimes hard, and unless skilled, low paying.

 

The bottom line, is it’s all unicorn and rainbows until you grow up and realize that most manufacturing business IS based on low paid, unskilled, boring as can be jobs BECAUSE that is how you create most of the products that you and I want to buy at a price we are willing to pay.
We won’t even get into the many Biblical principles that he is overlooking with his fluff. Reminds me of my favorite quote by “ME”
Everyone ALWAYS has an opinion, but especially when it is predicated on unrealistic wishes, unpurchased lottery tickets, and non existent fairy dust.

No one is suggesting for even a nano second that it is EVER OK to exploit your workers or treat them like dirt
and any business that would do that is NOT operating in a humane manner, much less a Christian one. But neither
should a business be compelled by the clueless opinions of the uninformed or the rantings of fluff maggots (who live life to TAKE from those who HAVE EARNED) to over compensate someone who brings very little value to the table (this has nothing to DO with the value of their person hood, BTW)  or make bad business decisions.

and that does NOT entail over-paying someone for a job (whether at the top or the bottom)

A smart business pays its people the highest wage the position and market will afford in order to reward those who do a good job and to keep the competition from luring (I love that word-it sounds SO decadent) them away.

Making sure your business is on solid financial ground is a responsibility every Christian business owner has, not only to God, to themselves, their family and the future, but also to their employees, their families and their future.

As the Proverbs 31 Lifestyle strategist always says, “Smart Christian business owners should run their business as well as their life with the expectation and the Hope of hearing,

kymmberly-signature-steel blue

 

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

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