Workplace Values

Rich Preuss

Hebrews 13:18

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

I am blessed to own a business with two other committed Christian men. As business owners and Christians, we realize each of us is Christ in the workplace. Because of this, we don’t have to deal with the ethical, moral or cultural trappings of corporate America. We set the agenda and direction of the company. We have control over the work environment, but are not so naive as to think we have total control. As Christians, we constantly have to work on our own brotherhood. We don’t always take the same approach or agree on the same policies and procedures.

After the buyout, we worked with our executive team to develop a values statement. We didn’t want to implement a set of values that we didn’t live. We didn’t want our values to be passive, but rather wanted them to reflect attitudes and actions that the individual can control. After a lot of prayer and conversation, we articulated four core values: 1) Do the right thing, 2) Love wins, 3) Be better and 4) Make it a great day.

In light of these values, we have done all sorts of things to make sure that the Word becomes flesh among us. Here are just a few examples:

• For the past ten-plus years, our company has fiscally and communally supported the annual local Multiple Sclerosis Fundraising walk. Because one of our employees suffers from this disease, the whole company community is behind the event. It has become a valuable unifying moment.

• Last year, an employee had a baby. A sign-up sheet for volunteers to bring her meals went around the office. Meals came for three weeks. With tears in her eyes, her mother told one of our employees, who was dropping off a meal, that our company was indeed a “special place”.

• Each month we celebrate birthdays with a cake and time of fellowship. We have encouraged one another to honor those celebrating their birthdays with a brief sharing highlighting the good qualities

of that person. The response has been transformational. People love it.

• Every week, we begin our executive committee meeting with a reflection and the Lord’s Prayer. On those days when we have known a meeting had potential for conflict, we have opened with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, asking for humility and guidance. The Lord is always very present.

In an increasingly un-churched society, for many of our workers and clients, our office may be the place where they experience Christ most vividly. We understand that the Incarnation isn’t just a historical fact, but needs to be the ongoing reality of Christ coming into the world. We want that to be a tangible reality in our company.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: How would I sum up my personal values statement?