by | Jun 6, 2018

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” – Proverbs 11:3

Company values are a great tool to help you find deeper purpose and meaning in your work. But there are times when those values can also help you make some tough decisions.

A friend of mine shared with me how she is using her company values to more intentionally live her faith at work and influence others on a faith-and-work journey. One example in particular sticks out.

A coworker confided to my friend that she was being asked to do something by her manager that was wrong – not in the gray-zone, but outright wrong. She knew the right thing to do, and wanted to do it, but still felt very real pressure from above to compromise her principles.

My friend was able to point to the company’s number one value – Integrity – as she counseled her coworker. This was the anchor her coworker needed; it helped focus her decision away from the pressure of the peer-manager relationship and onto the company value. In some ways it helped my friend’s coworker realize that the decision to act with integrity had already been made for her, and she just needed the courage to carry it out.

Integrity is hard to live on a daily, functional basis. There are pressures in every direction to win and make your number. But if you can anchor integrity in a company value, you can enter into a challenging conversation with a manager on common ground: the best interest of the company.

As much as we hate to admit it, making decisions on the basis of our faith will ring hollow in the ears of many of our managers and peers. And while we must never shy away from living our convictions, the more we can articulate those convictions in a common language – like company values – the more likely it is that we’ll be heard.

And when we’re heard, we will have the opportunity to go deeper, and maybe even share the good news that is the source and anchor of all our conviction.

I encourage you to find and use your company values – a practical way to live your faith and share your faith with others. Print them out, put them on your desk and use them! And as you use them, take confidence in the fact that God reveals his truth in many ways – even in those corporate values.

Want to go deeper on what it looks like to exercise integrity at work? Check out the Workmatters Study, Daniel: Integrity at Work.

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Ben Kirksey

Ben Kirksey is the Chief Operating Officer for Workmatters and Director of Workmatters Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (2006, Economics and Political Science), and alumnus of Teach for America. He realized a passion for integrating faith and work while at Northstar Partnering Group (now Field Agent™) and subsequently co-founded the Workmatters Institute in 2010, joining Workmatters to lead the Institute full time in 2013.