How Do You Respond to Preaching at Work? Four Guidelines

Situation: A company has a long-term employee who recently joined a new church. Based upon the guidance this individual is receiving from their new minister, they have begun to evangelize at work, upsetting both co-workers and clients. Both employees and clients have spoken to the CEO with a request that this behavior be stopped. How do you respond to preaching at work in a compassionate, legal and appropriate manner?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • You need formal guidelines that are not discriminatory and do not impinge on freedom of speech. Augment the employee handbook – with appropriate legal advice – to specify what is and is not appropriate in communicating strongly held beliefs at work. Use neutral language, addressing political, religious and other strongly-held beliefs. Specify a line that divides appropriate from inappropriate communication. Communicate these guidelines to employees and manage to them.
  • Conduct internal discussions and training as necessary to communicate to all employees what is and is not appropriate expression of strongly-held beliefs. Emphasize the need to respect the beliefs of all employees. Clearly spell out the line that divides appropriate from inappropriate expression of beliefs.
  • As situations arise, be aware of the impact that they are having on the team. Address individual situations one-on-one, referring back to the employee handbook and training and discussions that occurred in employee group meetings.
  • Be particularly careful if you feel it necessary to terminate an employee for repeated violations of company policy in this area. See legal advice to avoid wrongful termination suits.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Respond to Preaching at Work? Four Guidelines

  1. Kimberley Pierce

    It is important that you approach the situation as it is. This is a workplace. I appreciate your views, but this is a workplace and the time you spend here is work time. (Yes I said it twice.) and conversations should revolve around work. It is not ethical to spend work time on personal discussions.

    Your discussions outside the work place and time are yours. Your discussions inside the workplace are to revolve around work. End of discussion.

  2. Games

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign in with Twitter