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World News

Being 'faith-friendly' is good for business as Rolls Royce leads the way

by Donna Birrell

Being “faith-friendly” is good for business, according to the CEO of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.

Brian Grim was speaking to Premier Christian News after Rolls Royce plc was voted one of the top employers in the UK for workers with a faith or belief. 

The company  scored top points in the first UK edition of the corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index and Monitor alongside management consulting firm Baringa Partners LLP.

It found that the company, which delivers power solutions, had fully integrated religion as part of its commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Grim said Rolls Royce scored highly because it has “bottom up support for colleagues in the workplace who are of different faiths and beliefs and it has buttoned down policies that encourage that support.”

Measures that support people of different faiths and beliefs include employee affinity groups and employee business resource groups that are centred around faith.

Grim told Premier that “at Rolls Royce they have an interfaith, multi-faith network, that has pillars for each faith that's interested. It's a community where they're celebrating the unique identities of people in their faith, and not trying to water down any particular faith. It’s recognising that people of faith have something in common, that their faith is central to their identity.”

He added: “Another factor is recognizing the importance of spiritual health. This is one of those areas of resilience that gives people meaning, support and resiliency as a person, not just a person of faith, but somebody who's working in teams inside businesses.”

The Foundation noted that only 12 per cent of the FTSE 100 have employee groups for religion or belief while most have groups for race, abilities, gender and sexual orientation.

But Grim trusts that companies reap the rewards of enabling employees to feel supported in their faith or belief.

He said: “Some people hide their religious identity and that works against business success. So that's what this faith friendly movement in businesses is recognising - that if people have to check their faith at the door, they're getting somebody who's going to come into work and do a job, but maybe not be bringing what their source of inspiration is. Many people are looking for a place where they don't have to feel like they don't belong.

“I think a key criteria is companies realising that allowing people to bring their whole soul to work, is good for business.”

Other companies which also featured in the Index include Ovo Energy, and Thames Water.

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