John is the leader of his company and a man to which falls the responsibility of handling employee disputes and investigating allegations of employee misconduct. He must make decisions that are fair, just and are for the overall good for the company, both in policy and mission. A situation arises between two members of the company, Cheryl, a young event coordinator and Samuel, an older mid-level manager who is in charge of the maintenance and supervision of the facilities where the events are held. The core situation is a conflict of personality. Samuel is unpopular with several members of the company because they view him as inflexible and uncooperative, yet Samuel feels the same is true for them. Both parties make issues out of small problems in order to justify their dislike for one another. John must mediate between the two employees and make a decision that is fair, just and in accordance with Christian values in the workplace.
Christian Values in the Workplace
Christian values see work as not just a paycheck, but a path on which guides individuals to their life goal. It is a way to grow as an individual, to serve God’s will, to be a beneficial member to society and a good neighbor. John has become a leader in his company because of his devotion to his Christian values. His job is to remain neutral and uncover the core facts of the situation. Once he has all the facts, he must put them in context with Christian values. A company’s employees are guided by the mission and values of the company which should be in accordance with Christian values.
Separating Fact from Fiction
We are cautioned that facts are never 100% objective due to the fact that they carry with them the connotation of the human speaking them. For this reason, extreme caution must be used in separating fact from fiction in order to make a decision or pass judgment that is in accordance with Christian values. John hears many facts regarding Samuel’s behavior, yet they are told from the perspective of employee’s that harbor ill feelings toward Samuel because they feel they have been victimized by him.
The Ethical Dilemma and Leadership Choices
The ethical dilemma that John faces is how to make a decision that makes for a stronger and more cohesive company team. He must make a decision that will not only make peace between the two employee’s but will also create a more peaceful and cooperative workplace. The two employees are bickering due to a disagreement on what is best for themselves, and not what is best for the company. Cheryl is not taking into consideration the extra work that headache that she causes for Samuel when she does not give Samuel enough notification of an event. Samuel is not taking into consideration that fact that circumstances beyond her control may be the cause of Cheryl’s tardiness. However, in making an example out of Cheryl by not allowing her use of the facilities, Samuel is making not only Cheryl look bad but he is also causing the company to look bad in the public eye, something that is not good for business. He is also showing a lack of cooperativeness, a value that is essential to a successful company team.
As the senior manager and a leader of the company, John must make a decision that reflects the core Christian values of the company. The way in which he deals with Cheryl and Samuel’s conflict will affect the rest of the company. If John is unfair in his judgment, it will not only affect him on a spiritual level but could also cause more conflict and dissonance within the office.
Guiding Christian Values
The Bible cautions that judgment must wait for all the facts before it is issued. “the first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). When John first hears Cheryl and Roberts case, it would seem that they have justification for their case. Yet, when the story is heard from Samuel’s perspective, it would seem the same amount of justification resides on his side as well. John must closely examine all of the facts. At first look, the situation would appear to be about whether or not the employee’s were performing their job correctly. Yet, appearances can be deceiving. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). John must be cautionary to avoid making an unjust judgment based on a misinterpretation of the facts.