Are companies short-sighted?
Most strikingly, in large companies facing various religious expressions in the workplace, proximity managers and senior managers often perceive the situation very differently. It is not uncommon for this issue to be underestimated by the hierarchy, which is far from the field, unlike managers who are closest to the issue. In addition, very few companies have factual data on this issue. Simultaneously, proximity managers are often reluctant to provide formal feedback on the problematic cases they encounter.
Institut Montaigne’s proposals
Priority 1: Which public actions?
Maintaining the legal framework under which companies have the possibility of regulating religious expression in the workplace whilst guaranteeing the freedom of thought of religious employees.
Continuing the information and training activities carried out by the Observatoire de la Laïcité and encouraging research.
Supporting companies' initiatives, particularly SMEs and mid-cap companies, and helping them manage difficult situations.
Priority 2: Which companies’ actions?
Specifying and formalizing guidelines in the company’s internal rules as a result of the company’s political stance.
Implementing tools that are to be made available to employees and managers.
Adopting an enabling and supportive narrative towards proximity management on the part of functional departments and the rest of the hierarchy.
Ensuring respect for the freedom to express one's religiosity and preventing stigmatization and discrimination.
Acting firmly in the event of excess or transgression.
Priority 3: Mobilizing proximity management
Adopting factual management and giving priority to work while taking into account people’s constraints, aspirations and personality.
Formalizing the feedback on problematic situations and not tolerating excessive and transgressive behaviours.Our methodology