For more than 27 years Intel has been providing employees of all faiths and beliefs share their faith through ERG’s. Intel is recognized as the #1 company in the world when it comes to religious inclusivity. Craig Carter leads the Christian ERG worldwide and shares his perspective of faith in the workplace.

Being Real About Your Faith at Work

Craig Carter: Faith in the workplace is critical. I've been involved with it for my 25 years at Intel. Intel's been doing this for like 27 years, and what I've seen is that ultimately businesses are about making money, making society better, and the foundation is teamwork. And if you allow people to be real at work with the most deepest part of their worldview and who they are, which is faith for lots of people, it helps the company ultimately.

Intel's been around for decades, obviously. It produces the vast majority of the different CPUs, the brains of your laptops, your desktops. It powers the internet. A lot of people don't realize over 120,000 employees around the world in over 50 countries and over half are outside of the US. It's a very global business, which is thrilling to be part of.

In the mid nineties until established a lot of employee resource groups. One of those was the Christian group. Over the next 20 or so years, there's a total of now seven different faith or belief based employee groups alphabetically from atheists all the way to Sikh, and it's working excellent. So faith given that is foundational with so many of our employees around the globe, from India to the US, to Europe, to the Middle East, we want people to be real. So ultimately we can help solve problems better.

It's been very well received. It's been amazing. As we've done these different panels and literally people from seven different faith and belief backgrounds, completely different worldviews, we get together and talk about what do we believe and how bringing our faith to work is very helpful to us. And one thing we found out is that all groups exist in a small microcosm. They have a tendency to believe only what they hear in their faith group or religious group.

As you start to hear about the Jewish group or the Hindu group or the atheist group, you start to realize, well wait. They feel maybe a little oppressed. They feel pushed down. We all have a lot in common. And then we can build each other up because we have each other's back.

Recruiting, Retention, and Results

Having employee resource groups, especially these faith-based groups, faith and belief based, I always like to make sure it's belief also that includes atheism and agnosticism really helps employees be real. It helps us recruit. It helps us recruit the best employees. People want to be real at work. The second R is retention. Especially right now, the hot job market. We need to retain employees, do they feel valued? And then the third one, ultimately, again, finance background is about results. It helps us achieve our results as a corporation for our shareholders.

It's unique. Only about 20% of the Fortune 100, the largest companies in America have these sort of faith and belief groups. And Intel's had them, I believe, longer than anyone else, so around 27 years. So the mid nineties, it was kicked off. So it's been a huge value for the company. And the awards we've received recently have been at the ready indexed where basically Intel was voted as the number one company in the Fortune 100.

We've also received awards at other conferences where I was able to present on basically the employee resource group that made the most cultural change in the corporation and different awards like that. And even there was another one from United Nations and the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation that we received last summer where our CEO is able to present with our head of HR and receive this excellent award.

Bringing Christ Where You Spend the Most Time

A lot of people don't realize that most of their time is spent in the office at work. 55% of your life, my life is spent working. 2% is spent at church. If you go every Sunday and you're teaching a Sunday school class or part of a small group, and then the rest is basically chores and just living life. But 55% of our life is in the workforce. God calls us to radiate him there. I like to say, reflect him there to reflect his love, and you'll see amazing things happen.

So Intel's allowed me for decades and lots of other groups to basically be real at work. I'm extremely thankful. I would strongly encourage people to really live out their faith at work as they seek to reflect God's love. Again, people don't want to see you. They don't want to see me. They want to see God. And as they see the love of Christ, it'll open up amazing doors. I've had the opportunity to pray for people of different faith groups as I love on them. And then we have deep conversations, whether it be about marriage or death, or someone going through a difficult time. And it's opened up amazing doors. So I'd strongly recommend people to truly work to reflect God's love at work. And you'll be glad that you did.

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