Policy formulation in the public sector differs considerably as opposed to the private sector especially in human resource management. Numerous factors come to the fore in both sectors majorly the ownership and the ideal practices. More over, employees in the public sector tend to have more freedom of choice and are not bound by strict guidelines but rather look into the constitutional framework and the governmental policies for guidance. The policy difference is also informed by the goal orientation which is different because the public sector works towards service delivery unlike the private sector which is profit geared.
Whether for the short term or for the long term, the balancing of the issue of prayer/meditation meeting and religious garb will prove quite challenging but a careful examination of the factors would possibly dictate the direction to be adopted. The factors to be considered include; the maintenance of high levels of motivation, harmony and cohesion in the workforce, the magnitude for reasonable accommodation, extend to which accommodation can be upheld and sustained, the safety requirements and regulations and ultimately the security factor (Barrie, 1-4). Thus, this essay seeks to determine the policy perspective from a human resources angle on prayer/meditation meeting in a corporate office and religious dressing to work.
To begin with, human resource policies whether in the public or private sector seek to maintain a highly motivated workforce that espouses harmony and cohesion. To achieve this, human resource strategies and policies should espouse a consideration of all members of the workforce including an understanding of their religious orientation. The major challenge however emanates from the diversity of religions. If the endorsement of the requested regularly scheduled prayer/meditation meeting held in a corporate office will lead to other religions demanding for their consideration, then it a ticking time bomb because the office and company facilities will soon be converted into a religious arena. However, if emphasizes unity and cohesion in the workforce, it should be okayed.
This is especially so if the office housing the religious meeting houses all persons. In addition, such a move might not fault the freedom, neutrality and equality maxims but will provide a proper avenue for unity within the workforce and an appreciation for diversity of humanity. The same might be transferred to the wearing of religious garbs or dresses to work. In this sense, the appreciation for the religious orientation of others takes the centre stage.
Secondly, the policy of reasonable accommodation will come into play. The negotiations between the employer and the employee which seek to find a solution to a problem in which common ground can be struck are necessary to ensure a deal favorable to both parties is established. The regularly scheduled prayer/meditation meeting might seem favorable in the case of a public corporate organization provided it does not interfere with the other operations of the corporation. A religious garb/dress in a public office is acceptable in the public corporate domain as enshrined in the freedom, equality and neutrality principles.
However, the human resource office can seek to establish a compromise in the interests of the employees especially in tight working conditions as stipulated by the private establishments. This does not only apply to the dressing but also to the code acceptable as the private sector is known for the rigid structures. In addition, private establishments are less keen on the provision of a corporate office for prayers. Corporations privy to the essence of prayers have their own well established systems which is supported from a huge focal point and the human resource manager just works to see the office is adequately prepared for this sessions.
Although the public sector and the private sector policies on prayer meetings and religious garbs might not differ, the private sector is the most sensitive industry as far as religion is concerned. The use of the corporate office as a prayer venue might incur a cost, either administrative or material to the company and thus less private corporations are for the idea of hosting the meetings within their premises. In addition, the diversity in the religion might lead to different dressing styles and thus the imposition of a standard dressing code for the work force for uniformity and harmony. Though in the public sector such diversity can be allowed due to the importance of subscribing to equality, freedom and neutrality, in the private sector there is always an established policy and mostly it corresponds with the beliefs of the owner of the enterprise.
Finally, the considerations of security are important. This cuts across the public and private sector. The human resource manager should be privy to the maintenance of the corporation’s property and premises and should be informed by the consequences of allowing a religious gathering into the premises (Barrie, 4). In addition, safety requirements and regulations should be observed. This applies specifically to the dressing. Working environments which restrict the workforce to an outlined dress code can not be bent in favor of religious beliefs. This is a call for the observance of safety in the workplace for individual and collective gains.
To conclude, the rigidity of the above postulations can be modified in different circumstances. The legality of the claim for freedom, equality and, neutrality does not dictate the eventual decision of the corporation, Corporations-public and private- may choose to deviate from this maxim. In addition, the size of the work force dictates the policy especially the dedication of an office to prayer/ meditation. For the dressing/garbs, the job description is a major determining factor and can be adjusted either way especially depending on the contact with clients.
Ultimately though, the debate on the prayer/meditation venue and the dressing/garb trickles down to the employee who is expected to equally accommodate the employer, thus making policy formulation for the Human resource manager easier. Thus, in whatever context, the human resource manager will have their work cut out if the personnel understand the extent to which they can exercise their religious obligations.