非典型的雇用策略──UNCONVENTIONAL HIRING STRATEGIES

MONDAY MANNA

備受推崇的商業期刊《華爾街日報》(Wall Street Journal)報導了有關尼希米製造公司(Nehemiah Manufacturing)的故事,這個公司位於美國俄亥俄州辛辛那提市,它的僱用方式有趣而且與眾不同:約80%的員工都有犯罪記錄!

閱讀文章時,我發現這家公司的創辦人如同我的預期,是耶穌基督的追隨者。他們的初衷絕不只是建立一家盈利的公司。他們有更遠大的異象。比起建立公司,他們更想要幫助重建整座城市。他們在這兩方面都獲得了成功。

這家公司位於辛辛那提市內,經營者協助重建了當地居民的生活,這些人原先幾乎沒有任何成功機會。對許多被判重罪的人來說,他們的再犯率(犯下其他罪行並重返監獄的可能性)非常高。原因之一就是他們無法找到有報酬的工作。尼希米製造公司的老闆下定決心要解決這個問題,於是提供工作給這些渴望獲得人生的第二次機會、捲土重來的人。

有趣的是,冒險重建城市的想法根源於聖經。實際上,尼希米書整卷書都是關於一個胸懷異象的人:尼希米的故事。他順服耶和華的帶領,去做重建耶路撒冷城這個看似不可能的任務。他知道大環境不理想,這個任務也不是一件容易的事,但是在上帝的幫助下,他定意要恢復這座被毀的城市。

尼希米在集會上的呼籲或許很像辛辛那提州這個公司的創辦人:「以後,我對他們說:我們所遭的難,耶路撒冷怎樣荒涼,城門被火焚燒,你們都看見了。來吧,我們重建耶路撒冷的城牆,免得再受凌辱!」(尼希米記 2章17節)

如果再進一步閱讀,我們會發現尼希米大膽投入這個任務背後的動機不是為了牟利或為名望,而單單是為了重建在以色列人被虜期間遭到多次破壞的「大衛城」。儘管很多人反對、阻撓,尼希米和與他同工的人最終成功完成了任務。

我們應該受到尼希米以及同名的尼希米製造公司之異象和雄心壯志的啟發。這不意味著我們一定要僱用服完刑期的罪犯,因為這不見得可行。但我們可以用禱告的心尋找、參與其他的「再生計畫」。例如,我們可能知道組織中某個人被其他人放棄了,但也許他或她是「未經琢磨的鑽石」,如果得到機會和指導,他們也可以證明自己是團隊的重要成員。

像尼希米製造公司一樣,上帝對我們的呼召通常比賺錢更重要。正如聖經所說,我們是「基督的使者」(哥林多後書 5章20節),我們應當參與帶領人與上帝和好的任務,如以下經文所述:「就好像 神藉我們勸你們一般。我們替基督求你們與 神和好。」

無論是努力重建城市,或是投資於某人的生命,我們都有參與上帝恢復和更新工作的喜樂與榮幸:「若有人在基督裏,他就是新造的人,舊事已過,都變成新的了。」 (哥林多後書5章17節)

© 2020版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和Rick Boxx的純全時刻,這本刊 物主要是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx最新出版的書「提供    用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 你對僱用有前科的人抱持什麼看法?這種雇用方式有哪些潛在問題?有哪些可能的機會?
  2. 你是否熟悉尼希米蒙召重建耶路撒冷古城的故事?當時他面臨了哪些阻礙?
  3. 你覺得為什麼很多大型公司以及中小企業和專業人士所屬的事務所,沒想到或沒能把握住機會為他們所在的社區和社區的居民以及組織中的員工做出正向的貢獻?
  4. 你如何能在自己的影響範圍內找尋成為「尼希米」的機會?有什麼人事物需要被重建或恢復?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多,請參考以下的經文(因經文較長,考慮到篇幅和新舊約 經文,您可以參閱下列未完整列出的尼希米記1章-2章)

尼希米記1章7-11節
1:7 我們向你所行的甚是邪惡,沒有遵守你藉著僕人摩西所吩咐的誡命、律例、典章。
1:8 求你記念所吩咐你僕人摩西的話,說:『你們若犯罪,我就把你們分散在萬民中;
1:9 但你們若歸向我,謹守遵行我的誡命,你們被趕散的人雖在天涯,我也必從那裏將他們招聚回來,帶到我所選擇立為我名的居所。』
1:10 這都是你的僕人、你的百姓,就是你用大力和大能的手所救贖的。
1:11 主啊,求你側耳聽你僕人的祈禱,和喜愛敬畏你名眾僕人的祈禱,使你僕人現今亨通,在王面前蒙恩。」我是作王酒政的。

尼希米記2章17-18節
2:17 以後,我對他們說:「我們所遭的難,耶路撒冷怎樣荒涼,城門被火焚燒,你們都看見了。來吧,我們重建耶路撒冷的城牆,免得再受凌辱!」
2:18 我告訴他們我 神施恩的手怎樣幫助我,並王對我所說的話。他們就說:「我們起來建造吧!」於是他們奮勇做這善工。

以賽亞書43章18-19節
43:18 耶和華如此說:你們不要記念從前的事,也不要思想古時的事。
43:19 看哪,我要做一件新事;如今要發現,你們豈不知道嗎?我必在曠野開道路,在沙漠開江河。

加拉太書2章20節
2:20 我已經與基督同釘十字架,現在活著的不再是我,乃是基督在我裏面活著;並且我如今在肉身活著,是因信 神的兒子而活;他是愛我,為我捨己。

啟示錄3章11-13節
3:11 我必快來,你要持守你所有的,免得人奪去你的冠冕。
3:12 得勝的,我要叫他在我 神殿中作柱子,他也必不再從那裏出去。我又要將我 神的名和我 神城的名(這城就是從天上、從我 神那裏降下來的新耶路撒冷),並我的新名,都寫在他上面。
3:13 聖靈向眾教會所說的話,凡有耳的,就應當聽!』」

啟示錄21章1-2節
21:1 我又看見一個新天新地;因為先前的天地已經過去了,海也不再有了。
21:2 我又看見聖城新耶路撒冷由 神那裏從天而降,預備好了,就如新婦妝飾整齊,等候丈夫。


UNCONVENTIONAL HIRING STRATEGIES

By Rick Boxx

The respected business periodical, Wall Street Journal, featured a story about Nehemiah Manufacturing, a company in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. that has some interesting – and unusual – hiring practices. Approximately 80 percent of its employees have criminal records!

In reading the article, I discovered that as I expected, the founders of this business are followers of Jesus Christ who had more in mind than to grow a profitable company. Their vision was much greater than that. They wanted to help in rebuilding a city, more than a building a company. And they are succeeding at both.

With the company situated within the inner city of Cincinnati, the owners are engaged in rebuilding the lives of people living there who rarely have an opportunity to succeed. For many people convicted of felonies, their recidivism rate – likelihood of committing other crimes and returning to prison – is very high. One reason for this is their inability to find gainful employment. The owners of Nehemiah Manufacturing resolved to address this problem by offering jobs for people desiring to get a second chance in life, to make a fresh start.

Interestingly, the idea of taking a calculated risk to rebuild a city is one firmly rooted in the Bible. In fact, the entire book of Nehemiah is the story of one visionary man who obeyed the Lord’s leading and pursued the seemingly impossible mission of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. He knew the circumstances were not good, and the task would not be an easy one, but he was determined – with God’s help – to restore the ruined city.

Nehemiah had a rallying cry probably similar to the founders of the Cincinnati company when he declared, “You see the bad situation we are in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates have been burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17). 

Reading further, we find that Nehemiah’s motivation behind this massive endeavor was not for profit or for fame, but simply to rebuild “the city of David” that had been ravaged during a series of attacks while the Israelites were taken into captivity. Despite opposition and many detractors, Nehemiah and those working with him succeeded in the work.

We should be inspired by the vision and enterprise of Nehemiah Manufacturing and its namesake. This does not necessarily mean we must hire convicted criminals who have completed their prison sentences. That is not always possible. But we can prayerfully seek to be involved in other “reclamation projects.” For instance, we might know of someone in our organization whom others have given up on. He or she may be a “diamond in the rough” who, if given an opportunity and some direction, could prove to become a valued member of the team.

God’s call for us, like Nehemiah Manufacturing, is usually more important than just making money. Being what the Bible calls “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20), we are to participate in a mission of reconciliation, as described in the following verse: “as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Whether it is striving to rebuild a portion of a city, or investing in the lives of individual people, we have the joy and privilege of being part of God’s work of restoration and renewal: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

© 2020, Unconventional Business Network Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What are your thoughts about employing people with previous criminal records? What are some of the potential problems with that practice? What are some of the possible opportunities?
  2. Are you familiar with the story of Nehemiah being called to oversee the rebuilding of the ancient city of Jerusalem? What were some of the obstacles he faced?
  3. Why do you think many companies – and individual business and professional people – fail to recognize or act upon opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities, the people living in them, or the people working within the organization?
  4. How might you go about seeking ways for serving as a “Nehemiah” in your own sphere of influence? What – or who – is in need of rebuilding or restoration?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Nehemiah 1:1-11, 2:1-20; Isaiah 43:18-19; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 3:11-13, 21:1-2

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