Is justice a purely external-facing exercise in your business? According to Yemi Faseun, it shouldn’t be. The founder and chief talent officer at YF Talent Partners explains that the first step in building a socially just organisation is to treat your employees fairly.
“If we cannot treat our fellow human beings with justice, equity and fairness, then we cannot say that we are disciples or followers of God through his son Jesus Christ.” Yemi believes that one’s employees are your most captive audience. “Ensure you are practicing social justice internally first before you start preaching the message of external social justice. Only then will your employees be encouraged to extend social justice outward.”
Although the impact on the bottom line may not be immediate, treating employees fairly has significant long-term benefits. It fosters an environment of trust, respect, and productivity, leading to increased engagement, loyalty, and commitment. Yemi places a particular emphasis on providing equal opportunities for growth and development, ensuring that employees are adequately prepared for leadership positions. “I like to work on closing the gaps around leadership competencies. Organisations are promoting many people into leadership positions without getting them ready for leadership responsibilities!”
Following God’s principles in the workplace often requires sacrifice, as Yemi discovered early on in his career. He recalls that in one organisation, he was approached by regulators who came in and demanded to be paid under the table to reduce the organisation’s liabilities. Yemi’s predecessor had evidently been happy to comply, but Yemi declined and paid as stipulated by regulations. This decision led to a sour relationship with leadership, and Yemi decided to plan his exit and left after seven months. Although it was a difficult decision to make, Yemi felt that taking the path of honour was better than joining the multitude to do evil.
“Worldy standards will always be in the majority, and godly standards will always be in the minority,” explains Yemi by way of encouraging other believers in the workplace. He urges other Christians to continue to make changes in their respective organisations, no matter how small, as it contributes to the larger goal of promoting social justice. He emphasises that we, as Christians, are called to a higher purpose and are therefore not called to territories that are comfortable.
“Following God’s leading in our career journeys is not always a mystical experience, but rather involves making those tough decisions in the marketplace. The Bible is the go-to manual for life and that we should follow its principles in every area of our lives, including our professional lives.” In so doing, we will create the scaffolding for a just and flourishing society.
Yemi Faseun is a Senior Human Resources Executive in Nigeria with over 20 years experience across the Banking, Telecommunication and Management Consulting sectors. He is passionate about knowledge sharing and making a difference, especially with the younger generation in terms of the future of work and the work of the future.