Last week we wrote about how one corporate giant – Ford Motor Company – got it wrong and now faces a federal EEOC complaint from an employee who was terminated for expressing a faith-driven viewpoint.
This week we share about another corporate giant—Walmart— getting it right after hearing from a significant community it serves.
As reported by Fox 5 in Atlanta, Walmart greeter James Phillips, a senior citizen on social security, was told by Walmart’s management that he could no longer greet customers with the phrase “Have a blessed day.” Company management made its initial decision after receiving a single complaint from a customer who found it offensive.
But after hearing from significant numbers of its customers who rallied in support of Phillips, and weighing the needs of its diverse customer base, Walmart reversed course and told him he can continue to share his heartfelt, faith-driven sentiment with customers.
In contrast to Ford, Walmart’s decision to allow faith-driven expression in the workplace is a great example of how an industry trendsetter like Walmart can listen well to all the communities it serves and be inclusive to all. Here, it chose to not only respect, but welcome, the values of a significant market segment—in this case, Faith Driven Consumers who number 41 million American adults and spend $2 trillion annually.
As Phillips told Fox 5 reporter, Chris Shaw, “Many people come to this store and tell me how glad they are that I say that….they just don't hear that in stores anymore.” After being told of Walmart’s decision reversal, an elated and tearful Phillips told those who had rallied to support him, "Today, I'm able to stand and tell people ‘Have a blessed day' and I thank God for it."
While balancing the demands of the many diverse groups in a pluralistic society like ours can be challenging for companies, fair-minded Americans agree that true tolerance for differing values and worldviews calls for the fair and equal application of equal rights. And here, “diversity” means the inclusion of Christian faith in the American rainbow of diversity.
Clearly, Walmart “gets it.” Speak out and be heard. Let Corporate America know what you want and need. Then go here to see which companies respect your faith-driven worldview so that you can be equipped to do business with brands that welcome your values.