As human beings, we tend to focus more on the physical and material aspects of life than spiritual issues. We are so engrossed in the former that we barely find the time to think about the latter. But it is essential to know that we can only find unconditional happiness and peace if we enrich our inner spiritual lives.
Similarly, we rarely pay heed to spirituality at work, neglecting it, and giving little or no importance to finding meaning at work.
The concept of spirituality at work might seem like being religious at work, but nothing can be further from the truth. Contrary to popular conception, It has nothing to do with religious practices or beliefs.
So, what is Workplace Spirituality?
According to Petchsawang and Duchon (2009), workplace spirituality or spirituality at work is defined as “having compassion towards others, experiencing a mindful inner consciousness in the pursuit of meaningful work and that enables transcendence.”
In simple terms, it is about finding meaning, value, and motivation in one’s work beyond paychecks and performance. It is about people finding a sense of oneness and togetherness in an organization as a whole.
Spirituality in the workplace began in the early 1920s and emerged as a grassroots movement with individuals seeking to live their faith and/or spiritual principles at work.
Now, more and more organizations realize the importance of workplace spirituality. Also, people now acknowledge the fact that work can be meaningful to their lives as well.
Spirituality at work is becoming an essential aspect of organizations around the world and for a good reason, i.e., its numerous benefits -
- Improved overall well-being of employees.
- Increased employee productivity.
- Reduced absenteeism.
- Increased motivation and commitment.
- Increased job satisfaction.
- Improved quality of life.
- Increased employee morale.
- Reduced workplace stress.
- Reduced employee burnout.
- Reduced employee turnover rates.
- Improved work performance.
These benefits highlight the importance for employers to incorporate spirituality at work.
Ways to encourage spirituality in the workplace
Creating a spiritual workplace is a long and slow process. Employers have to change how things are done to foster spirituality at work instead of just reaching targets. They have to take an approach that encourages spiritual practices to take place in their workplaces. Also, each employee develops at a different rate, so employers have to be patient in their objective.
If you are an employer, here are some steps that will help you establish and nourish spirituality in your workplace -
First, you need to define and set a clear mission and purpose on how your company will serve your clients with your products and services. The goal is to create a purpose that is beneficial to the betterment of society, not just individuals.
Make sure that any action your company takes does not negatively affect other people and other companies. Set your company apart by avoiding any actions which hurt the environment as well.
Hire and recruit people who understand your company’s mission statement and actively work according to your company’s purpose. Hiring people who are not concerned about spirituality will hinder the overall development of workplace spirituality in your company.
Make sure all your existing employees and managers are aware of your company’s purpose.
Create an environment of inclusion, diversity in your company. Promote and encourage diversity in your employees’ thoughts and ideas.
Educate and train your employees in the skills of self-leadership and self-awareness. Encourage them to realize their value and self-worth.
Train your employees on proper business conduct so that they can serve your clients in a better, meaningful way.
Encourage your employees to be more creative. Being creative enables people to become more involved in their tasks and find meaning in their work.
Discourage and eliminate fear among your employees. Spirituality can only flourish in the absence of fear. For example, if employees are afraid of making mistakes, they will never be able to learn from them.
Foster an environment of trust in your workplace where employees can work, learn, and contribute together for a more significant cause.
Promote and encourage meditation and yoga among your employees. Meditation and yoga help people become more self-aware, eliminate stress and stress-related problems, and improve their overall well-being.
Organize personality development seminars for your employees in your workplace. Personality development teaches us to manage our social, personal, and professional lives better. It also helps us deal with the negativity around us and be positive.
Get to know each of your employees individually and also encourage them to learn more about each other. Doing so will show your concern for them, and they will appreciate it accordingly. Also, it will create a better work environment, boosting team morale and productivity.
Encourage your employees to spend time on their families, personal lives, health, and so on. Doing so will help them find happiness, contentment, and peace of mind in their own lives and at work.
Workplace spirituality or spirituality in the workplace is a movement that began not so long ago. It is a relatively new phenomenon that is gaining importance around the world. Corporations are now emphasizing spiritual values among their employees to unlock their full potential. Also, employees realize that they can find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs.
The bottom line is that spiritual employees offer more than just better performance and productivity to companies. They create better places to work in and help companies make the world a better place in general. As such, it seems unlikely that this phenomenon will go out of trend anytime soon.