Spirituality In The Workplace

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2947 , Published on 23 July 2012
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Spiritual Quotient is the new mantra for organizations today. Companies like Ford, Nike, Boeing, AT&T, Lotus, and Taco Bell alike, have all begun incorporating spirituality into the workplace. A spiritual revival is sweeping across corporate world as organizations are emphasizing on spiritual quotient in addition to intelligence quotient and emotional quotient. But why is it so? Is there any relationship between work and spirituality?

Intelligence Quotient deals with the intelligence and solves logical problems while Emotional Quotient is related to our behaviour and allows us to judge the situation we are in and behave appropriately. Spiritual Quotient is a process of personal insight and allows us to ask whether we want to be in that situation or not.


Spirituality is about acknowledging that each individual has a unique talent and spirit and that talent is to be valued to give rise to creativity. There is a need to allow other people’s spirits to be nourished and change a workplace from merely being a place to earn sufficient money to a place of livelihood. In today’s competitive world, there is a lack of motivation in the workforce.

There is a fear in the minds of people – fear of losing their jobs if they don’t do their work right in the very first time, fear of failure, fear of not achieving the best salary hike and the list goes on. Work life has become so demanding, fast paced, stressful and chaotic that we are forced to seek ways of achieving personal stability from within. We are asking questions like, "What's meaningful work for me?"

If a company focuses only on a single bottom line profit then it will not sustain. Organizations need to understand that if their employees are happy, they will be more productive and creative which in turn will work as a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization. Workplace spirituality is becoming a growing concern for the organizations, employees, and job seekers. People are looking to the workplace to fulfill their spiritual needs and on the other hand, organizations which are able to fulfil spiritual needs of the employees are getting positive work outcomes.

It sounds bit weird that spirituality can affect the goal of any business, which is to make a profit. But this has been proved in various researches. A Harvard Business School study examined 10 companies with strong  corporate  cultures and  10  with  weak  corporate  cultures,  drawn  from  a  list  of  207  leading corporations. The researchers found that there is a strong co-relation between the organization's corporate culture and its profitability.

Llyod has mentioned in his article that organizations high in workplace spirituality outperform those without it by 86%. Also, such organizations are high in motivation, reportedly grow faster, increase efficiencies and produce higher returns on investments.  Lee's study demonstrates that stronger religiosity generally has a positive impact on levels of satisfaction. Indeed, those identifying themselves as deeply religious and not so deeply religious were found to be more satisfied with life than those identifying themselves as slightly religious.

How can spirituality be made a part of workplace? Organizations are holding seminars on spiritual leadership, group vision, religious diversity, and some have even set aside a meditation/prayer room where workers can go during the work day. Various practices like integration of core values and core business decisions, leadership practices including servant leadership- the desire to serve others first in preference to self , Employee Assistance Programs  and other practices that support the growth and development of the employees can be included in the workplace.

POWERGRID Corporation of India Limited felt a need to provide spiritual growth training to its employees, so that it helps them in improving their performance. It organized programs with considerable spiritual contents. Employees were provided training by Art of Living Foundation and Isha Foundation. Based on the analysis of the results, it had been observed that program was proved to be effective for most of the participants and especially for those who practiced the kriya from the day of completion of the program. The participants were able to see the difference in their personal as well as professional life after completion of this program. So let’s get involved in the spirituality movement and make an attempt to create a sense of meaning and purpose at work and a connection between the company and its people.

This article has been authored by Shilpa Kathuria from SIMSR.


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