Workplace Spirituality And Employee Wellness

When we hear the term workplace spirituality, we tend to link it with some kind of organized religious practice, god or may be a study of theology, but the reality is something different. Workplace spirituality has nothing to do with religious practice, god or any kind of theology.

Workplace spirituality recognizes three basic things:

1. People have an inner life

2. They must find meaning in their work.

3. The work must take place in the context of community.

As Wikipedia says, The innate human attribute in spirituality. All people bring this as an integral part of themselves to the workplace. Spirituality is a state or experience that can provide individuals with direction or meaning, or provide feelings of understanding, support, inner wholeness or connectedness. The aspects of workplace spirituality are sought by organizational members in terms of the pursuit of meaning and purpose in their work, the desire to connect to other people and the desire to be part of a community.

Workplace spirituality promotes individual happiness and provides a more holistic view of life thus results in overall satisfaction of an employee in terms of recognition, aligning organizational goals with individual efforts, inculcation of ethics, values, driving motivation, work-life balance, and promoting leadership elements of an organization to its employees.

Organization practices spirituality by inculcating a strong sense of purpose in its employees i.e, Organizational members know why the organization exists and what it values. It tends to be more people-centric by focusing on individual development within an organization, by creating an environment of trust, openness, and honesty.

It tends to promote employee empowerment by engaging its employees in the decision-making process that affect them, highlighting a strong sense of delegation of authority. The organization encourages its employees to be themselves and to express their moods and feelings without guilt or fear of reproach.

Human Resource Management and Spirituality: Introducing spirituality into the organizations is a very wide area for HR manager to explore for. For an instance, creating an environment of work-life balance, developing openness and trust among employees, conducting training and development sessions which tend to align organizational goals with individual expectation, rewarding people for the work they do are all components of making the organization more spiritual. In fact as you review the characteristics of a spiritual organization, in every case, HRM is either the leader in making such things happen or is the vehicle by which the organization helps employees understand their responsibilities and offers the requisite training to make things happen. In the end, it’s HRM that will make the workplace a supportive work environment, where communication abounds and employees feel free to express themselves.

Activities which promotes values and thus workplace spirituality in an organization are:

1. Wellness information displayed and distributed.

2. Employee Assistance Programs.

3. Programs that integrate work/family.

4. Management systems that encourage personal and spiritual transformation.

5. Servant leadership – the desire to serve others first in preference to self.

6. Stewardship – leadership practices that support growth and well-being of others.

7. Diversity programs that create inclusive cultures.

8. Integration of core values and core business decisions and practices.

9. Leadership practices that support the growth and development of all employees.

Source: Wikipedia, The Living Organization: Spirituality in the Workplace – by William A. Guillory, Essentials of Management by Stephen P. robbins, Self.

About me: Gaurav Sehra, a 1st-year student at MHRM, IIT Kharagpur.