Spirituality in the workplace is a new paradigm in global workplace cultures. As our collective needs and values change, workplace spirituality becomes increasingly important because it provides an alternative to the somewhat outdated corporate values of competition, hierarchy and the bottomline.
Workplace spirituality proposes prioritizing a different set of values. Some of the most important beliefs to foster are collaboration, empathy and creativity. Those are the factors that, if cultivated, transform and grow our relationship with work in the long run.
Spirituality in the workplace is a manifestation and alignment of all aspects of life; personal, work and spiritual, into the whole.
We are spiritual beings. As humans, we all have a longing to experience life deeply, to be present and to feel that we are part of something greater than ourselves.
Why has spirituality become a hot topic lately?
A spiritual experience is something that most people just know and feel intuitively. But that spiritual knowledge often slips away when we try to turn it into a clearcut understanding.
Over the years, there have been many attempts to define human spirituality, but one key characteristic is self transcendence.
Spirituality in the workplace is a part of the organizational culture that creates an environment which makes employees feel they are purposeful, connected, fulfilled and happy.
When teams meet weekly and solve out issues and blockers that seemed impossible, they get a sense of belonging and discover a shared mission. The result is the shared experience of spirituality and most of the times, it also improves collective and individual well-being.
What benefits brings spirituality at work?
Cultivating spirituality in the workplace benefits everyone involved, it’s therapeutic and promotes self-growth and awareness.
Staff, leaders and teams improve as collective efforts shift toward more collaborative and holistic values.
A warm and harmonious work environment, creating better social relations.
Behavioral Improvement related to work such as empathy, altruism, patience.
Higher tolerance level related to customer service.
Personal growth and self-realization: They are empowered to work and, more importantly, to live better.
Higher employee productivity and creativity. Being creative means searching workarounds and solutions that have not been tried before and often carry a risk of failure. To explore them, people need to feel there is room to fail too.
In the long run, spirituality prevents burnout and makes employees more committed to the company and its values.
How can you cultivate that culture in your workplace?
The first clue is: change starts within. Here are some ideas on how you put it into action:
Practice emotional intelligence: If you don't understand why a team member makes certain decisions or behaves the way they do, put yourself in their shoes. Then ask yourself: What are the possible reasons behind their actions? Being empathetic is key.
Face the conflict and learn: Conflict, if addressed correctly, can be an opportunity to deepen ties within the team. Treat it not as a threat, but as a temporary disturbance. Conflict allows you to get to know and understand how others think more deeply.
Practice self-awareness: This is the fundamental part to understand others. Being more aware of your inner life will help you begin to appreciate how much is constantly going on in the human mind, body, and soul.
Do things differently: If we want to change the work culture, we need to innovate. When you get stuck, a great approach is to transform the way you carry out your routine tasks. Dare to execute them in a new way!
Share learned lessons and acknowledge accomplishments: Lead by example. Congratulate your team members and colleagues when they excel, and please don’t think you’ll look weak if you share your mistakes too. Your team will appreciate knowing that sometimes you may fail too. Nobody is perfect.
Give room for personal and professional growth: If you are a leader, this may mean organizing helpful workshops for your employees. If you are a junior, you can share learning experiences outside of work with your colleagues to inspire them.
Ask for support and help if needed. There is no shame in asking for guidance or clarity from your peers and mentors. Showing vulnerability and asking for assistance allows you to share knowledge and work more closely with your colleagues.
We can conclude that there is a close, meaningful and positive relationship between spirituality, work and happiness. In other words, the greater the spirituality, the greater the happiness of the employees.
The beneficial effects of spirituality are related to the lifestyle of people because spirituality is expressed in the personality through feelings, behaviors, motivations, interests and resilience. All these psychological phenomena are positive. They give value to moments of joy in different parts of life, such as family, friends and work.
Spirituality is associated with positive feelings such as happiness and joy which will create values such as solidarity, honesty, responsibility and sustainability. This will lead to positive employee and organizational improvements such as higher levels of satisfaction, commitment, efficiency and performance.
The benefits of spirituality in the workplace extend beyond the well-being of each individual. Ultimately, spiritual workplaces provide better conditions for everyone involved. If you do practice daily, then for weeks, and months, you will undoubtly see the seeds of spirituality sprout. In due time, it will transform you and your workplace.