Workplace Spirituality

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Many organizations require their employees to manage their emotions while working with coworkers and customers. However, employees are constantly under stress which may render the effectiveness of his or her work ethics. Workplace spirituality is the method of incorporating one’s personal idea of “spirituality” in their daily work schedule. Spirituality can give a sense of balance and security to many individuals and therefore improve their organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Organizations are beginning to incorporate spirituality in the workplace in order to enhance organizational performance and increase the development of business ethics. The importance of a business to incorporate spirituality within the workplace will continue to influence the culture of business in the anticipated future. Origins

Workplace spirituality is an idea that originated in the early 1900s that answered to the cruel and heartless business culture that dominated North America (Barrett pp. 1) Businesses have implemented various practices which allowed or encouraged practicing religious beliefs while in the workplace. “Such practices may include respecting religious and spiritual diversity in the workplace, supporting faith-work integration efforts, and providing concrete opportunities to apply one’s religious and spiritual worldviews in one’s current job in ways that advance the goals of the organization” (Duffy pp. 5). Workers constantly feel overworked and unappreciated. Their work may have fulfilled their security needs; however the human being requires more emotional and spiritual attention. Corporate America soon began to understand this concept in the early 1900s when they recognized emotional intelligence enabled individual development. “Firstly, workplace spirituality became measurable by identifying the extent to which an individual displayed specific behaviors. Secondly, it became apparent, through research and measurement, that emotional intelligence was one of the strongest predictors of success in the workplace” (Barrett pp. 1).

A great influence and example of spiritual harmony is represented in ancient Chinese culture, more particularly Daoism. The movement was started by philosopher Lao Tzu who taught it was important to incorporate spirituality in one’s life in order to have a central balance. Lao believed this balance was necessary for success, and that one will not be able to perform to his or her highest potential if that balance was disturbed. “The role of the leader is to provide a paternalistic and nurturing environment. The mystical figure, Lao Tzo was a profound believer in the inherent goodness of humankind. Ultimately, he promoted the benefits of harmonious personal relationships” (Rarick pp. 2). It is natural for a human being to perform better while they are in a comfortable state of mind, and Lao is a prime example of that. Lao was an exceptional leader and teacher who lessons are still being practiced across the world. His guidance has taught others it is possible to balance both your emotional and physical well-being. Spirituality vs. Religion

When looking at the term “spirituality” it can often be confused with the term “religion”. Although spiritual and religious beliefs may be harmonious, it is important to understand that they are not necessarily identical and have two separate meanings. Spirituality is not about following a certain practice or uniform belief; it is relative to the individual. A study of spirituality in the workplace published by Sloan Management describes “the basic feeling of being connected with one’s complete self, others, and the entire universe. If a single word could best describe spirituality and the vital role it plays in a people’s live, that word is interconnectedness” (Garcia-Zamor pp. 4). If spirituality and religion were compliments, it would then be extremely difficult to make everyone content, especially in the United States where various...
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