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Spirituality At Workplace A New Approach in Business & Industry

Updated: February 19, 2011 11:21 am

Conventionally Spirituality is linked and limited to purity in personal life. Generically it is true to some extent but fierce competition of modern industry and corporate world has found a new competency development tool in spirituality. It is not just a bizarre expression of spirituality but an astonishing fact about the use of a basic human value system in the most recent business management practices of the corporate world. Hence, it is worth revealing and worth sharing with the business world that how this approach is metamorphosing the business approach today.

                We all are aware that industrial revolution of post-1st World War arena has undergone a sea change in last hundred years. Corporate world has witnessed simmering evolution in business practices for reinventing businesses and to make them more competitive as well as more profitable. It is on this account that end number of practices emerged under the broad heads of strategic planning, Portfolio planning, Total Quality Management(TQM), Human Resource Management (HRM), financial management, performance evaluation and management etc. Corporate world has also experienced the development of required reasoning and analytical thinking for improving these tools and approaches, for better business outcomes. Last 30 years have witnessed exceptional cases of mergers and takeovers of all types of businesses by big players of each sector. It has become challenging for small businesses to grow and survive on account of strengths, practices and volumes of big businesses along with their global branding for the same.

                However, this seemingly dominant and expanding business scenario is again witnessing a silent revolution/involution/ regression. Now, increasing number of employees at all levels, in all businesses, are now convincingly feeling that business places/workplaces, are highly dehumanised having a sharp business focus but least human consideration. All the quality and process systems, of which human being is an integral part, are more output-centric than human centric. There is very little scope for creativity or “Out-of-Box Thinking”. More dominant work culture also takes toll of family and social life, many a times. Therefore there is a growing discontentment in all categories of employees, in all the businesses, which is on account of their search for “Inner fulfillment” at the work place. It is increasingly reflected in the form of rapid turnover of workforce in all traits, at all levels, across the globe, despite skyrocketing salaries and tempting facilities. Gap between the promoters and employees, in all businesses is widening, which is very evident to all concerned. It is also interfering in the consistency of growth and output of all businesses. Therefore serious efforts are being made to bridge this gap with better salaries, better facilities and incentives, but it is not helping the industry, to desired extent.

                It is at this juncture that “spirituality at workplace” is helping. It is a personal value system, which helps in developing a “spirit of connectedness” with the work and surrounding. Workplace spirituality is an attitude, a way of life, at workplace. It is Search for the depth of meaning, breadth of experience and a greater sense of purpose at work. It is a spirit to steer the organisation through all odds and challenges, that too, without discussing/feeling any religious convictions. It is an effective tool to integrate individuals with workplace for a balanced growth of both of them.

                This increasing trend to embrace, spirituality at work place is a clear indication that industry has recognised the worth of this component, in the business growth and employee satisfaction. It is integration of this component which can bring desired “Contentment” for the employees, at workplace. If vigorously pursued, it can change the face of industrial and business growth, through more penetrating team efforts, at respective places.

                One major limiting factor in the growth of “workplace spirituality” is the perception of business promoters about this issue. Still, majority industrial and business houses, at least in India, have approach of fading imperialistic culture and are finding difficult to come in terms with such approach.

By Dr Dipak Shukla

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