What is Spirituality?
‘Spirituality’, the word descends from the Middle French ‘spiritualite’. Spirituality can be referred as a kind of significant and relevant activity. For example, it can be a search for divine peace. But again, spirituality has several different views and interpretation. It can be attached to psychological, philosophical as well as social topics. It plays an inevitable role in coeval discussions on issues like mental health, marital functioning, etc. The well being of human being can be divided into four types- Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Spiritual well being can be said as the ability to continually improve and understand the inner self. Spirituality further deals in enhancing the other three aspects as well. Gilbert Fairholm describes spirituality as a state of being in intimate relationship with the inner self of higher values and morality.
Spirituality is the core and centre of people in the value system. Spirituality in itself is another name for values and morale. Spirituality can be further classified as –
1. Vertical Spirituality:
It can be said as a sense of deep and intense connection with the Spirit, God or the Universe. This type of spirituality is experienced from within. It can also be referred as letting go of the individual ego or identity in the search of a divine state of mind.
Examples of such vertical spiritualism are prayers, meditation, etc
2. Horizontal Spirituality:
It is an inclination toward humanity or the need of offering service to human being as well as the nature. It is the profound desire to make a difference through one’s service. Horizontal spirituality can be attained only when one understands his\her inner self.
Examples of such horizontal spiritualism are social service, compassion for people, etc.
What Led to the Spiritual Movement?
1. The need for spiritualism:
Need for spirituality is a well argued topic. The reason for its emergence is mainly said as human needs money and power. Human greed is a large scale problem. It has greatly tormented the world on social, cultural, and economical level.
2. Merging and acquisitions:
In the late 1980’s, the emergence of technology led to the ‘null and void’ of the contracts between employers and employees. Until then there was an imaginary contract between the employees and the employers. Performance and behavior determined the job span. Better performances booked themselves lifelong jobs. But the merging i.e. overtaking of companies or merging of two industries into one led to job crisis. Along with it, the machinery has taken the tasks of man. Further ‘cutting short on the facts’ movement i.e. eliminating extras also risked many jobs. Due to insecurity and instability, people started being unsure of their potential. This led to the search for self assurance within oneself and thus, the spiritual movement took place.
3. Self analysis:
Self analysis is a movement started by baby boomers. Baby boomers are referred to people who are in their middle age. The people of 1960’s, when reached their middle age they acknowledged the death of their relatives i.e. mother, father, uncles, and aunts. This led them to think about their achievements, their contribution, their reason for existence and so on. This certain thinking led to the increase in people searching for spirituality and peace. Questions of existence and leaving behind a mark of contribution also knocked their brains. This certainly led to more spiritual traditions and followers using their spirituality in all aspects of the lives.
The millennium drove the world to another level. Human beings have evolved a far way ahead from the start. This evolution was further overturned by the millennium effect. On times like promotions, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. People try to understand themselves and trace their history and achievements so far. On New Year’s Eve people make resolutions to complete every year. Where we have come from? What changes we have made so far? etc, are some the question that led to spiritualism. Further self actualization was also triggered in people and the belief in oneself as well as the potential increased.
5. Self help:
Self help is also one of the reasons to the increasing spiritualism in 20th century. In the dramatically changing world, people started discussing on topics like self development, cultural growth, individual growth, etc. People analyzed their potential and spiritual growth. These talks were of course not limited. The talks inspired many people to take up spiritualism as a part of their lives.
What do Mean by Spirituality in the Workplace?
Spirituality is a broad concept, but what is spirituality in the workplace? It means that the idea of workplace is not just restricted to a place where one earns his\her livelihood but also being a place where one feels lively enough to work. A place where one enjoys working with a free and a happy spirit i.e. Lively-hood.
1. Not just religious:
Religion and spirituality are interrelated to some point. Some people believe that religion go side by side with spirituality. When one talks about spirituality in the workplace one is met with the awestruck faces of people chanting about religion in the workplace. But of course spirituality in the workplace cannot be blindly said as a religious concept. There are a good number of people (youth working) who declare themselves spiritual and yet not affiliated with any religion. They may be influenced from various other religions though. Thus, spirituality can be looked upon separately as well.
2. Compassion towards society:
Spirituality in the workplace is in itself a broad concept. It is an opportunity to develop and grow on a personal and individual manner. It can be said as the attribute of ‘triple C’ i.e., Compassion, Care, and Concern, for the fellow colleagues, bosses, clients and customers. It is integrity and truthfulness towards oneself. It means an environment, which is liberal to practice and understand the values of oneself and others respectively.
3. Workplace spiritual:
Workplace spirituality emerged through a movement that started in the 1920’s. The people wanted a life of faith and between the advent of techno world. Spiritual values in the workplace for them held a great importance. The movement started from the United States and spread on. With it came up many organizations that supported the spirituality in workplace. Further people were more determined to look for spiritualism due to the other factors. Thus, spiritualism was no longer kept apart from different fields as they began to become a motivating aspect for people.
Pros of Spirituality in the Workplace:
1. Inner satisfaction:
To find inner satisfaction is indeed today’s basic need. Within the workplace the feeling of this satisfaction enhances work performance. With the advent of technology and emergence of new machinery, man power is certainly not needed as it used earlier. The constant fear of losing the mean of earning or losing employment is one of the factors that lead to bad mental shape. Thus, when an institution provides a sense of security and belonging by implementing spirituality at workplace, the employees feel satisfied thoroughly and are more willing to perform better and contribute to the productivity of the company.
2. Self growth:
Money is a greed factor. It is the reason people work. With increasing companies coming into the market, there is a higher chance of people or the employees searching for better opportunities. With that they opt for more paying companies. Bribing is one of the unethical ways that are practiced, to an extent, at many places. Thus, when a company provides spirituality at workplace, it not only helps in higher productivity but also on a personal level it boosts the sense of love, equality, honesty and loyalty. These factors not just make an improvement on a larger scale but also make a huge difference individually.
3. Embrace changes:
Past is indeed full of experience, isn’t it? Well there are abundance amount of emotion that one experiences on a daily basis. And along with emotions there are various types of situation one faces daily. Thus, if an organization decides to bring about a spiritual change in the workplace it not only helps in enhancing the ability to face every aspect of life but also prepare the employees to adjust and adapt all the changes. This further helps them on individual level in maintaining relationship. On occupational level it will contribute to a healthy and friendlier work environment and great teamwork. Further, it develops individual recognition in the workplace. The impact this global world is having on each one of us is inevitable. Thus, spirituality can help in learning to adapt to this advancing world.
4. Helping hands:
RISK! Heard of it? Of course all of you have. Risk is a word many companies and employers try to avoid. But the spiritual workplace enforces the responsibility onto the shoulder of the employees. At the first glance it may seem to be a greater risk but the freedom to participate in the task or a project actively at work makes them realize their responsibilities. They relatively make more efforts in completion of the tasks. This on a larger scale increases the productivity of the organization. On the individual level it encourages the employees to work hard. After all mental challenges and tasks call forth the spiritual growth further more.
5. Pressure handling:
Challenges play a vital role in improving everyone. Pressure handling is one of the skill employers look for. It is a part of the job description along with the ability of time management. When challenges are given to employees they tend to work in a better way. Further a healthy competition can boost their working skills. Here, the spiritual environment helps in guiding them to work better. It on a longer run drives changes and helps in increasing productivity.
Cons of Spirituality in the Workplace:
1. Religious conflicts between people:
The benefits of spirituality in the workplace are way too much compared to the disadvantage but of course the cons cannot be neglected.
With spirituality making its way within the corporate sector as a part of the company welfare programs, it is encouraged in various forms. But too much of everything leads to disasters; similarly, spiritual conflicts arising from the clashes of people from various religion in the workplace can be the one and only con of spirituality at the workplace.
Policy against the con:
Company should create a policy against such promotion and beliefs of people and staff. Apart from that, the spiritual exercises should be scheduled according to the time table and not during the business hours. The spiritual activities like spiritualist prayers, meditation, etc should not interfere the regular working of the business.
We can say that separation plays a key role in human life. But when it comes to the spiritual aspect the law of separation doesn’t work well. Spiritualism is to be coated deep within oneself. It enhances one on many levels. Indeed there are advantages as well as disadvantages to everything but here the disadvantage is way too less compared to the advantages. Even though there are several controversies regarding spirituality in the workplace, employers cannot ignore reinforcing spiritual activities. Spirituality enhances not just the compassion regarding everything but also boosts spiritual leadership qualities of people in various ways. Further spirituality is a wider concept and cannot be enveloped by the religion aspect in any way.