Nobody ever thought that Spirituality could get related to management. The two fields which were entirely different from each other today are seeking lot of recognition and it seems as if they are gelling pretty well with each other. One of a new dimension in management studies and research approaches is Workplace Spirituality which is still in evolving stage. It is not about religion or organized religious practices, not about god or theology. Modern authors consider it entirely different from religion. To define Workplace Spirituality is itself a task, it being too subjective different authors have given different definitions to explain it. Karakas (2010) said that there are more than 2000 definitions of Workplace Spirituality and till now there is no consensus. The most accepted definition is that of Ashmos and Duchon (2003) who said Workplace Spirituality is about recognizing that people have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful work in the context of community. Organizations that encourage spirituality or a spiritual culture identify that people have mind and spirit, search for meaning and purpose in their work, and aspire to connect with other human beings and be a part of community.
A lot of research has been done on Spirituality at workplace in Western context but very few in Indian contexts. India has got very rich spiritual base gained from the Vedas, Upanishads, The Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures. The preaching’s of such scriptures are famous not across India but they are well known worldwide. Such spiritual traditions hold practical relevance for the modern day management. If managers understand the concepts such as Swadharma, Nishkama karma, Lokasangraha, Daivi sampat, the Gunas and apply them in the current business scenario it would result in drastic improvement in the overall performance of the organizations. Today, employees spend most of their time at workplace, with their co-workers and colleagues. There are very less joint families, employees seek meaning and purpose in their work as their social identity is derived from it. They search for meaning in what they are doing and the same time what kind of relationship they share with their co-workers. This shift in consciousness is giving drive to workplace spirituality. Workplace spirituality has been described from both organizational and individual point of view – there are two approaches to facilitate spirituality at workplace. Organizational perspective defines it as a framework of organizational values substantiated by the culture, facilitating their sense of being connected to others in a way that provides feeling of completeness and joy. From an individual’s point of view workplace spirituality is about finding ultimate purpose in life, developing connection with others, and having alignment with organizational values.
FEATURES OF SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATION
Spiritual organizations are the ones which help its people to grow and find meaning in their work and reach their full potential. There are certain features which differentiate a spiritual organization from a non-spiritual:
1. Strong Sense of Purpose: Spiritual organizations focus not only earning profits for survival, rather they build their culture around a meaningful purpose because purpose is important for the people to stay inspired and to create a sense of DO WHAT YOU BELIEVE. A firm can be successful in the short run by adopting unethical practices, but to be successful in the long run the organization must be spiritual.
2. Trust and Respect: spiritual organizations are characterized by mutual trust and respect, honesty and openness. They develop a culture of integrity and freedom where managers are not afraid to admit mistakes. They are specific and honest about their product, its quality and suitability.
3. Humanistic Work Practices: there are several humanistic practices which are followed by spiritual organizations such as Flexi-timing or flexible work schedules, group and organizational based rewards, guarantees of individual work rights, employee empowerment, and job-security narrowing of pay status and differentials etc.
4. Toleration of Employee Expression: Spiritual Organizations never suppress employees’ emotions. They allow their people to speak without any guilt or fear of reprimand.
Workplace Spirituality in India
There are several firms which have accepted Workplace Spirituality as a practice and follow it. Several Firms such as WIPRO Corporation and Infosys ltd both IT giants have always promoted ethical values in their organizational culture. In several big firms Personnel departments are calling on spiritual gurus to assist new recruits handle the tensions of modern working life. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a renowned guru runs a “corporate executive program” which aims at helping senior management in India’s leading companies cope with stress. The aim of the program is to teach employees to improve their breathing.
Apart from it Companies such as Tata Tea, Aarti International Ltd, Reckit and Coleman, Dabur, Excel Industries and The Times of India have executed precise policies, programs, or practices that openly nurture spirituality inside their organizations. Workplace Spirituality is a budding concept. Imbibing spirituality is directly proportional to long term profits and gains. In the present era of cut throat competition, organizations need to integrate humanistic practices and spiritual values in order to facilitate growth. India is the birthplace of many religions and has made many contributions to the world in the areas of spirituality and religion and it. The Indian spiritual traditions should be practiced in modern world to make people more ethical and concern for society.