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What is Workplace Spirituality?

Workplace Spirituality

Fachrunnisa, Adhiatma, and Mutamimah define workplace spirituality as work situation by which leader and follower have high spirit toward work completion and achievement of organization objectives. Workplace spirituality is not about organized practices. It’s not about theology of about one’s spiritual leader. Rather, workplace spirituality is about recognizing what takes place in the context of an organizational community. Organizations that promote a spiritual culture recognize that employees have both a mind and a spirit, seek to find meaning and purpose in their work, and desire to connect with other employees and be part of a community. What is the role workplace spirituality in enhancing job satisfaction and performance? In order to answer this question, both leaders and followers need to engage in a harmonize way to achieve mutual goals. Substantial past research and evidence indicate that a unique engagement between leaders and employees can profoundly contribute to organizational innovation, effectiveness, performance, survival, and job satisfaction. From my personal perspective, workplace spirituality enhances my interactions, communications, and reasoning with my colleagues at work. I feel the tasks I am doing at hand have a lot more significance in knowing that the end results justify the overall mission of the company. For instance, my primary responsibilities are supervising my employees and analyzing financial statements. The combination of those two tasks provide me with a sense of purpose and meaning to my work. Moreover, the ultimate goal of the work is to provide liquidity to the housing market and that is exactly how I perceive my job to be.

Spiritual Leadership Theory

An examination of spiritual leadership theory can be helpful in further defining the concept of workplace spirituality. Spiritual leadership is an emerging paradigm within the broader context of workplace spirituality designed to create an intrinsically motivated, learning organization. Spiritual leadership comprises the values, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to intrinsically motivate one’s self and satisfy fundamental needs for spiritual well-being through calling and membership, which positively influences employee well-being, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and financial performance. Therefore, the goals of spiritual leadership are as follows: (1) creating a vision wherein leaders and followers experience a sense of calling so that their lives have purpose, meaning and makes a difference, and (2) establishing an organizational culture based on the values of altruistic love whereby leaders and followers have a sense of membership, feel understood and appreciated, and have genuine care, concern, and appreciation for both self and others. As shown in the figure below, the source of spiritual leadership is an inner life or spiritual practice, such as spending time in nature, prayer, religious practice, meditation, reading, yoga, or writing in a journal. The attraction of this theory is that one can conceive any kind of activities to assist him or her in attaining spirituality. An inner life practice positively influences spiritual leadership through the development of hope and faith in a transcendent vision of service to key stakeholders that keeps followers looking forward to the future. Hope/faith in a clear, compelling vision produces a sense of calling–that part of spiritual well-being that gives one a sense of making a difference and, therefore, that one’s life has meaning. Spiritual leadership also requires that the organization’s culture be based on the values of altruistic love. Leaders must model these values through their attitudes and behavior, which creates a sense of membership–that part of spiritual well-being that gives one a sense of being understood and appreciated. The dimensions of spiritual leadership and the process of satisfying spiritual needs then positively influence the key individual and organizational outcomes that comprise commitment and productivity, financial performance, employee life satisfaction, and corporate responsibility.

Spiritual Leadership Theory

Spirituality and Religion

Although the two are related, Hertz and Friedman state spirituality should not be confused with religion. It is quite possible for an individual to be spiritual and yet not be affiliated with any particular religious group. A key part of being spiritual is the understanding that life has a higher purpose. Spiritual people sense that there is a connectedness to something greater than the self. They are concerned with making a difference and desire to make the world a better place. Religion, on the other hand, refers to communally held beliefs and dogmas that are expressed publicly. Whereas religion tends to be associated with an organization or institution, spirituality tends to be more individualistic and personal. Hertz and Friedman describe the distinction as follows: “Spirituality is distinguished from institutionalized religion by being characterized as a private, inclusive, non-denominational, universal human feeling; rather than an adherence to the beliefs, rituals, or practices of a specific organized religious institution or tradition.” At the end of the day, workplace spirituality will have different meanings and venues to each individual, but hopefully, it will make the employees to be more productive and content with their work.

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