During the past few years, I have noticed that the capacity of human beings to coexist patiently with their colleagues in the workplace has diminished rapidly. The reasons are many; ranging from personal relationship problems to upset personal finances. The state of the employees have a direct bearing on their productivity and the organization takes the brunt. This triggers the debate on why spirituality in business institutions is now becoming a necessity.
Yet; surprisingly; I am yet to see any proactive steps at the CXO levels in addressing these issues. In fact, to the contrary, in many cases we see that the CXO’s prefers to adopt the ‘divide & rule’ policy.
How many times have we faced situations where budgets of a particular department are delayed for no reasons; or MIS twisting the PC policies of a company to hurt a particular work group or character assassination done by some to obstruct the progress of others? Such situations are plenty and in most cases, the CXOs have no machinery in place to sense and correct this. Imagine the progress a company would make by addressing such issues than focusing sheerly on automation and branding!
Now; some recent trends show that some businesses have opened up to the concepts of using spirituality in business functions. They have started utilizing spirituality as a communication tool for managers and employees to better function and relate to one another in the work place. Spirituality in business helps them to evolve in their professional and personal lives by enhancing their communication, increasing productivity, and imparting a greater sense of meaning in work and life. Because of the hurdles in HR support, family and community support, businesses are recognizing that spirituality can renew faith in the work of employees and in the corporate environment.
A growing number of corporate organizations are using development courses to nurture the spiritual side of managers and employees. They believe that employees need inner strength and determination to be able to do their jobs. In India we see some Organizations in the Tata Group, Birla Group and several Indian MNCs resorting to these techniques.
The main factor in the adoption of spirituality in business is that the role of the support groups such as the religious institutions, extended families, and the civic groups in providing the spiritual support they once did, is rapidly declining. Also, there is a growing feeling that the business workplace has become very insecure and stressful to work in.
Another major factor in the adoption of spirituality in business is that they no longer choose science and technology as the only answer to solve business problems.
Some companies are using eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism and Confucianism, which emphasize group loyalty and the essence of finding a “spiritual center” in any activity. Some like IBM utilize I Ching, a Chinese system, which uses ancient fortune telling techniques to offer spiritual answers to issues of concern in corporate life.
Spirituality helps people deal with the human side of corporations, which has been neglected for a long time. Across the country, many managers attend special meetings and functions for the purpose of improving communication and productivity.
In some of my personal dialogues with my colleagues over the past couple of years, I had encouraged them to create a personal purpose, a long term mission and a balance sheet of values. I prompted them to examine the values that they have learned from their families and communities – and bring them into our office. But I agree that I have to do more and encourage my HR to make this a regular program and improvise this to make a difference.
Books and the Internet also offer a tremendous wealth of spiritual advice and information to corporations. Ultimately, implementing spirituality in business has solved communication and work-related problems because management and employees have applied a sincere effort to improve corporate life. The professional and personal lives of managers and employees alike have improved; they are better able to communicate with each other, and have benefited by using spirituality in business.