Posted by: healingtheworkplace | July 2, 2008

Healing the Spirit at Work

Did you know that spirituality at work has become a movement in North America? Not only has it become a movement but it is being embraced by conservative business institutions such as Harvard University and the American Academy of Management.

Harvard University was the first business school to offer a course in spirituality as part of its MBA program and other universities have been quick to follow suit.

In the past 10 years there have been an unprecedented number of conferences organized on the subject. The number of books and articles being written is also on the rise.

But what is spirit at work and why is it important?

Obviously it is intangible.  When it is present in a workplace there is positive energy, laughter, joy, caring, compassion and creativity.

When it is absent, both individuals, and the organizations they work in, suffer.

According to Professor Paul Wong, “many forces have contributed to the revival of spirituality in the workplace including…

  • instability as a result from layoffs, downsizing, mergers and globalization
  • increased stress in remaining workers who are required to do more with less
  • declining job satisfaction and increasing incidents of depression and burnout
  • environmental pollution
  • scandals of unethical corporate behavior
  • technology and its dehumanizing effect
  • workplace violence…”

Wong goes on to say that “workers are trying to create meaning and purpose in the workplace and they are searching for a sense of community”.

If you are new to this subject and want to begin exploring it I would recommend C. Diane Ealy’s book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Spirituality in the Workplace. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this book is one of the “Idiot’s Guidebooks”. Diane has written an easy to read, comprehensive and extremely practical book on the subject.

In addition to this book there are a growing number of websites you can explore.

One of my favorites is the International Center for Spirit at Work.

Have a great week!

Lesley 

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