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Spirit at Work in Action

Successful companies are incorporating Spirit at Work into their businesses. In order for organizations to be successful, leading management consultants argue that employees need to be committed to and passionate about their work. Thus, they call for workplace cultures, work processes, and leadership that foster such commitment and passion. In this day, with a reduced expectation of commitment and loyalty from the employee and the employer, there needs to be a new way to engage and retain talent. Increasing employee spirit at work is a very powerful way to do just that!

More and more corporations are integrating the notion of spirit at work into human resource and organizational development programs. Boatmen's First National Bank, the Bank of Montreal, and Exxon have been incorporating a spiritual component in their training programs for some time. In this context, spirituality is defined as a "basic desire to find ultimate meaning and purpose in one's life and to live an integrated life." It is not about bringing religion into the workplace. Exxon introduced a "whole person" model - which supports employee authenticity and creativity - as well as a process for employees to consciously explore work at higher levels of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels of their life. They also helped employees to link their purpose, principles, and values to personal and work goals.

Other organizations, like Tom's of Maine and Ceridan, are based on spiritual values, whereas The Body Shop, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Harley Davidson reported combining the profit motive with the values of social responsibility and meaningful work. Many are writing vision statements not only to provide business direction, but to inspire employees to be committed to a worthy purpose. Corporations like WalMart, 3M Corporation, and Proctor and Gamble are assisting employees to identify, and then align their personal vision for the company with the organization's vision. Recognizing the value of "spiritual energy" in the workplace, Boeing and Xerox, Fortune 500 companies, have hired consultants to cultivate the spiritual energies of their staff. Such programs are being promoting as ways to increase employee spirit at work and positive outcomes for the organization.

 

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Interesting Facts

In their groundbreaking research with manufacturing and utility companies, Mitroff and Denton found that with a few notable exceptions, companies that identify themselves as more spiritual are superior to their less spiritual counterparts.

They were more ethical, flexible, democratic, and more caring. They were seen to be more spiritual, happier, and in some instances, more profitable.

Mitroff & Denton, 1999

 
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