Workplace Spirituality and Its Influence on Employee Outcomes

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How do people merge their work and religious or spiritual beliefs? The question is relevant when we consider that that most people in the world follow some form of religious tradition and also work in some capacity.

Bilal Afsar, from Hazara University in Pakistan, and his colleagues recently examined this very question. They focused on workplace spirituality, which the authors described as a strong sense of well-being, the belief that work contributes to one’s purpose in life, an alignment between work and one’s personal values, a spiritual link with others, and the collective striving toward something larger than the self.

The authors collected data from employees working in Hotels in Beijing, asking them about the spirituality of their workplace and how this affected other work outcomes.

Results of their study showed that perceptions of workplace spirituality increased, so too did the degree to which the employees had a strong fit in the organization. This is referred to as person-organization fit. And, when the fit increased, so too did their work performance, including their innovativeness and creativity.

These findings highlight the importance of workplace spirituality. The authors offered several suggestions to create such a setting, suggesting that managers embrace openness and various viewpoints and values. They should strive to ensure that work has meaning in employees’ lives. Finally, leaders should strive to create workplace environments that promote mutual respect, connectedness among employees, the striving for something bigger than the individual, and individual autonomy.