What do Caritas Sri Lanka, World Vision international, Southwest Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, and Hewlett-Packard have in common? These organizations are among the growing number of corporations that have embraced workplace spirituality.
The pandemic that has struck the world cannot be appeased by the will of mankind. It has taken its vicious course over the past several months, and in its nebulous chemistry has claimed the human lives of more than 191,000 people worldwide in April 2020. How does one return to work with thoughts of feeling safe and secure? The virus still lives in the atmosphere, yet, there must come a time when things return to normal. However, workers and employees must return with great fortitude and forbearance, with faith and hope that some great superior power will have mercy on this planet and its inhabitants, and that is God’s will. “Fear” has engulfed the hearts and minds of many people but how can organizations be equipped to better cope with the potent effects of the aftermath of this epidemic health risk?
The answer lies in embracing workplace spirituality. This does not mean practicing organized religious activities. Although a workplace is free to do so, it is more about recognizing that people have an inner life that needs to be purified and nourished by meaningful work that takes place within the context of a community. Promoting a spiritual culture recognizes that a human being has a mind and soul, and the soul seeks to find meaning and purpose in its life every day. It longs to be connected with other human beings and seeks the almighty power that can give supernatural willpower to survive life on Mother Earth.
Why is this spirituality so important now? Rationality is assumed to ignore and eliminate human feelings. In other words, it is not concerned about an employee’s inner life. However, extensive studies about human emotions shows that it improves our understanding of organizational behaviour, an awareness about an employee’s spirituality can help you to better understand employee behaviour. Because of this significance of inner life, a search for meaning and purposefulness will always surface.
The pandemic has caused, panic, fear, and hurt in many people’s lives. Employees who are deeply affected by the impact of the Corona virus outbreak will carry their hurt and uneasiness around them everywhere. They will wear their feelings on their sleeves and seek sympathy. They may become angry, which can turn inward. They may lose initiative to fight against the fear and hurt, allowing depression to set in. In these conditions, they seldom make good decisions. People who are hurt and full of fear make decisions to protect their feelings, not their future and this can be detrimental to an organization.
Following figure shows the workers at risks by sectors globally, due to rise of Covid-19;
In addition BBC predicts nearly 200 million could end up being unemployed. The following figure shows the unemployment rates, since the rise of Covid-19
Therefore, spiritual organizations are concerned with helping employees develop and reach their fullest potential. Such organizations are more likely to directly address problems created by work-life conflicts and help people continually learn and grow. For example, Hewlett-Packard, for instance, has tried to minimize the impact of economic downturn through voluntary attrition and shortened work-weeks (shared by all), and longer-term declines through early retirement and buyouts. Finally, spiritual organizations do not stifle employee emotions, they rather allow them to be themselves; to express their opinions, moods, and feelings without guilt or fear or reprimand.
Both employees and employers should be willing and obedient when it comes to following the laws of nature and God’s will. Don’t allow serving God and other people to become something you have to do instead of something you want to do. God desires his people to genuinely love him, not merely tolerate him. The same can be said about Mother Nature’s willpower to yield her way on Mother Earth. Don’t ever get angry at God when things are uncertain, and your life is full of fear and hurt. It is because of God and Mother Nature that you haven’t lost everything! Make certain that gratitude is part of your live every day, and that your heart is always upright before the Lord.