Finding Purpose Through Work

Spirituality as meaningful work is fully enshrined among workers. What is management’s role in it?

As far back as the 1950s, author William Whyte urged business owners to encourage their employees to “bring their heart and soul to work.” His book, The Organization Man, went on to become a bestseller, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that interest in spirituality in the workplace really took off. During the 1990s and 2000s, hundreds of books and articles on workplace spirituality were published. In addition, MBA programs offered courses on the subject, conferences on spirituality were held and centres for spirituality in the workplace opened on university campuses.

A number of events are likely responsible for this growth. As baby boomers hit middle age, many of them began to question the real meaning of work. Massive changes such as the end of the lifetime employment contract led to downsizing and outsourcing of jobs, resulting in stress, anxiety and disengagement on the part of employees, according to Judi Neal, author, coach and leadership consultant in Fayetteville, Arizona.

The effects of these monumental changes in the way people were expected to work left many feeling disengaged and in search of belonging and community. The circumstances have changed over the years, but the needs of today’s workforce are no different from the needs of previous generations of workers.

What is workplace spirituality?

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Tips for Nurturing Spirituality in Your Workplaced

Spirituality programs result in positive outcomes for employees. These outcomes include increased creativity, happiness, satisfaction, hope, optimism and a sense of meaning.

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Lesley is a freelance writer


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