Explore - Experience - Excel

Workplace Spirituality and Employee Well-being – Prof Rashmi Jha

21 May 2024

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

                                                                                                       — Alan Watts

Service industry stress? We hear you! Long hours, deadlines, and frustrated clients can be draining. But you are the pro! Here’s how to stay calm and bring relief, even in tense situations.


Stressed and creating more stress? Zen can help! Being mindful at work means you can focus on solutions, not create new problems. Zen helps you be present and appreciate your work, leading to a calmer and happier work environment.

Understanding Workplace Spirituality

Workplace Spirituality is about bringing your values and a sense of purpose to work. This can lead to a more fulfilling and positive work environment for everyone. Workplace spirituality isn’t just good for business, it’s good for employees too! It reduces stress, improves mental health, and fosters a strong sense of community, leading to happier and more well-balanced employees.

Definition of Workplace Spirituality

Workplace Spirituality integrates purpose and connection into work culture, fostering a sense of community, growth, and well-being, separate from religion. The key points  are :

  1. It’s not about religion, but finding purpose and connection at work.
  2. It benefits employees by creating a sense of community, aligning values, and offering growth opportunities.
  3. It recognizes the importance of employees’ well-being and inner life.

The Role of Spirituality in the Workplace

Workplace spirituality isn’t about religion, but creating a culture that values authenticity, reduces stress, and boosts employee satisfaction and productivity. This approach is gaining traction, with companies like Google and Zappos seeing positive results. Workplace Spirituality can be beneficial, as it:

  1. Promotes authenticity
  2. Increases job satisfaction
  3. Enhances organisational commitment
  4. Reduces work-related stress
  5. Leads to better employee well-being

A spiritual workplace isn’t about pronouncements, but about a supportive culture with open communication, respect, and empathetic leaders. Signs include yoga classes, volunteerism, and a focus on employee well-being. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as each company finds its own way to create a spiritual work environment.

The Need and Importance of Spirituality in the Workplace

Work spirituality isn’t just about feelings, it’s about building a strong community with shared goals and values. This leads to a happier, more productive workforce that’s loyal to the company.

Workplace spirituality is a new but powerful tool for businesses. It boosts employee purpose, satisfaction, and ethical behavior, leading to higher productivity, better culture, and lower turnover – all key ingredients for business success.

Workplace spirituality isn’t just good for business, it’s good for employees too! It reduces stress, improves mental health, and fosters a strong sense of community, leading to happier and more well-balanced employees.

Spirituality and Work Ethic: A Constructive Relationship

Workplace spirituality strengthens work ethic! It encourages ethical behavior, responsibility, and commitment, leading to a more productive and trusting work environment. This win-win situation makes spirituality a valuable addition to any workplace.

Implementing Workplace Spirituality Techniques

Bringing spirituality to work isn’t about forcing beliefs. It’s about creating a culture that values personal values and provides opportunities to integrate them with work. This can be achieved through personal practices, supportive company culture, and leadership that encourages this connection.

Techniques for Fostering Workplace Spirituality

Effective Workplace Spirituality techniques encompass various strategies tailored to organizational culture. Firstly, offering meaningful tasks aligned with personal and company values enhances employee fulfillment and engagement. Creating an inclusive environment through open communication and respect further enriches the workplace spirit. Encouraging personal and spiritual development through leadership programs, career workshops, and wellness initiatives fosters a profound sense of growth. Lastly, implementing mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga aids in stress management and promotes peace amidst the hustle of work life.

Real-life Examples of Workplace Spirituality

Businesses are waking up to the power of workplace spirituality! Companies are finding creative ways to make employees feel valued and connected to their work. Here are some examples across industries.

Workplace Spirituality Case Studies

Let’s dive into how companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Tom’s successfully use workplace spirituality for happy and productive employees.

Google: Tech giant Google tackles stress with mindfulness! Their “Search Inside Yourself” program and “gPause” meditation breaks help employees recharge and improve decision-making, leading to happier and more productive Googlers.

Southwest Airlines:  Southwest Airlines isn’t just known for its service, but also its fun culture. Their “Living the Southwest Way” program emphasizes performance, helping others, and having fun. This creates a strong sense of purpose and community, making it a spiritual workplace.

Tom’s Shoes:  Shoe company Tom’s donates a pair to someone in need with every purchase. This “one for one” model makes employees feel like they’re making a positive impact, which is a key part of workplace spirituality and leads to a motivated workforce.

Workplace Spirituality – Key takeaways

1. Workplace Spirituality emphasizes authenticity, leading to heightened productivity, work quality, and employee engagement.

2. Spirituality positively influences employee well-being by enhancing job satisfaction, reducing stress, improving work-life balance, and strengthening workplace relationships.

3. There’s a symbiotic relationship between Workplace Spirituality and a positive work ethic, characterized by commitment, integrity, and responsibility, resulting in increased productivity and overall performance.

4. Implementing Workplace Spirituality involves strategies such as fostering personal spiritual practices and aligning leadership styles and policies with organizational values.

5. Successful examples of Workplace Spirituality implementation include companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Tom’s Shoes, which have seen improvements in employee satisfaction, productivity, and a harmonious work environment.

Adding Spiritual Dimension to work

Giacalone and Jurkiewicz (2003) define workplace spirituality as an organizational value system fostering employees’ transcendence through work, leading to a sense of connection and joy. This transcendence can be achieved not only through the organization’s mission but also through workplace relationships and interactions. Collaborative problem-solving and shared moments of flow contribute to a sense of meaning and belonging, enhancing individual and collective well-being. Additionally, responsible behaviors such as active listening, respectful communication, and empathy signify workplace spirituality. Overall, workplace spirituality signifies a shift in organizational culture away from solely competitive and profit-driven approaches (Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2003).

‍Workplace spirituality isn’t a silo; it connects work and life! This understanding benefits both employees (happier, healthier) and the organization (stronger culture, better performance).

                                                    The benefits of workplace spirituality go beyond numbers!  It improves individual well-being (happier employees, stronger leaders) which ultimately leads to a healthier and more efficient organization.

Increased job satisfaction. Study shows happy and trusting employees (thanks to workplace spirituality) lead to a smoother workflow for everyone. Finding meaning in work makes a big difference!

Individual growth and fulfilment. Spiritual workplaces celebrate different ideas (diversity of viewpoints). This makes employees feel valued and invested in the company, reducing burnout and boosting long-term commitment.

Psychological safety. Workplace spirituality emphasizes collaboration, fostering a relaxed and supportive team environment where everyone feels valued.

Enhanced creativity. ‍Psychological safety in the workplace naturally fosters creativity. Being creative involves seeking untested solutions and ideas, which inherently carry a risk of failure. To explore these new possibilities, individuals must feel safe to make mistakes. Teresa Amabile(        emphasizes this in “How to Kill Creativity,” advocating for a safety net beneath those who propose ideas to enhance creativity.

How to Implement in Practice

1. To recognize that everyone has their inner life:

  • Practice self-awareness. By being more aware of your own inner world, you can appreciate the complexity of what’s happening in others too.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Stuck on a colleague’s behavior? Assume good intent and explore their possible reasons.
  • Acknowledge conflict instead of running away from it. ‍Conflict can strengthen teams! Don’t shy away from it – see it as a chance to understand your colleagues better and build stronger bonds.

2. To create opportunities for meaningful work:

  • Share opportunities for personal and professional growth.  Leaders can offer workshops, while junior members can share external learnings. Both contribute to team growth!**
  • Don’t be afraid to do things differently. Stuck in a rut?  Shake things up!  Doing an old task in a new way can reignite creativity and job satisfaction.
  • Take breaks and encourage others to do the same.  Smart breaks = sharper mind!  Taking intentional breaks helps you learn more, stay relaxed, and tackle a busy day.
  • To reinforce the community context in everything you do:
  • Ask for help when you need it. Showing you trust colleagues’ opinions builds trust and strengthens the team spirit by working together to solve problems.
  • Give spontaneous positive feedback to others.  Praise publicly, criticize privately!  Acknowledge good work to motivate your team. 
  • Create a context for sharing. Skip the meeting, have a chat! Make time for casual catch-ups (coffee breaks, Zoom calls) to hear how your team is doing. It’s about open communication, not agendas.

Workplace Spirituality Starts With You

Let’s recap.

Forget cutthroat competition! It’s time for a new way of working focused on collaborate on and compassion. This “workplace spirituality” isn’t about religion, but creating a culture that values well-being, creativity, and open communication. It may sound like a big change, but you can start by simply showing up with a positive attitude. Over time, this positivity will spread and transform your workplace for the better.

Work isn’t just about paychecks anymore!  Many employees seek meaning in their work. Workplace spirituality addresses this by using values like well-being and purpose to create a culture where employees feel fulfilled. Leaders who understand this can align employee and company goals for a win-win situation.

Spirituality at the workplace includes:

Vision: a way of thinking about self, work and the organization as a whole

Lifestyle: a way of living, and practices assumed to live out that vision

Experience: noticing and reflecting on the way our work environment “talks back to us”

Despite ongoing debates, delineating the desired traits of spiritual workplaces can advance our comprehension of spirituality’s role in organizations, its positive impact on profitability, and its value to the workforce. The five effects of workplace spirituality are as follows:

1. Values Contribution: Beyond serving customers well, a spiritually-oriented workplace emphasizes a broader responsibility to contribute positively to society.

2. Prizes Creativity: Recognizing creativity as essential, spiritual workplaces believe everyone possesses creative potential, crucial for adapting to changing technologies and markets.

3. Cultivates Inclusion: Spiritual organizations value individuals’ diverse life experiences and actively strive to include historically marginalized groups, fostering a sense of community and shared vision.

4. Develops Principles: Supporting employees’ personal growth, learning, and faith integration enhances job performance, emphasizing resources for self-awareness, relationship-building, and personnel management skills.

5. Promotes Vocation: Encouraging employees to align their spiritual growth with their work fosters a shared ownership of corporate values and enhances understanding among the workforce.


Workplace spirituality, a recent movement, is gaining global significance as corporations prioritize spiritual values to maximize employee potential. Employees increasingly seek meaning and fulfillment in their work. Spiritual employees not only enhance performance and productivity but also contribute to creating better work environments and positively impacting society. This trend is expected to persist for the foreseeable future.


Albuquerque, I. F., Cunha, R. C., Martins, L. D., & Sá, A. B (2014). Primary health care services: Workplace spirituality and organizational performance. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 27(1), 59–82.

Ashmos, D. P., & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at work: A conceptualization and measure. Journal of management inquiry, 9(2), 134.

Belwalkar, S., & Vohra, V. (2016). Workplace spirituality, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors: A theoretical model. International Journal of Business and Management, 11(8), 256–262. Retrieved from

Daniel, J. L. (2010). The effect of workplace spirituality on team effectiveness. Journal of Management Development, 29(5), 442–456. Retrieved from———. (2015). Workplace spirituality and stress: Evidence from Mexico and US. Management Research Review, 38(1), 29–43.

Fanggida, E., Rolland, E., Suryana, Y., & Efendi, N. (2016). Effect of a spirituality workplace on organizational commitment and job satisfaction. (Study on the Lecturer of Private Universities in the Kupang City, Indonesia). Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 219, 639–646.

Illes, K., & Zsolnai, L. (2015). The role of spirituality in business education. Society and Business Review, 10(1), 67–75.

Jurkiewicz, C. L., & Giacalone, R. A. (2004). A values framework for measuring the impact of workplace spirituality on organizational performance. Journal of business ethics, 49(2), 129–142.

Khasawneh, S. (2011). Cutting-edge panacea of the twenty-first century: Workplace spirituality for higher education human resources. International Journal of Educational Management, 25(7), 687–700.

Kolodinsky, R. W., Giacalone, R. A., & Jurkiewicz, C. L. (2008). Workplace values and outcomes: Exploring personal, organizational, and interactive workplace spirituality. Journal of business ethics, 81(2), 465–480. Retrieved from

Komala, K., & Anantharaman, R. N. (2004). Rationale for spirituality in organizations. Journal Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology of Madras. Chennai. Retrieved from

Mitroff, I. I., & Denton, E. A. (1999). A study of spirituality in the workplace. MIT Sloan Management Review, 40(4), 83.

Pawar, B. S. (2008). Two approaches to workplace spirituality facilitation: A comparison and implications. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 29(6), 544-567.———. (2009). Workplace spirituality facilitation: A comprehensive model. Journal of business ethics, 90(3), 375–386. Retrieved from

Pirkola, H., Rantakokko, P., & Suhonen, M. (2016). Workplace spirituality in health care: An integrated review of the literature. Journal of nursing management. Retrieved from

Piryaei, S., & Zare, R. (2013). Workplace spirituality and positive work attitudes: The moderating role of individual spirituality. Indian Journal of Economics and Development, 1(4), 91–97.

Rahman, M. S., Osmangani, A. M., Daud, N. M., Chowdhury, A. H., & Hassan, H. (2015). Trust and work place spirituality on knowledge sharing behaviour: Perspective from non-academic staff of higher learning institutions. The Learning Organization, 22(6), 317–332.

Rego, A., Cunha, M. P. E., & Souto, S. (2007). Workplace spirituality, commitment, and self-reported individual performance: An empirical study. Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, 5(3), 163–183.

Usman, A., & Danish, R. Q. (2010). Spiritual consciousness in banking managers and its impact on job satisfaction. International Business Research, 3(2), 65.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *