“There’s a strange talk being spoken in the hallways of the corporate world today. It’s about inner peace and a desire to gain more from business than a hefty pay-check.”
—An extract from a recent issue of the Sales and Marketing Management
(the time period being June 2021)
(Image Source – Inc.)
Just over a year ago the unemployment rates soared as high as 14.7 percent since the Great Depression. Around 20 million jobs were lost due to the pandemic. However, today we see something that is completely unexpected and ironic! It has been referred to as the “Great Resignation” where about 40 percent of the employees are thinking of quitting their jobs with “I quit” now acting as a sign of economic recovery. This is during the same time that inflation has reached its highest level in 13 years! Employers are finding it difficult to hire people and certain franchises of McDonald’s in Florida are taking it to extremes by offering 50 dollars for people to show up at interviews.
Why is this great reshuffling within the IT and service sector taking place? People are switching careers, employers, and locations, finding work they value much more, over money. During the last year, as some businesses downsized their staff, the increased workload fell on fewer employees who had to pick up the slack. All of a sudden, one person was doing the work for two, and the expectation was that they were fortunate enough to have been employed, but now, the tables have turned. The employee marketplace has transformed drastically within the past 20 years with an increasing pace of automation and digitisation. This has led to the rise of the ‘gig workforce’ involving employing people based on demand/ contracts.
It provides greater flexibility and autonomy to the workforce in a virtual plane while in a traditional context, the employees are bound in rigid organisation contracts, rules, and regulations.
Workers of the IT sector have realised that they can get just as much done from home, if not more while saving time on commuting, spending more time with friends and family, and saving money in the process. To attract top talent, businesses are bending backward to make their employees happy. Analysing this situation we find that ‘monetary and financial incentives are not the key to retaining the talent’. The takeaway from this is that the problem is much deeper.
Perhaps this can be linked with the human nature of ‘exploring and discovering oneself’. Psychology has proven that people who work from intrinsic motivation as a service for the masses achieve a sense of contentment. This feeling that they achieve is what can be termed as feeling spiritual. Spirituality and religion are usually expressed together and often misunderstood. Spirituality talks about ‘enhancing and exploring oneself’ whereas religion talks about ‘path to god following a set of practices often formally shared and dictated by the religious group’.
Spirituality has been linked to generating a positive relationship with the emotional and psychological well-being of employees (Pawar, 2016). It has also been attributed to a reduction in stress, conflict, and absenteeism, which also contributes to employee’s performance and improves their quality of life. By aligning the skills of employees in the roles they play at work brings a positive environment and improves the commitment to their tasks. A study by Khanifer (2010), reiterates the learnings so far that job satisfaction brings in personal enrichment among employees, and more committed to the organisation. Understanding why this aspect is vital will help the organisation to get insights into employee’s decision-making around an intent to stay/quit the organisation. It will further help organisations to plan their human resource strategies towards employee meaningful job design, satisfaction, and retention. This helps organisations to create a value for employees to connect with their value system. Spirituality has become a part of management today and is being recognized by scholars and practitioners alike.
When a leader is spiritually strong, it means that the culture prevailing in that organisation would also be healthy, and he would act as a bridge between the managers and employees to communicate effectively and make them feel equally responsible for organisational goals. The organisations whose objectives are based on spiritual values would offer more opportunities for personal growth and development. This sense of growth would then help increase an employee’s passion and enthusiasm.
Through cultural transformation, workplace spirituality can be achieved. Providing training on spiritual lectures, meditation, and integrity for other sects, would enhance cultural transformation. By focusing on the presence of workplace spirituality, it will help give an idea about task performance, and prioritisation. Eventually making them work on time and even manage the workload. It would help reinforce patience towards the working environment, resulting in less stress, and high commitment to their work as well as to the organisation.
Also, it leads to a trusting environment, where people not only start to depend upon each other but also believe in their company which might improve communication and make them good at their integrity. Not only does spirituality help in adding value to the community in a meaningful way, but it also enhances the kindness, empathy, and support values of an individual. Enriching one’s human aspect in this materialistic and corrupted world!
It is time we realise how spirituality can play a crucial role in recognizing huge potential, monetizing assets, and helping people get expertise, but for that, we first have to shake the bureaucratic baggage and years of neglect!
Perhaps, spirituality can help solve most of the issues our world is facing! After all, it highlights humans to act like one!
PS : the time frame of the whole article is of June 2021
-Shreya Sai Duddu