Building a Caring Workplace

Dina Steiner, Founder and Director of Spirit at Work ATX

In the past twenty years, there has been an increasing amount of research into the idea of “workplace spirituality”, particularly in the area of organizational psychology. Researchers have explored the question of what makes a workplace “spiritual” and whether it makes a difference. What I find particularly interesting is that the research has been conducted across all different religious cultures – from the US (predominately Christian) to Pakistan (predominately Muslim) to India (Hindu and Muslim) – with similar findings.

A great article in the Cogent Journal of Business and Management (vol 3, issue 1, 2016, Hassan, et al) defined workplace spirituality of consisting of three elements:

1) Meaningful work – “I see a connection between my job and the larger social good of the community” and “The work I do is connected to what I think is important in life.”
2) Community of Support – “I feel as though I am supported in all areas of my work and life by my co-workers and management.”
3) Organizational values – “I feel like the company’s values are in alignment with my own and I know how to live out those values in the work I do.”

When those three elements are in place, employers have reported an increased sense of worker satisfaction which has positive correlation with increased productivity and worker retention.

Businesses of all size should ask themselves what they are doing to support all three of these areas. Feeling that management actually cares who you are and not just what you do, but how you do it, can go a long way in making an employee feel valued.

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