This is How Meditation at Your Workplace Can Bring Impeccable Benefits With growing need to help employees find fulfilment and contentment, business leaders are striving to create a spiritually friendly organization, without pushing any religion.

By Arun Thukral

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Work-related stress has become a major cause of distress in modern life. The constant work pressure and the rat race to stay ahead of the competition is making employees assume more responsibilities than they can possibly handle, leading to eventual emotional and physical exhaustion. With mounting work pressure, more and more employees are looking out for jobs, which add meaning to their lives and contribute to their overall well-being. They no longer regard work just as a source of livelihood but rather as an opportunity to realize inner satisfaction and a means towards a bigger end. In this shifting scenario, workplace spirituality can play an important role to impart a sense of fulfilment and job satisfaction that the employees today crave.

Many believe that spirituality and business are distinct domains with little or no scope of overlaps. While spirituality is regarded as a personal quest to get in touch with the inner being, businesses are treated as rational entities driven primarily by profit with little regard to individual beliefs. As employees have started spending a majority of their waking hours at work, it has become crucial to let them practice their spiritual beliefs at the workplace as well. By integrating spirituality and work, an organization can not only ensure more successful operations but also boost the sense of meaning for employees. Inculcating spirituality at workplace let employees harmonize their personal and business life making them happier and more productive.

What is workplace spirituality?

At the onset, it is important to understand that spiritual practices are not the same as religious practices. While religion requires an individual to worship a higher power, participate in specific rituals and uphold certain beliefs, spirituality is concerned with an individual's interpretation of spirit and her/his journey to find a deeper meaning to life. Practising spirituality at workplace embodies this spirit to help employees find a meaning in their work and tap their highest potential.

An organization built on the principle of spirituality regards work as a medium to make meaningful contributions to the growth of employees and society. Workplace spirituality is all about creating a positive environment where employees can thrive and flourish. It focuses on enabling employees to find meaning in their roles, connect with their colleagues and contribute to the welfare of the society. By aligning personal conviction with work goals, workplace spirituality ensures holistic development of employees and provides them with a strong sense of purpose.

How can it be implemented?

With growing need to help employees find fulfilment and contentment, business leaders are striving to create a spiritually friendly organization, without pushing any religion. Few techniques that an organization can practice to assist employees in aligning their professional life with personal values and convictions are:

1. Meditation and Yoga: Meditation is known to improve the focus of practitioners by teaching them to be present at the moment. It is a widely practised stress management technique to reduce psychological distress and gain clarity in thoughts. By encouraging employees to meditate and practice yoga, an organization can help them to expand their self- awareness levels, get a deeper understanding of their role, appreciate their contribution and understand the impact they have on others at the workplace.

2. Performance Coach: Management can ease the process of moral and ethical decision-making, which often is the cause of internal conflicts for employees, by identifying few leaders to act as a performance coach. These coaches can counsel employees when faced with ethical dilemmas and guide them in making choices that confers with their inner values. In scenarios where employee decisions are not in the best interest of the organization, the performance coach can help to find alternatives that work out in the best interest of both the parties. Such moral guides can ensure that employees are at peace with all the decisions that they make at their workplace bringing them inner satisfaction and peace.

3. Wellness Programs: Few organizations these days are analyzing health insurance claims of their employees to find out data that indicates pressure points. Based on these inputs, they chalk a program, with professional help, to let employees de-stress and tap their inner potential. Be it through physical exercises, such as Zumba, swimming, etc. or through artistic expressions, such as painting, music, theatre, the management teaches employees to channel their creative abilities and deal with work and personal challenges more effectively. Stronger self-enables employees to see things clearly and make better decisions at work that are in line with their personal convictions.

4. Training & Support: Rising stress-levels at work are causing employees to experience depression and long-term sickness. With training and support programmes, management can equip employees to better deal with their emotions and stress. The art of effectively managing relation can also be taught to strengthen collaborations and sense of camaraderie. The trainers can assist employees in aligning their personal life with professional goals and clearly understand the contributions that they are making for the welfare of others.

How does it help organizations?

The biggest contribution of spirituality at the workplace is nurturing a healthy and happy workforce. It also allows an organization to:

o Win commitment of employees thereby reducing attrition

o Improve productivity through a motivated and driven workforce that brings in more efficiency

o Uphold ethical behaviour in the workplace

o Foster a creative and emotionally intelligent workforce

o Better collaborations to pursue bigger organizational goals

o Positive and vibrant environment

In the current business scenario, employees fell the urge to practice spirituality in the workplace and exercise their personal spiritual values, like honesty and integrity, in their professional life as well. It is imperative that modern organizations understand this need of employees and provide them with opportunities to fully express themselves. By supporting employees to fully explore their life's purpose and tap their gifts, spirituality at workplace plays an important in creating a healthy work culture. Organizations that embrace this philosophy empower employees to nourish their inner self and work towards goals that are both personally as well as professionally meaningful to them.

Arun Thukral

CEO & MD of Axis Securities

Mr. Arun Thukral has over 25 years of professional experience in the financial services industry. He has been associated with Axis Bank since inception, in his last role, he was the Head of Resources & Strategic Initiatives at Axis Bank Treasury. Initially, for 4 years, he worked with Unit Trust of India. He is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers Association & Certified Financial Planner – Financial Planning Standards Board.

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