Significance of Spirituality in Leadership

Spiritual leadership may be a significant part of the sustainable workplace. Spiritual leaders need to find a balance between their own interests, the interest of the employees, the interests of the organization, and the interest of the society. Leadership has a central role in instilling a sense of the spiritual realm in the individual, the team, and at the organizational level at work.

Many research studies have shown that there is a clear consistency between spiritual values and practices, according to the model of spiritual leadership proposed by Fry. Personal spiritual qualities provide the foundation on which leaders may build to hone their skills and competencies to foster a sustainability mindset by seeking higher levels of consciousness, self-awareness, and other-centeredness, creating a spiritual workplace, which is essential for maximizing the triple bottom line through spiritual leadership.

Transition to sustainability requires a transition from self-centeredness to other- and nature-centeredness, and from materialistic management to spiritual and ethical management. This, in turn, affects life satisfaction and human health and well-being. It is believed that today’s business model focuses on the goals of egoism and the materialistic conception of man, which results in the increased exploitation of employees, decreased community well-being, and serious environmental decline.

Spiritual leader enhances the need for connecting to others at work and to work itself, indicating a sense of meaning that allows one to see work as a calling rather than a job. Viewing work as a calling is related to employee motivation and satisfaction, group productivity and performance, as well as leader motivation.

Job satisfaction has been associated with workplace satisfaction, which is one of the elements of a sustainable workplace. Moreover, some research has indicated that the more sustainable and spiritual a working environment, the less absenteeism and turnover.

Thus, spiritual leadership works not only by stimulating positive feelings but also by eliminating negative feelings, such as stress and fear.

Employees who consider being spiritual are less fearful. Many human resources specialists often focus on symptoms of disengagement such as stress, burnout, poor decision-making, and high absence rates rather than the root causes.

Many researchers have shown that spiritual leadership can mitigate the negative effects of job burnout and counterproductive work behavior. Absenteeism, job stress, and depression cost businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity. This evidence has shown that a spiritual workplace leads to beneficial personal outcomes such as increased positive human health and psychological well-being and, in the bottom-line, issues of productivity as well. This leads to maintaining sustainability in the workplace.

Helping workers express spiritual values in their work improves leader effectiveness in job satisfaction, morale, and commitment. Spiritual leaders, identifying the basic needs of employees, can motivate them intrinsically by giving them faith and hope so they can be a highly committed, motivated, and productive team. This strong intrinsic motivation provides task involvement and goal identification because it meets the higher-order needs of individuals, such as self-efficacy, a sense of autonomy, and connections. Several studies have shown that these qualities are positively associated with higher levels of organizational commitment and productivity not only at an individual level but also at team level.

Some studies have presented that spirituality at work effects a greater sense of teamwork and community. It can be assumed that employees who are committed to their organizations are probably committed to their society at large. Paying attention to society is one of the main elements of sustainability. This sense of community motivates employees to participate in citizenship behavior and care for others.

Spirituality in the workplace is demonstrated by organizational citizenship behavior and has a significant influence on the performance of environmental sustainability. Demonstration of social behavior by taking care of the natural environment is one of the most important manifestations of sustainable development.

The more humane a workplace is, the more productive, flexible, and creative is the organization.

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