Spirituality and business never seemed to mix. It appeared that there was no room in the corporate world for one to be connected to their own spirit and certainly not bring it into the office. The clash was too wide, the chiasm too deep. In the spiritual realm we focus on being compassionate and caring for others. The business world was “dog eat dog”. Everyone was out for themselves. It was all about making the most money, winning the power games and being in control. There wasn’t time or energy to put into being “spiritual”. “Let’s be practical”.
Fortunately the tide has been changing and more and more people are welcoming in spirituality into business.
The word spirituality brings up a lot of different contentions for people, so it has still be the “hush, hush” word. We have worked around it through it, looked over it and pulled it through the back door. Now it is time to bring it out into the open. It is time to accept ourselves as truly spiritual beings having a human experience. The more we live in this place, the more it becomes a part of our everyday experience and as such, it needs to be incorporated into everything in our lives. And that includes business.
I have been in a fortunate position of not having to work for someone else most of my life. Choosing to be an “at-home Mum” meant that I had many years of focusing on my children. Then I decided to work for myself for many years while they were still at school. Essentially they had Mum home with them all of their childhood. A rare thing these days, although it meant sacrifice, it is a decision I think the whole family has been happy with.
Then the big shocker. I sold my business and took a “J-O-B”. Oh my. I always had a pretty good business head and I felt I was coming from a good place, however the business world can be quite cut-throat. Even working for a company who had a key value of “integrity” was an eye opener to the reality of what was going on in the corporate world.
I was working long hours and traveling 3 hours a day. I was losing my soul. My connection with spirit was lessening all the time. I didn’t have the energy or time for myself that is essential. I doubted the ethics of many companies that I was dealing with. There was no room for people and who they really were; it was all about the big buck. Lying and underhanded ways appeared to be a part of day to day life. “What can we get away with?” Screwing the little guys down to almost breaking point so that the big boys could line their pockets more.
I was so grateful that I was able to jump ship and find a new sense of direction.
First of all I had to find me. I had become lost in all the day-to-day nonsense of the corporate world. This is not how it should be, when the business is built from passion and heart that should be reflected in everything that happens in and around the business. The employees should feel it; the share-holders, the customers, the suppliers and the distributors should all be a part of the bigger picture. A business is built upon one (or a few) person’s dream, their idea, the fulfilment of their life purpose, so shouldn’t everyone else who works there or engages with the company feel it and be a part of that.
What I see all around me is people unhappy in their work. I have seen my family members working for companies that have been “dodgy” in their treatment of their employees. They have been taken advantage of, underpaid, under-recognised for their commitment and generally treated badly.
I have spoken to friends about their experiences with bullying in the work place. They have given their all to a job. They have worked diligently, been loyal and done their best, even exceptional work, and then all of the sudden something changes and their lives are literally turned to hell. No-one should work under these circumstances.
We spend so much of our lives working. It should be an experience of joy for us. It should give us a sense of purpose and fulfilment, not despair. When you give your life away to a business, especially when it is not yours, there needs to be reward. You need to feel cared about and nourished in this “community”. When you do, you want to be there, you want to do your best, and you want to give what you have to give. When people are able to be fulfilled in their work, they are the best employees. Why not give them a chance to be that.
The way a business operates has a lot to do with employee satisfaction. It is very hard to feel happy in your job and about what is happening if the company doesn’t have clear values and ethics to live by. When you are questioning what is going on and why all of the time then that is where your mind is, not on doing your work and giving it your best.
In the 21st century it seems to me that more and more businesses want to care about their staff, the community and the world. It is no longer good enough to just take what you want and not worry about everyone else. Consumers want to buy and frequent businesses that have a good sense of community. They want to feel good about who they are dealing with. No longer can a business be “faceless”. You need to be up front and out there with who you really are. When the consumers “like you, know you and trust you” only then will you get their business.
So it is time for the turn around. It is time to bring out the spirit of what and who the business is and what it represents. It is time to find the big why of your business and your life and share with those who work with you, those who you deal with and your customers. It is a new age and it is spirituality that leads the way. Will your business join this crusade?