Cultural

What is Spirituality and true Ethics in human life and ethics in corporate citizenship

At SAICONSCIOUSNESS-we are group of peoples, minds and follower of Sri SaiBaba and following his golden words in our day to day practice. In modern worlds, most of the people today are finding that there’s more to life, true ethics, devine blessing, spirituality and yogic with good karmic understanding, and corporate citizenship and the transactional business—than profits alone. Money as the single bottom line is increasingly a thing of the past. In a post-Enron world, values and ethics are an urgent concern. The hottest buzz today is about a “triple bottom line,” a commitment to “people, planet, profit.” Employees and the environment are seen as important as economics. Some people say it’s all about bringing your spiritual values into your workplace. Todays , we all are suffering with stress life, disease, in ability with our busy minds, and stressed out with lots of suffering. As per a research journals, published in USA Today claims that , 6 out of 10 people say workplaces would benefit from having a great sense of spirit, with yogic practice, good spiritual thinking capabilities in mind, it can empower our own life and it can enhance better productivity in the work environment.

What is Yogic/ Spirituality in Day to day Life, Corporate life

At workplace spirituality is most often defined as workers seeking connectedness in their work community and exploring their inner selves. Some authors extend the notion of connectedness to say that workplace spirituality is about interconnectedness not just with other people but also with the environment, God, indeed with all things in the universe (Mitroff, 2003; Mitroff and Denton, 1999). As already stated, researchers suggest that workplace spirituality and business ethics may be related, but they have only begun to consider what this linkage is and how it may unfold. Moreover, the workplace spirituality as enhancing a worker’s awareness of how his or her company’s products affect the environment. This increased awareness prompts behavior and decision making that takes a wider view, beyond the worker and their organization, so that decisions are likely made which minimize damage to the environment.

There’s a wide range of important perspectives. Some people say that it’s simply embodying their personal values of honesty, integrity, and good quality work. Others say it’s treating their co-workers and employees in a responsible, caring way. For others, it’s participating in spiritual study groups or using prayer, meditation, or intuitive guidance at work. And for some, it’s making their business socially responsible in how it impacts the environment, serves the community or helps create a better world. Some business people are comfortable using the word “spirituality” in the work environment, as it’s more generic and inclusive than “religion.” Instead of emphasizing belief as religion does, the word spirituality emphasizes how values are applied and embodied. Other people aren’t comfortable with the word “spiritual” and prefer to talk more about values and ethics when describing the same things that others would call spiritual. But there are some businesspeople who talk about God as their business partner or their CEO.

There’s some fear about spiritual beliefs or practices being imposed by employers, but to date this has been extremely rare. On the other hand, some observers warn about the potential for superficiality and the distortion of spiritual practices to serve greed.

Key spiritual values embraced in a business context include integrity, honesty, accountability, quality, cooperation, service, intuition, trustworthiness, respect, justice, and service. The Container Store chain nationwide tells workers they are “morally obligated to help customers solve problems” – they’re not just to sell people products. The CEO of Vermont Country Store, a popular national catalogue company, honored--instead of fired--an employee who told the truth in a widely circulated memo. This greatly increased morale and built a sense of trust in his company.

Research on Spirituality and the Bottom Line and how to attain the salvation and true human ship

Are spirituality and profitability mutually exclusive? Bringing ethics and spiritual values into the workplace can lead to increased productivity and profitability as well as employee retention, customer loyalty, and brand reputation, according to a growing body of research. More employers are encouraging spirituality as a way to boost loyalty and enhance morale

In the Corporate Social and Financial Performance report, Mark Orlitsky of the University of Sydney (Australia) and Sara Rynes of the University of Iowa (USA) reviewed studies over the last 30 years and found a significant relationship between socially responsible business practices and financial performance that varied from “moderate” to “very positive.”

A study done at the University of Chicago by Prof. Curtis Verschoor and published in Management Accounting found that companies with a defined corporate commitment to ethical principles do better financially than companies that don’t make ethics a key management component. Public shaming of Nike’s sweatshop conditions and slave wages paid to overseas workers led to a 27% drop in its earnings several years ago. And recently, the shocking disregard of ethics and subsequent scandals led to financial disaster for Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Global Crossing, and others.

Business Week magazine reported on recent research by McKinsey and Company in Australia that found productivity improves and turnover is greatly reduced when companies engage in programs that use spiritual techniques for their employees.

In researching companies for his book, A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America, business professor Ian I. Mitroff found that “Spirituality could be the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Ed Quinn, a top business consultant in Philadelphia, found that many companies he works with demand confidentiality about the spiritual techniques he teaches them—but not because they’re afraid of publicity about unconventional approaches. The real reason is they don’t want their competition to learn how effective these approaches are.

A study reported in MIT’s Sloan Management Review concluded that, “People are hungry for ways in which to practice their spirituality in the workplace without offending their co-workers or causing acrimony.” The word “spirituality” is used generically and seems to emphasize how one’s beliefs are applied day to day, rather than “religion”, which can invoke fears of dogmatism, exclusivity and proselytizing in the workplace.

Research by UCLA business professor David Lewin found that “companies that increased their community involvement were more likely to show an improved financial picture over a two year time period.” A two year study by the Performance Group, a consortium of seven leading European companies such as Volvo, Monsanto, and Unilever, concluded that environmental compliance and eco-friendly products can increase profitability, enhance earnings per share and help win contracts in emerging markets. Investment returns on the Domini 400 Social Index (publicly traded, socially responsible, triple bottom line companies) have outperformed the S&P 500 over a ten year period ending last year.

Business Week reported that 95% of Americans reject the idea that a corporation’s only purpose is to make money. 39% of U.S. investors say they always or frequently check on business practices, values and ethics before investing. The Trends Report found that 75% of consumers polled say they are likely to switch to brands associated with a good cause if price and quality are equal.

A Growing Movement

A proliferation of book titles (currently over 500) reflects a growing national movement to bring spiritual values into the workplace: Megatrends 2010, The Soul of Business, Liberating the Corporate Soul, Working from the Heart, The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace, Jesus CEO, What Would the Buddha Do At Work?, Spirit at Work, Redefining the Corporate Soul, The Corporate Mystic, Leading with Soul, etc. Some books on this theme, such as Stephen Covey’s pioneering The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, have sold millions of copies.

There are several national newsletters and associations based on spirituality at work, as well as dozens of national conferences on this theme, including one I organized in Washington in 1998 with over 50 leaders, including many from local businesses. The prestigious American Management Association held a conference on “Profiting from a Values-Based Corporate Culture”--on how to tap into the 4th dimension of spirituality and ethics as crucial components for success.

To the surprise of many, this movement is beginning to transform corporate America from the inside out. Growing numbers of business people want their spirituality to be more than just faith and belief--they want it to be practical and applied. They want to bring their whole selves to work--body, mind and spirit. Many business people are finding that the bottom line can be strengthened by embodying their values. They can “do well by doing good.

People at all levels in the corporate hierarchy increasingly want to nourish their spirit and creativity. When employees are encouraged to express their creativity, the result is a more fulfilled and sustained workforce. Happy people work harder and are more likely to stay at their jobs. A study of business performance by the highly respected Wilson Learning Company found that 39% of the variability in corporate performance is attributable to the personal satisfaction of the staff. Spirituality was cited as the second most important factor in personal happiness (after health) by the majority of Americans questioned in a USA Weekend poll, with 47% saying that spirituality was the most important element of their happiness.

Across the country, people increasingly want to bring a greater sense of meaning and purpose into their work life. They want their work to reflect their personal mission in life. Many companies are finding the most effective way to bring spiritual values into the workplace is to clarify the company’s vision and mission, and to align it with a higher purpose and deeper commitment to service to both customers and community.

Why Spirituality Is Popular

Why all the sudden interest in spirituality at work? Researchers point to several key factors. Corporate downsizing and greater demands on remaining workers has left them too tired and stressed to be creative--at the same time that globalization of markets requires more creativity from employees. To survive into the 21st Century, organizations must offer a greater sense of meaning and purpose for their workforce. In today’s highly competitive environment, the best talent seeks out organizations that reflect their inner values and provide opportunities for personal development and community service, not just bigger salaries. Unlike the marketplace economy of 20 years ago, today’s information and services-dominated economy requires instantaneous decision-making and building better relationships with customers and employees.

Also, spending more time at work means there is less time available for religious activities. The New York Times recently reported that a growing number of companies are allowing employees to hold religion classes at work. This accommodates busy professionals who are pressed for time and afraid they have abandoned their faith. Many people are feeling more comfortable in the public expression of their faith.

Another factor in the popularity of spirituality at work is the fact that there are more women in the workplace today, and women tend to focus on spiritual values more often than men. The aging of the large baby boom generation is also a contributor, as boomers find materialism no longer satisfies them and they begin to fear their own mortality. 95% of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit, and 48% say they talked about their religious faith at work that day, according to a 1999 Gallup poll published in Business Week.

Prayer and Meditation in the Workplace and in our day to day life

Many people use prayer at work for several reasons: for guidance in decision-making, to prepare for difficult situations, for a better mind and healthy mind, when they are going through a tough time, or to give thanks for something good. Timberland Shoes CEO Jeffrey B. Swartz uses his prayer book and religious beliefs to guide business decisions and company policy, often consulting his rabbi. Kris Kalra, CEO of BioGenex uses the Hindu holy text, The Bhagavad Gita, to steer his business out of trouble. There are many peoples, are following spirituality and practicing it in their day to day life as a regular interval.

The ABC Evening News reported that The American Stock Exchange has a Torah study group; Boeing has Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayer groups; Microsoft has an on-line prayer service. There is a “Lunch and Learn” Torah class in the banking firm of Sutro and Company inWoodland Hills, CA. New York law firm Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Haroller features Tallmud studies. Koran classes, as well as other religious classes, are featured at defense giant Northrop Gumnan. Wheat International Communications in Reston, Virginia has morning prayers open to all employees, but not required. Spiritual study groups at noon are sometimes called “Higher Power Lunches”—instead of the usual “power lunches.” In addition to prayer and study groups, other spiritual practices at companies include meditation; centering exercises such as deep breathing to reduce stress; visioning exercises; building shared values; active, deep listening; making action and intention congruent; and using intuition and inner guidance in decision-making. According to a study at Harvard Business School published in The Harvard Business Review, business owners credit 80% of their success to acting on their intuition. Meditation classes are now held at many major corporations, such as Medtronic, Apple, Google, Yahoo, McKinsey, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, Hughes Aircraft, Cisco, Raytheon.

Medtronic, which sells medical equipment, pioneered a meditation center at headquarters 20 years ago, and it remains open to all employees today. Medtronic founder Bill George says the purpose of business is “to contribute to a just, open and sustainable society.” He describes a “virtuous circle” whereby motivated, satisfied employees produce satisfied customer, which produce good financial results, which benefit the shareholders. Each year, six customers share their personal stories with employees, sharing how the company’s products have saved their life or that of loved ones, and this inspiration fuels the passion and commitment of employees.

Apple Computer’s offices in California have a meditation room and employees are actually given a half hour a day on company time to meditate or pray, as they find it improves productivity and creativity. A former manager who is now a Buddhist monk leads regular meditations there. Aetna International Chairman Michael A. Stephen praises the benefits of meditation and talks with Aetna employees about using spirituality in their careers. Avaya, a global communications firm that is a spin-off of Lucent/AT& T, has a room set aside for prayer and meditation that is especially appreciated by Muslims, as they must pray five times a day.

Prentice-Hall publishing company created a meditation room at their headquarters which they call the “Quiet Room, where employees can sit quietly and take a mental retreat when they feel too much stress on the job. Sounds True in Colorado, which produces audio and video tapes, has a meditation room, meditation classes and begins meetings with a moment of silence. Employees can take Personal Days to attend retreats or pursue other spiritual interests. Greystone Bakery in upstate New York has a period of meditative silence before meetings begin so people can get in touch with their inner state and focus on the issues to be discussed.

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