In the fourth post of this series, I offered a checklist to help organizations support high levels of emotional energy among their employees. This fifth and final post is focused on how organizations can help people protect, sustain, and build their spiritual energy.
Spiritual energy is the ability to connect to and draw on a sense of purpose, meaning, and passion. People use spiritual energy when they choose to do the right thing even when it’s not easy; do things that benefit other people, the community they live in, and causes that are larger than their own interests; and find meaning in the midst of painful circumstances. When people have low levels of spiritual energy, they may feel disconnected from the world around them, believe that life has no purpose other than for short-term pleasure, and take no joy from beautiful things. Because the workplace is a significant source of meaning and purpose for many people, organizations have an important role in helping people protect, sustain, and build their spiritual energy.
Here are some questions for leaders and change agents to consider regarding the organization’s support for spiritual well-being:
[ ] Values Has the organization articulated a set of values to guide its decisions and actions? Does the organization take active steps to live by the values it espouses? Does the organization encourage discussion and exploration of personal values?
[ ] Integrity Do the organization’s leaders effectively model high levels of personal integrity? Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage telling the truth, owning up to errors and mistakes, and taking steps to close gaps in integrity? Does the organization support people who raise concerns related to integrity and ethics?
[ ] Purpose Has the organization clearly articulated its mission? Does the mission include a clear connection to something beyond the organization itself? Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage people to see a connection between their personal sense of meaning and their work within the organization?
[ ] Character Does the organization spend time focusing on positive human characteristics such as honor, courage, loyalty, and love? Are there opportunities for people to reflect on and develop their character? Do the organization’s norms and practices support people who take action consistent with their personal values even when personal and organizational sacrifices are required?
[ ] Feedback Are leaders open to candid feedback? Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage people to seek and value constructive feedback? Do people reflect on feedback they have received and use it to grow and develop?
[ ] Service Does the organization engage in some form of service (pro bono work, volunteer activities, contributions to social causes, etc.?) Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage individuals to participate in service-related activities? Do people within the organization provide support and assistance to one another?
[ ] Self-Care Do the organization’s leaders provide positive models of managing and maintaining high levels of personal energy? Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage people to take time for vacation, leave, and other forms of recreation and replenishment? Do leaders attend to signs of employee burnout and provide coaching and resources to help people protect and nourish their personal energy?
I encourage you to take a few minutes to evaluate your organization and identify some simple changes that can help you, and those around you, create and sustain higher levels of spiritual energy.
This is the final entry in this series. I hope it has provided some food for thought. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can assess and improve your organization’s human energy sustainability practices, please send me a note!