Employees in Search of Spirituality

A survey shows American workers are seeking for the quality of internal trust and good relationship.
( [email protected] ) Apr 24, 2004 09:13 AM EDT

Christians across the nation are in search of spiritual comfort in workplaces, trying to break the fear of expressing faith among the colleagues and to be more embracing of practicing faith in between breaks, which at the end leads to strong relationship in God.

What distinguishes a Christian workplace from other secular companies?

ChristianityToday will be releasing 50 Best Christian Workplaces in May and according to its survey, although Christian employees tend to be paid less than their counterparts in the secular workplace, what draws them to work at Christian companies are the quality of internal trust and good relationship.

The survey also included that it is the humble attitude of reliance on God and their faith that God has provided them with competent and trustworthy coworkers that make strong relationship between the coworkers.

"We commissioned the survey in order to affirm and foster the attitude of servant leadership among Christian workplaces," said associate editor Agnieszka Tennant, “Successful leaders know that the quality of an organization's ministry and the quality of internal trust are directly related." says BCWI executive director Al Lopus. Adds Tennant, "We've learned from the two surveys that Christian employees, who tend to be paid less than their counterparts in the secular workplace, draw their rewards primarily from good relationships in the workplace and ownership of their projects."

Meanwhile, there has been an effort put in by a Catholic nun, who holds seminar for the business leaders to remind them of the importance of maintaining spirituality in workplaces.

"Spirituality has to do with a person identifying his or her own deepest values that serve as a kind of glue for their lives," said Sister Barbara Quinn, director of University of San Diego's Center for Christian Spirituality, which sponsored the inaugural series.

"The way they feel inside is how they feel outside," said Quinn. And when values and behavior are split, "that wreaks havoc in people and that wreaks havoc in the world."

With the help of a local executive and a USD colleague, Quinn designed a series of seminars people from the business world such as banking, construction, sales and more.

"We're not offering pious platitudes," she said. "We're trying to look at the complexities of the challenges."

Johanna Hunsaker, professor of management and organizational behavior at USD participated who participated in the seminar spoke at the session emphasizing on servitude:

"The servant leader is a servant first," Hunsaker said. "It's different than a person who wants to lead because they have a drive for power or material possessions. It's what drives you first. Are the people you serve growing? Are they healthier? Are they being paid a living wage?"

She added, "It is intentional, it is hard and it is based on love."

Quinn wants to offer this program in the fall. Her center also co-sponsored a class for students and lawyers this semester on spirituality and the law.

"Spirituality is so misunderstood in our culture – that it's a fluffy, soft thing," she said. "It takes a lot of courage to pay attention to core values and make decisions on that."