I recently participated in a string of LinkedIn posts involving whether the workplace needed spirituality. I had a real problem with this. A bunch of people, with a few exceptions, insisted that the workplace required more spirituality. My first question was whether the workplace needs anything and whether adding something like spirituality is anything more than someone’s idea of starting a new fad, such as the Peter principle dogma from the last century.

But my real question was whether spirituality has any meaning at all. You start with the word spirit. That sounds supernatural to me. I live in the natural world and believe that is all there is. There’s no evidence of the paranormal. Some people believe in it, but that does not mean it is true.

Does it represent some new concept of management that is appropriate in the business world? What does it mean? Nobody had an answer to that one. A word that has no meaning does not advance the management of people in business or otherwise in life.

Spirituality is akin to and a surrogate of religion. I think most people use it as a euphemism for religion when they don’t really want to speak of religion’s dogma that introduces all kinds of issues about whether there is a God, about what religion is the right one, and if it’s Christianity which denomination, which branch of which denomination, which church, which sect and so on.

All the concepts of morality are well established in our species and have been for a long time, most of which preceded religion. Spirituality in the workplace doesn’t really add anything. It attempts to suggest a higher calling into some state of belief and faith in supernatural medicine. I’m really concerned about this because the religious right is insidious and tries to worm its dogma into all aspects of life.

We know that workers must be intelligent and talented. They must have honesty, integrity, empathy, and transparency, to name a few of the virtues we are all familiar with and to which we all aspire. We don’t need to introduce some new fad such as spirituality, especially since we cannot even define, let alone explain, how it should enhance the workplace environment.


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