2006 International Spirit at Work Award Announces Honorees

Share Article

Five companies from India, Germany, Australia and the United States recognized for engaging the “heart of business”

The honorees of the 2006 International Spirit at Work Award (ISAW) were announced today and will be recognized at the ISAW Award Conference to be held at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York October 27 - 29, 2006.

The ISAW honorees are pioneering organizations that are energized and motivated to respond to the call of our times for corporate cultural transformation. In an age of high-stress work environments and focus on short-term financial gain, these companies stand out for their interest in the spiritual well-being of their employees.

“These companies are successful public and private organizations that have integrated high ethical standards and various spiritual values and practices that inspire and honor their stakeholders,” said Judi Neal, executive director for the Association for Spirit at Work. “These organizations are showing us a better way. They reflect the recognized opportunity that honoring the human spirit actually results in a more sustainable and financially successful business operation.”

This year’s five honorees are:

  •     Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. Located in Mumbai, India, this 6,000-employee pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and research company provides spiritual guidance to its employees by incorporating prayer into routine work functions, providing yoga and meditation and allowing employees of all religions the expression of their own spiritual beliefs. They have demonstrated commitment to the community by establishing programs to help empower women, teach the poor and nurture people’s health in significant ways.
  •     Search for Common Ground. Headquartered in Washington D.C. but with locations around the world, this 300-employee non-profit is dedicated to transforming the way people, organizations and governments deal with conflict – away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions.
  •     Keller Williams Realty. This national real estate company headquartered in Austin, Texas states in its values that it values God first, then family, then business. The company works hard to build a culture that nourishes the human spirit throughout the organization and with all those that they touch in the communities where they work.
  •     Jesuit Social Services. With 110 employees headquartered in Victoria, Australia, Jesuit Social Services provides a range of direct services designed to highly disadvantaged young people, families and communities. They work to effect social change at a local, state and national level through research, social policy and advocacy work.
  •     Clean Servicepower GmbH. This 1,250-employee cleaning company based in Bonn, Germany, is a model for building a company on spiritual principles and values and allowing these principles to guide the actions of the organization. A role model for environmental concern, Clean Servicepower has woven spiritual principles into its service offerings, providing holistic cleaning services.

To be selected for the 2006 ISAW award, these organizations met the following criteria:

  •     Have at least 60 full-time employees and are at least five years old;
  •     Demonstrated that both vertical and horizontal dimensions of spirituality are implemented at their organizations;
  •     Have sustained the explicitly spiritual project, policy or practice for at least one year;
  •     Have a long-term commitment to continuing spirit at work initiatives;
  •     Are considered exemplary in their commitment to spirit at work.

The International Spirit at Work Award is organized in cooperation with the World Business Academy, the European Baha’i Business Forum and the Spirit in Business World Institute.

The 2006 ISAW conference, to be held October 27 – 29, 2006, offers workshops by the CEOs, executives and internal change agents who have received the International Spirit at Work Awards. Keynote speakers are Hearthstone Homes CEO John Smith; Futurist John Renesch; Diana Whitney, an expert on appreciative inquiry; and Peter and Monika Ressler, the authors of Spiritual Capitalism. For additional information and to register, visit http://www.spiritatwork.org.

The Association for Spirit at Work (ASAW) is a non-profit association of individuals and organizations interested in the study and/or practice of spirituality in the workplace. This annual awards program recognizes companies around the world that have implemented specific policies, programs or practices that nurture spirituality inside their organizations. This award was inspired by the work of Willis Harman, Ph.D. (1919-1997) who was a visionary thinker, futurist and social scientist who continuously articulated the possibility for humankind to transcend the limits of out-moded thinking. The award honors organizations that are living examples of Willis Harman’s vision that business will play a major role in transforming social consciousness.

Thirty-one companies from 11 countries have been honored in the last four years. These include The Body Shop (United Kingdom), The Times of India (India), Elcoteq Communications Technology GmbH (Germany) and Hearthstone Homes (United States).

About Spirituality in the Workplace

“Spirituality in the workplace” means that employees find nourishment for both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of their spirituality at work. Examples of vertical organizational spirituality include: meditation time at the beginning of meetings, retreat or spiritual training time set aside for employees, appropriate accommodation of employee prayer practices, and openly asking questions to test if the company’s actions are aligned with higher meaning and purpose.

Companies with a strong sense of the horizontal generally demonstrate some or all of the following: caring behaviors among co-workers; a social responsibility orientation; strong service commitments to customers; environmental sensitivity; and a significant volume of community service activities. The vertical and horizontal dimensions are well integrated so that motivations (sourced from the vertical) and actions (horizontal manifestations) are explicitly linked.

The International Spirit at Work Awards honor organizations that are financially sound and effective, as well as focused on greater meaning and purpose. When done properly, spirit at work enhances the overall value of the organization.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author