Business spirituality can also land in bookkeeping

The words spirituality and accounting firms do not often appear in the same sentence. And yet, business spirituality is an extremely important force behind good business results. An inspired company is a powerful company, where craftsmanship, meaning and coherence intervene and reinforce each other.

Business spirituality is – to quell the prejudices right away – anything but woolly. There really are no goat wool socks or incense sticks involved. Business spirituality stands for creating inspiration in your company, feeling for the human dimension and looking for everyone’s qualities. It deals with head and heart. The need for this also fits in with the zeitgeist. Many employees feel like a small cog in a big system, which appeals to the ‘am I doing something?’ feeling. For companies where it plays a role, the challenge is to get fire and inspiration back into their company, because employees who feel this way have (almost) extinguished the flame. For this, they often have to go back to the basics: why did we start our business, what was our dream? That question is important because the answer to it reveals what their original inspiration was.

Where are we going together?

Employees are therefore increasingly longing for meaning and coherence at the moment. The commercialization within many organizations (and, for example, more people working from home) plays a role in this. For many employees, this has started a personal search for answers to questions such as: what suits me, why do I (still) do what I do, what do I find important, what do I stand for? These questions are not only relevant for the individual employee, but also at company level. What do we stand for as a company, what do we want to mean to society? What is our goal? Why do we do the things we do? It is now proven that businesses flourish much better if they are aware of meaning and inspiration. This also creates a financial incentive for companies to get started.

Spiritual intelligence

Every person has, in addition to an IQ and an EQ, a spiritual intelligence. A spiritual deepening which gives insight into what drives you as a person and what you stand for. Business spirituality is on the same ‘axis’. A company where business spirituality is strongly present is characterized by an organizational culture where people can feel at home and enjoy working. This is of crucial importance for organizations dealing with demotivated employees. It can make both the organization and its employees realize what it is all about for them. What goals are pursued and whether the employees support them. Do they matter to them?

According to Paul de Blot, former professor of Business Spirituality at Nyenrode, business spirituality basically revolves around three pillars: expertise, Cooperation and deepening (self-awareness). To achieve a goal together with inspiration, people must be able to give meaning to their work and use their expertise. Business spirituality therefore requires a deep reflection on an organization’s core values ​​and those of the individual. Making room for business spirituality means putting these essential questions back in the spotlight.

De Blot says: ‘In business spirituality the law of simplicity applies. It’s not about big things, but about small things. Do your job well. Treat your employees and customers well. Take care of yourself. Three very common lessons. It’s not about doing special things, but about doing the things you already do in a different way. With more attention and more love, so that what is done makes more sense and contributes to the world and yourself. So with business spirituality you make a quality improvement. Every organization looks for its own way in this because corporate spirituality is tailor-made spirituality. The company’s goals.’

Why an inspired organization?

Employees are looking for an organization that offers more than just a place to work and a salary. The organization must connect to something fundamental that resonates with the person concerned. It attracts people and connects people. It is certainly an organization’s decisive competence in a very tight labor market. Small example: Dille & Kamille deliberately closed their doors on Black Friday because they did not want to contribute to the crazy shopping spree that day. It is a statement in favor of sustainability that employees (but also customers who consider sustainability important) can appreciate. Customers are also looking less and less for just one product or service. They search a story that fits them and feels good. To deliver the sense of purpose that customers seek, employees must know, have embraced and be able to tell an organization’s ‘story’. Only then do they show their commitment and inspiration, which can inspire customers to form a relationship with the organization or brand.

Concrete tips for an inspired organizational culture

  • A positive, authentic organizational culture can enable people and organizations to flourish. Then the soul of the organization speaks and this is reflected in committed and enthusiastic employees. You feel it immediately in the working environment, the collaboration and therefore in the performance. Human potential forms the basis for the organization and for sustainable success. You can strengthen and stimulate an inspired working environment with the following tips:
  • Think, act and communicate based on intention of your organization. What do you believe in as an organization, why do you do what you do and why is it important? This is your right to exist! Then outline how you want to achieve this and how people and culture are part of that strategy. Make sure that your employees want to participate and contribute to the realization of this common goal.
  • The interconnection between people in an organization is an important aspect of business spirituality. This ensures, among other things, the team spirit that you need for good cooperation. Try to observe from a wider perspective and pay real attention to the people in your company. Your employee is so much more than just his or her functional attributes. In short, really make time for each other, for personal contact. In this way, you discover what lives in the other person and where his or her needs lie. The other person also gets the chance to get to know you better, to discover what you value and why.
  • Create an environment where the value of each is recognized. Unique in character, needs and talents that employees want to develop and use. An environment where diversity is valued and included.
  • Mutual trust forms the basis of autonomy. It is trusting yourself, your team and the organization to excel together. Mistakes are allowed – and even necessary – to learn and grow. Communicate honestly and transparently with each other and also treat each other constructively and respectfully during conflicts. The focus is on achieving joint performance goals as well as individual development goals.
  • Create an environment where your employees can be themselves. Where vulnerability is seen as strength. Vulnerability is uncertainty, daring to take risks and daring to expose oneself. From there you can develop your skills and make connections with others. It requires an environment that feels safe and challenging, so that authenticity has room.
  • Show compassion, both for yourself and for the other person. Assume that you are meaningful to yourself and consider what meaning you have to the other person and to the organization you work for. Try to put your ego aside, acknowledge and accept your own imperfection. Take yourself a little less seriously. From self-insight you also gain insight into the other.
  • Allow time for reflection. We once thought we had to work efficiently for eight hours a day, but it just doesn’t work that way. Take a break in time and also use time for reflection.
  • Profit is nice, but never perfect. It’s about value.

Business spirituality is good for any business. And can therefore ‘land’ much more. Also within accounting.

It remains for me to wish you at the end of the year a few pleasant days of reflection. Just put aside all the worries and inventions of the brain. And really tune into yourself. I would like to thank Annemarie Oord for her contribution to the realization of this article.

Good holiday!

Gerrie van der Wal is general manager, (NLP) coach and trainer at Fiscount.

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