“Workplace Spirituality” in Family Firms

Kent Rhodes

One of the hallmarks of workplace spirituality, particularly in family owned businesses, is commitment to the development of people. Many businesses have begun to realize the benefits of treating a person as a whole rather than as an employee by actively supporting their professional and personal development that promotes personal growth and long-term character development. This is particularly evident in successful family businesses that understand the link between employee personal growth and learning with job performance, satisfaction and retention. This emphasis includes providing resources that help employees better understand themselves, develop successful professional and personal relationships, and enhance personal management skills. In family firms, developing people is usually a natural outcome of extending the family feel of the place to employees beyond blood relatives. Long time non-family managers are treated more like siblings, sons, and daughters that bring a love and commitment to the founding family that tends to extend throughout the organization.


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