Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Post lockdown when businesses resume we suggest you adopt “#Namaste” for your in-person meetings instead of the handshake, though this trend has already picked up post the #COVID19 outbreak with world leaders like Israel PM Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump taking the lead. But in addition to keeping you safe as you follow #socialdistancing, there are other benefits of this simple gesture.
First, let us understand what “Namaste” means: this gesture is used to welcome guests or relatives, as well as for acknowledging strangers, and works both as salutation and valediction. The gesture is said to express honour, courtesy, politeness, hospitality and gratitude to the other person.
Derived from the Sanskrit language, Namaste is formed by joining two words, namas and te. ‘Namas’ means ‘bow’, ‘adorations’, ‘obeisance’ and ‘salutation’; and ‘te’ means ‘to you’. Therefore, the literal meaning of Namaste is ‘bowing to you’. Namaste can be said without the bow as well, but when you say it with the bow, it makes the greeting more formal and respectful, especially when you say it to an elder or an important person.
According to the Hindu customs, Namaste has a spiritual meaning too. Hindus believe that ‘the divine and soul is the same in everybody’. So when you say Namaste to someone, it implies ‘I bow to the divine in you’. When you say Namaste by bowing your head and joining your hands, the gesture implies ‘may our minds meet’. This is a great way of expressing your love, respect and friendship to the person whom you meet.
Respect is the keyword that we want to elaborate upon, and how that can impact your business. In the workplace, over half of employees claim that they don’t regularly get respect from their leaders. This is especially notable since employees also report that being treated with respect by leaders is more important than any other leader behaviour.
When it comes to garnering commitment and engagement from employees, there is one thing that leaders need to demonstrate: #Respect. That’s what a study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world (conducted with HBR and Tony Schwartz) discovered.
Respect contributes to job satisfaction and increases employee engagement: In respectful workplaces, employees are more engaged and productive. It is the top contributor to overall employee job satisfaction. Harvard Business Review found that respect was the number one behaviour, above all others, that would lead to greater employee engagement and commitment.
Respect creates a fair environment: When a manager respects his or her employees, there is no room for harassment, favouritism, or bullying. In a respectful environment, relationship building and strengthening can be better understood as the foundation of quality work.
Respect also boosts the bottom line and adds to business growth.
Starting with “Namaste” in your organisation is a great way to show respect to your employees, colleagues or customers on an everyday basis and promote harmony in light of the challenges that all businesses are facing and will continue to face for some time due to the impact of #Coronavirus / COVID-19.