Religious retreats are found to be more effective than traditional therapeutic methods at promoting the emotional well-being of employees.
Employers looking for an answer to the problem of workplace burnout might consider sending their employees on a religious retreat, scientists at the Universities of Lancaster and Strathclyde say.
After spending three years interviewing visitors to the Catholic pilgrimage site in Lourdes, France, researchers concluded that trips to spiritual destinations (or “emotional tourism,” as the researchers call it) offer an effective therapeutic antidote to workplace stress.
In a report in the Daily Telegraph, Dr. Leighanne Higgins, who led the research, noted that “therapeutic servicescapes” can help businesses cultivate the emotional well being of their employees:
“Our research is helpful because it can show how businesses can cultivate emotions to promote well-being, especially when society tells us these emotions should not be displayed or shared in public,” she said. “Therapeutic servicescapes could be helpful for personal and/or company retreats or employee training to help with workplace stress, anxiety and mental health well-being. “Likewise they could be helpful for companies wishing to build such a service experience to help promote emotional well-being. “Religious landscapes have a unique foothold in the market, and it is likely that we will see demand for pilgrimages continue to increase.”
This news would come as no surprise to the late Michele Ferrero, founder of the confectioner Nutella. He, along with his top manager, made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and organized a visit to the French shrine for his employees.