MINDFULNESS AT WORK
Mindfulness has drawn attention at the White House and 10 Downing Street, turned heads at the World Economic Forum and worked its way into the curricula of the world-famous business schools. A growing number of businesses are recognising what mindfulness has to offer and have been early adopters of mindfulness in the workplace. This includes Google, GlaxoSmithKline, KPMG, and PwC, Transport for London (TfL) and The Cabinet Office.
Mindfulness has strong evidence for reducing stress and improving mental health.
LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
Teach staff out to bring out the best in others and themselves. Mindfulness helps tap inner resources.
Companies are about companionship. Mindfulness helps you strengthen connections.
MINDFULNESS AT WORK
Mindfulness is popular because it brings synergy across key human resources (HR) functions. The key principles of mindfulness span HR disciplines.
For example, the same skills helping employees manage stress (occupational health), helps them concentrate and learn more productively (learning and development), and also assists them in deal with conflict within the organisation as well as with internal and external customers (staff relationships). Bringing mindfulness to one domain will reflect interactively and dynamically in the others.
Pressure can be helpful until it tips to stress. Over time, a stressful workplace can become toxic. This increases risk of high absenteeism, valuable staff leaving and in some cases damage to the company reputation and brand. Mindfulness has strong evidence for reducing stress and improving mental health.
LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
STAFF & LEADERSHIP TRAINING
Most businesses are concerned about boosting productivity. Productivity engages a whole range of human psychological skills. This includes being more in the present to focus on the job, making sound decisions that enhance the business, thinking creatively to spot better solutions and leading others to work towards a vision and mission. Mindfulness has been proven to bring changes in all of these areas.
Companies are the companionship of teams. Communication is at the heart of and strong professional relationships are key to a well-functioning organisation. Without good co-operation between employees, stress can rise while productivity falls and creativity stalls. Mindfulness improves the ability to work well with others even if the relationship is fraught with difficulty.
THE MINDFUL LEADER
“Mindfulness gives you a greater sense of clarity, it gives you a sense of calm, it allows you to prioritize and put the important over the immediate, and to kind of get out of this 24-7 stress-based world we’re in.
“And I’ve also found that my most creative ideas come out of meditation. So anything that can do all of that in 20 minutes is worth it!”
PROFESSOR BILL GEORGE, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL
WHY MINDFULNESS AT WORK?
In mindfulness training, the course is a start for skills which ripple out and expands for many years to come across many spheres of the individual’s life.
To illustrate this, here is a clip of Professor Bill George from Harvard Business Schoolspeaking from the 2015 Davos Annual Meeting about the benefits of mindfulness. He says:
MINDFULNESS AT WORK TRAINING
The BeingWell offers organisations various forms of tasters, courses and bespoke programmes.
A RANGE OF MINDFULNESS OFFERINGS
An introduction presentation on mindfulness
Perhaps as a part of staff training conferences and away days.
Mindfulness-based away sessions
A full day away or a weekend retreat.
Perhaps on corporate wellbeing days or wellness initiatives.
On-site, Drop-in classes
Before work, lunchtime or after-work mindfulness drop-in classes on-site at your organisation.
Mind fitness class
This could sit alongside gym offerings and other leisure employee perks.
A module on existing learning & development courses
This could be explicitly named as mindfulness or termed as resilience, emotional intelligence, or strategic thinking.
Mindfulness-based stress management programme
This could be offered as an Occupational Health initiative.
Intense 8-week programme
This might target a specific business need such as customer relationships, stress management, mindful leadership or team work.
A low-intensity 6-week programme
This might target a general business need.