Life Coach #2 Doing More By Doing Less, No More A Corporate Myth — But a Productivity Hack

How & Why CEOs can Contribute to ‘Doing More By Doing Less’

Corporates better raise their eyebrows, when the likes of Arianna Huffington who is the Chair, President, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, openly claims that meditation and relaxation techniques, she believes, lead one to a resilient strength to see challenges as opportunities, manifold the performance quality. Meditation and relaxation techniques, also contribute to scaling the resourcefulness by imparting ingenuity. We all have witnessed the fast growth of ‘The Huffington Post’, news and blog site since it was launched in 2005. No wonder the Forbes magazine covered an editorial on the success story.

Not only her, but corporate innovators and torch bearers in their respective segments like Google, General Mills, P&G, Yahoo, Nike, Apple, HBO, Barclays also have inculcated meditation and relaxation techniques as a part of their employee engagement.

The crux here is that this step serves as an organisational welfare initiative at large.

Intellectual + ‘Mind’ellectual Capital — A Winning Combination For Success:

If we observe closely, the intellectual capital of the competing corporates is more or less equally talented, barring the indigenous exceptions like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. Then come to think of it, what is the factor which will give your organisation an edge over others?

In a football match for example, amongst two teams of more or less equal calibre, talent wise, the following factors decide which team excels over the other:

  1. How well each player individually and as a team are able to face the challenges and critical situations.
  2. How composed they are given the high demands, pressure.
  3. What contingency management strategies are in place for the team.
  4. We observe it is always a battle of nerves, more than the talent and skill competition. Because if a highly talented team commits mistakes in the game, that is equal to helping the other team win.

A weak mind is prone to commit errors.

The team whose players are able to manage their minds, ultimately emerge as winners.

The Silent Killer — The Epidemic of Workplace Stress:

According to the research of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the percentage of employees who experience job stress is a whopping, alarming 80 %.

Effects On The Employees:

  • Employees facing recurrent health issues.
  • No drive to perform
  • Frequently demotivated.
  • Silent deterioration in the efficiency
  • Decrease in team spirit and increase in conflicts

As a solution to stress affecting the performance output, many corporates claim to make space for meditation, yoga in the workplace is a win-win situation for all — the employees, management, the clients/ customers and hence the organisation at large. All the above-mentioned organisations already boast of dedicated meditation/mindfulness rooms to support staff and a major boost in the productivity yielding a directly proportionate reflection on the turnover of the company.

The Four Main Types Of Work-Related Stressors:

Interpersonal: Today’s workplace is often encouraged and intentionally balanced to be multi-cultured to add to the creative and diverse palate in order to offer a variety of thinking methodologies for better innovations.

However, with this comes an uninvited array of interpersonal conflicts, where there is a mismatch of the point of views, expectations and acceptance, lack of tolerance. The tendency of the mind to get stuck and caught up in the conflict limits the vision of the employees and obstructs the progressive flow and solution oriented approach.

Role-related: To maintain the dignity and respect attached to the role/ designation, it often takes a toll on the mind compromising the efficiency. Thereby increasing the efforts spent in conforming to the expectations of image building and maintenance associated with the role, especially the middle management and above.

Task control: The deadlines or may we say the ‘dread’lines hamper the quality of the outcome in the long run and can lead to saturation and a burn out for the employees involved.

Organisational And Physical Environment Stressors: As we discussed above, individually and as a team, the success factor is directly proportional to the ability to handle a crisis situation.

The Experts’ Advice: What the Scientists Say?

Stress leads to elevation of ‘cortisol’ stress hormone and reduction in serotonin and dopamine hormones, which leads to lower enthusiasm, the lack of drive and passion, social alienation and ultimately depression, if not heeded to.

When we see mentions like this: “Stress in the workplace has emerged as a major issue for businesses and has reached alarming proportions. Organisations must develop stress prevention as well as stress reduction techniques” in the International Journal Of Environmental Sciences, no wonder corporates are encouraging their employees to slow down and are embracing meditation and relaxation techniques to boost productivity and employee engagement.

Another astounding survey by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health concludes that meditation holds the power to lower the stress hormone serum ‘cortisol’.

Is Your Organisation A Workplace Or ‘Stress’place?

Stress if ignored and not acted upon results in improper contingency management and low turnover rates of the company, since employee mental strength is closely related to the productivity, and hence the organisational strength.

So, unlike many successful corporates who are known to keep a up with the changing times, if you already haven’t dedicated meditation/mindfulness rooms to support your employees, they are probably being the victims of the silent killer — workplace stress and your organisation — a victim of a slow and steady decline in the creativity, the tangible impact of which is probably waiting just around the corner to reflect in your balance sheet anytime unpredictably soon, as an unpleasant surprise. (Facebook post)

A Consistent Hand Holding Journey:

Not to mention, having dedicated mindfulness coaches, is a fast catching up trend not only in the organisations that are counted upon the world’s top charts, but also this trend has successfully crept it’s way and made a positive mark with measurable results amongst the start-up unicorns.

We can easily relate the need for this daily dose of mindfulness and meditation to the following example:

A mobile phone, the more loaded it is with applications, the faster the battery drains. Hence, the need to recharge the battery on a daily basis to ensure consistently, uninterrupted performance is very critical given the fast-paced competition from all sides.

The more one gets caught up in giving their 100% to their roles and responsibilities, the more they need to be well equipped mindfully to overcome the challenges. If your human resources are not mind strong as opposed to head strong, then this leads to ‘doing less by doing more.’

So let us see the shift from ‘doing less by doing more’ to ‘doing more by doing less’.

The concept of doing more by doing less has established itself headstrong.

The organisations which have placed their well-researched belief out of the super busy race (achieve more by doing more), have witnessed that if a little time is bailed out for the employees to relax and bust their daily stress (doing more by doing less), meditation helps to achieve just that emotionally, physically, mentally.

So, meditation is looked upon to be a silent fighter to combat the stress.

Quoting a simple example from real life and taking you back to your childhood when we all applied this concept of ‘doing more by doing less’ or the ‘catapult phenomenon’ as I would like to term it. The real skill lies in how well you are able to pull back a catapult, hold and aim for it to shoot strong and long.

Copyright @ Ila Awate

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