3 Ways to Introduce Mindfulness into the Workplace
I believe that Mindfulness is a key ingredient not only in the well being & well living mix, but also for well doing & business success.
Did you know that a ratio of 3-to-1 positive and heartfelt emotions is the tipping point for a person being classed as a having a really positive day? Sounds simple — that is until you factor in that most of us live our lives with an actual daily ratio of somewhere around 2-to-1, or even less.
And that’s the point where we can start to become Mind-full instead of Mindful.
Being positive has a significant impact on our ability to be Mindful and in turn Mindfulness has a significant affect that enables us to feel positive.
Mindfulness though shouldn’t just be for Xmas, holidays, or weekends. It should become part of our daily routine to allow its’ considerable benefits to be experienced and felt, both on a personal and a professional level.
For instance on a personal level
The benefits of a little daily practice and observance can be:
- heightened concentration, an increased focus and mental acuity, improved cognitive flexibility, greater creativity
- better relationships, greater emotional regulation and increased empathy
- increased mental and physical resilience
- increased ability to relax and improved sleep patterns; &
- marked reductions in overall stress levels and feelings of not being able to cope
And as Mindfulness is not just about zoning out, but zooming in — and also paying attention to the present moment with fresh eyes and a clear mind, and decluttering the brain to make room for creativity — in a business these things can all mean creating conditions that can directly boost the bottom-line.
Where, for example, Mindfulness programmes have been introduced into the workplace, employers have reported:
- increased productivity
- significant reductions in both stress related absences and scripts issued for depression; which is pretty important when you consider that in the UK alone businesses loose an estimated £26 billion each year through sickness related absences and lost productivity
- improved employee engagement and better relationships across the workforce, including significant reductions reported in episodes of staff conflict;
- reduced staff turnover; which is also significant when you consider that pay freezes still predominate across many sectors and most businesses are continually looking for more and more for less
At work we need a high degree of mental clarity and focus. Just think for a moment of a common workaday situation and how you currently approach it; say for example how you consider your presence, purpose and impact before a meeting.
One way might be to use a model on Credibility developed by J Bonde and J Mackmersh that can really help you think ahead before entering the room. It looks at such things as History, 1st Impressions, Knowledge, Congruence, Finish and PR — as well as Actions, Visibility and Associations.
Another way however, is by using Mindfulness techniques that will help you to respond rather than react to situations, together with the requisite flexibility and resilience too.
Mindfulness also has a role to play in developing organisational resilience, as well as individual resilience, which are both extremely important for business and organisational agility and high performance.
It gets people talking about stuff that is human and relate-able, and we forget at our peril that people do business with people and they are driven more by purpose, than process and profit alone.
CEO’s from all sectors
Are calling Mindfulness their new secret weapon; giving both them and their companies added potency and greater oomph! A great technical term don’t you think?
One multi-national company reported +147% higher earnings per share following the introduction of an in-house Mindfulness programme.
Whilst other reported benefits from both UK and American companies include:
- 88% of participants from one multinational insurance company reported improved concentration, greater creativity and higher productivity;
- a 71% fall in the days taken for anxiety, stress and depression, were reported in a major UK Transport Company; &
- a 7% fall in Health Care Costs followed the introduction of a 12 week Mindfulness programme for employees working in a US company employing over 47,000
These are hard-nosed figures that will make any employer sit-up and take notice.
So, on a very practical level how might Mindfulness be introduced into your workplace?
Well there are rarely any givens in corporate land and a business case clearly needs to be made; however based on Chapter 5 of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search of a Life More Meaningful’ here are 3 ways I would start the ball rolling:
- First, establish the relevance for the business or organisation: Develop a narrative that is both compelling and sustaining and use the language and examples that are specific, meaningful and vivid for your sector
- Second, confirm the sustainability of the proposition: Using both Big and not so big data; &
- Third, ensure it’s feasible: Particularly in terms of scope and timescale; think total but start piecemeal, creating ‘warm spots’ in the company and identifying and developing departmental sponsors and team champions
Remember change is a constant factor; not just in our work lives of course, but in all the other areas too, but you know I think a little Mindfulness might just go further than you think and make it all just that little bit better too!
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd