There is now strong evidence that the practice of mindfulness and development of flow states benefits both the individual and their workplace. It also provides economic benefits through higher productivity and less absenteeism, and personally through greater job satisfaction and lower levels of stress.
The benefits go beyond financial security, leading to an increased sense of personal wellbeing and intrinsic motivation that is more resilient to external pressures. This is particularly useful in times of recession and of great benefit in responding quickly to opportunities when they arise.
Mindfulness in business
An increasing number of global businesses are building mindfulness training into the culture of their organisations. Google’s Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program exemplifies the potential benefits to business. It focuses on attention training, self-knowledge and self-mastery, and developing useful mental habits. Class topics include motivation, defining success, and dealing with failure. Mindfulness is even applied to the composition of emails
There is now clear evidence that shows that the practice of mindfulness:
Dramatically improves our stress management, making us better able to deal with challenges created by workloads, deadlines and interpersonal conflict.
Creates greater mental clarity and focus, upgrading our capacity for critical thinking and problem solving.
Unlocks our capacity for innovation and creativity.
Enhances our focus on the present moment, thereby promoting greater engagement in the here and now – of particular importance to those operating in high risk environments.
Improves awareness of our own thought processes and the emotions they trigger, enabling more effective emotional regulation and resilience.
Promotes new possibilities in difficult team or interpersonal relationships by replacing habitual reactions with more considered responses.
Increases our capacity to read other people, to understand where they are coming from and enhances empathy.
Supports a more panoramic perspective, better able to manage change.
Enriches our appreciation of the greater meaning and purpose in what we do.
At an organisational level, improved mindfulness promotes greater staff engagement, reduces stress-related absenteeism, supports staff retention and enhances organisational performance.
The National Institute for Clinical excellence (NICE) has produced guidance on the promotion mental well being at work supported by a costing tool to help illustrate the potential costs and develop a business case. It goes on to say:
“The annual costs of mental ill health to employers in the UK are significant. These costs include loss in productivity because of sickness absence , increased staff turnover, recruitment and training. In addition productivity can be reduced when employees experience stress or mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
This template aims to help organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland assess the costs of mental ill health for their workforce and estimate potential savings using assumptions and units costs that reflect their circumstances.
Implementing the NICE public health guidance on promoting mental wellbeing at work may bring the following benefits:
reduced costs associated with temporary recruitment
improved staff retention
reduced payments to cover employee absence, for example occupational sick pay.
Implementing the guidance may also result in additional savings and benefits to the wider society. Being employed can help improve a person’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities”
(Department for Work and Pensions 2005; Department of Health 2004; Health, Work and Wellbeing Programme 2008; Waddell and Burton 2006)
Mindfulness can be a key tool in achieving these results
Why your organisation should work with us:
Oxford University Research Project
Through our association with Zenways, Mindfulness in Motion programmes are part of an on-going Oxford University research project into the benefits of mindfulness in daily life.
All participants in our programmes have the opportunity to participate in the research if they wish and the effects of participating in our core programmes are monitored using a series of before and after questionnaires to measure what changes have occurred.
Initial results have shown:
significant decrease in Perceived Stress from Before to After Meditation course
significant decreases in anxiety on the HADS – Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale as well as some decrease in depression on the same scale.
increases in awareness on the Mindful Awareness Attention Scale (MAAS)
increases in the overall satisfaction with life on the Satisfaction with life scale (SWLS)
In choosing to participate in our programmes your organisation has the reassurance that our programmes work , the opportunity to measure progress with before and after tests, as well as the the opportunity to participate in an exciting research project.
Our focus on both individual and team performance
Mindfulness is necessarily an individual practice, however, we also appreciate the benefits to teams as a whole can be even greater. By Also looking at the impact on teams and groups where a number of employees embrace mindfulness practice, we see that the effect on group performance can be disproportionately positive, with the benefits of mindfulness to teams and organisations going beyond what the numbers of participants would suggest.
Building in evaluation from the outset
Evaluation is part of our culture and is built into all of our core programmes.
Based on our measurement of perceived stress levels, satisfaction with life and mindful awareness, we will work with you to identify relevant outcomes for both the individual participants and organisation using a range of tools developed with your organisation to ensure you get the results you need
In short, at an organisational level, improved mindfulness promotes greater staff engagement, reduces stress-related absenteeism, supports staff retention and enhances organisational performance.
This article in Personnel today gives a good overview of how How Practising Mindfulness in the Workplace can Boost Productivity
Contact us via the main page or using the form below to discuss your organisations needs or to explore the business case for mindfulness training in your organisation.