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10 Easy Ways to Promote Mindfulness in Your Organization

Promoting mindfulness in your workplace creates a positive environment
By: Amanda McDonald
September 5th, 2017

Mindfulness – it’s a method, an expression, and tool that helps us stay grounded while remaining positive.

Today, you’ll retrieve over 1,200,000 results if you search for mindfulness articles on the internet. These articles cover everything from basics tips on how to be mindful to actual courses you can take to become an expert in mindfulness. You can even find articles and posts on why millennials have grown so obsessed with this term and the growing number of people practicing

In fact, one survey covering over 43,000 families, 8% (or close to 18 million) of Americans meditated on a regular basis.1

Knowing that the importance of mindfulness is growing, especially among our emerging millennial workforce, employers should be implementing mindfulness in their organizations to maintain healthier, higher-performing workplaces.

There are multiple benefits of mindfulness, all of which can benefit employees

Well-known organizations like Google, Aetna, Mayo Clinic, General Mills, and the United States Marine Corps, to name just a few, are using mindfulness training to improve workplace functioning.2

When organizations establish a culture of mindfulness, their employees report being calmer, more patient, and better able to listen.3

New studies have concluded:

Mindfulness appears to have positive impacts on human functioning overall.

  • It improves attention, cognition, emotions, behavior, and physiology according to evidence from research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine.3

Mindfulness has been shown to improve three qualities of attention – Stability; Control; and Efficiency.

  • It can stabilize attention in the present and help stop our wandering minds.
  • Participants in mindfulness training have shown to be more vigilant longer on both visual and listening tasks.3

Mindfulness has been shown to affect interpersonal behavior and team relationships.

  • Mindfulness may even increase empathy and compassion – suggesting that it also improves relationships and enhances teamwork.­­3

Successful mindfulness programs have implemented by big businesses 

Below are just two examples of organizations that have seen positive results from their mindfulness practices and programs.

Intel

Workers who patriciate in Intel’s mindfulness practices reported a two-point decrease on a scale of 1 to 10 in stress and feeling overwhelmed.

Employees have also reported a three-point increase in overall happiness and well-being, as well as a two-point increase in new ideas, insights, mental clarity, creativity, ability to focus, quality of relationships at work, and level of engagement in meetings, projects, and teamwork.3

Aetna

With the goal to reduce stress and improve stress management, Aetna launched multiple mindfulness programs in collaboration with Duke University, eMindful, and the American Viniyoga Institute.

As a result of the programs, Aetna now offers the same programs to its customers. The programs found that participants were better able to manage stress and were able to see the same results regardless if the training was presented in person or online.3

These organizations have been able to implement more extensive mindfulness programs in their workplaces successfully and have been doing so since over the past ten years.

But you don’t need to worry if you’re not ready to launch your own program. There are ways you can still implement mindfulness in your workplace without a big budget.

10 easy ways to encourage mindfulness in your workplace

  1. Provide employees with a weekly mindfulness worksheet
  2. Host a mindfulness workshop
  3. Designate a room for meditation and mindfulness
  4. Start each meeting with gratitude
  5. Encourage employees to seek behavioral healthcare when needed
  6. Give every employee a postcard with a stamp on the back they can fill out and send to someone who has motivated them, encouraged them, or supported them in their career journey
  7. Help articulate your company’s insurance policy for mental health and holistic health
  8. Give employees the opportunity to share how they have been successful at being mindful
  9. Offer weekly or monthly yoga and meditation course in your workplace
  10. Provide a small note card or picture employees can hang in their workspaces as a reminder of the importance to practice mindfulness

In summary, embracing mindfulness in your workplace has many benefits. As employees experience more stress these days than ever before, mindfulness is one way to help and support them in managing their stress.

Don’t expect the growth of mindfulness to go away. With evidence showing the numerous cognitive benefits of practicing mindfulness, we will likely see more organizations implementing this holistic approach to workplace wellness and well-being.

 

Empower your employees through mindfulness practices, help them manage their stress, and be open to new practices that improve health and well-being in your workplace!

  1. Black, L., Clarke, T., and Barnes, P., et al. (2015). Use of complementary health approaches among children aged 4-17 years in the United States: National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2012. National Health Statistics Report National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/meditation#pdf
  2. Good, D.J., Lyddy, C.J., Glomb, T. M., and Glomb,et al. (2015). Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review. Journal of Management. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0149206315617003
  3. Schaufenbuel, K. (2015). Why Google, Target, and General Mills are investing in mindfulness. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/12/why-google-target-and-general-mills-are-investing-in-mindfulness
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