Mindfulness in the Workplace
Mindfulness in Organisations – MindWork Programmes
Over the last 20 years Mindfulness programmes have been brought to a variety of groups such as lawyers, judges, educators, corporate employees and executives as well as to professional athletes. Mindfulness training is now being offered in workplaces, hospitals, health centres, student health services, prisons, and private sector businesses all over the world.
Mindfulness is a key management competency making for more effective management and more effective teams through ‘resonant leadership’ – a term used to describe the way in which great leaders attune to their people and draw out and amplify what is best in them. The same can be said of teams. A resonant team is one whose members are attuned to each other, cooperative and mutually supportive. The neural integration that mindfulness training brings about can significantly increase our capacity for attunement. Mindfulness makes for more effective teams and leaders.
The Cost of Work-related Stress
There is now a large body of scientific evidence showing that stress is very costly to both businesses and individuals.
Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that work-related stress costs the country over £530 million per year, equating to the loss of over 13 million working days. In the current difficult economic climate, as businesses work hard to recover after the recession, these figures look set to rise. Some of the common signs of high levels of stress in a team include:
- arguments and disputes between staff
- general absenteeism
- an increase in grievances and complaints
- greater staff turnover
A More Mindful Workplace
A workplace where mindfulness skills are used should experience higher overall levels of employee well-being and resilience. Characteristics of such a workplace would be:
- lower levels of stress and illness-related absenteeism
- more employee engagement
- greater productivity
- less conflict
- higher levels of job satisfaction
- lower levels of employee turnover
- higher levels of creativity and innovation
Given the relatively low cost of mounting such trainings, the potential return on investment is considerable.