Why you should incorporate Mindfulness into your workplace
Teaching your managers and staff mindfulness can really make a difference to your bottom line by fostering a creative team spirit and helping your staff to be more focused and productive.
High tech firms, building and construction, teachers, prestige cars manufacturers, health care professionals, tourist operators, and sporting bodies are among many organisations worldwide reaching out to mindfulness to help them solve challenges.
Like keeping the ‘the bottom line’ healthy and looking after your customer base. Building collaborative, upbeat workforces, people who come to work each day with a big smile on their faces, ready to make a difference.
Let’s be honest. Mistakes, slumps in creativity and innovation, slipping productivity and employees who turn up each morning with an ‘I’d rather be somewhere else’ look about them often go hand in hand.
When your employees are more focused on their personal issues than the job at hand, productivity can suffer.
Some people live almost their entire work day thinking about something else rather than what they’re doing.
Mental distractions like worries and dreams may not be the only things keeping employees from being effective.
Unsettling organisational change, constant work pressures and deadlines, and unexpected crises can tip many people into overwhelm, if they don’t know the necessary mind skills to cope.
At times like this work relationships can be especially tricky. And, if unpleasant dealings between staff members are not quickly sorted out, they can fester and deteriorate further, affecting others in your workforce as people take sides, and also preventing them from getting things done.
We’ve all been in workplaces where stress levels are high and management doesn’t have an effective or compassionate way of supporting staff. If a manager or employee can’t find a way to cope they simply leave.
This is often unsettling for remaining staff. They may even feel the same way as the worker who has left. It is also costly for the organisation as a new staff member is found and trained.
Scientists have found that mindfulness training helps workforces be more effective. Let’s check out these interesting results!
Several years ago stressed out workers at Promega, a small Massachusetts biotech firm were put through an 8-week programme of mindfulness training. Another lot of equally stressed workers did nothing.
In the controlled randomised study researchers measured the brains of workers in both groups before and afterwards.
Although at first the workers were a little bit reluctant to the mindfulness training afterwards they reported feeling more positive and less stressed. They also noted that they were getting on better with one another.
Brain activity measurements (fMRI) before and afterwards supported these conclusions.
But it wasn’t just their state of mind that had improved.
They also reported feeling healthier. Their more robust immune systems were confirmed by an increase in antibodies in response to receiving flu vaccines four months after the trial.
- Are we more likely to be effective and think ‘outside of the box’ when our minds are not all over the place? Absolutely!
- Can we cope better under pressure when we’re not overwhelmed by negativity, anxiety or worry? Definitely!
- Are we easier to get on with when we’re relaxed, calm and present? Yes
- Are we more likely to turn up for work looking forward to the day’s challenges and open to new ideas if we’re feeling healthy and well? Of course!
“Alison Keane’s gentle style and belief in the power of mindfulness to contribute to the health of individuals and organisations was evident from the first time we met with her. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Alison delivered a rolling series of 5-week mindfulness courses to SLQ staff, in addition to a one day workshop for our senior and executive leaders. Feedback on the mindfulness training delivered by Alison was glowing. The calm, patient and careful manner in which she leads groups was evident throughout our program and our staff appreciated Alison’s insights and encouragement to become more aware of themselves, their reactions, behaviours and their well-being. Alison’s contribution to the leadership program at SLQ was valuable and her knowledge and flexibility ensured that our program was successful – as testament to this a group of SLQ staff continue to meet for a mindful meditation every week”
– A Hodges, Senior Management Team, Queensland State Library, Brisbane
“I would like to say thank you to Alison for running such a uniquely wonderful mindfulness session for our employees. As real estate agents we lead high-paced lifestyles with long hours and high public expectation. This in turn can make it hard to keep stress levels to a minimum and ‘switch off’. Alison’s mindfulness training not only provided us with amazing techniques to assist in focusing at work, increasing productivity and efficiency, but her session also provided us with some fantastic exercises to relax, and focus at home around loved ones. From the 40 staff who attended Alison’s workplace mindfulness training I have received nothing but positive feedback. We very much look forward to working with Alison again”
– J Kindt, Property Manager Corporate Liaison, Place Real Estate, Brisbane