The Science of Mindfulness and The Benefits of Adding It to Your Organization

Mindfulness is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It’s also something that corporate culture seems to have rediscovered recently. Everywhere you look, businesses are incorporating mindfulness initiatives into their day-to-day operations. This might be because there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the practice can have a positive impact on your employees and your organization as a whole. In fact, research shows that mindfulness programs can improve employee performance; reduce stress and anxiety; increase resiliency; boost creativity and innovation; build camaraderie among coworkers; and much more. Read on to learn more about the science of mindfulness, its benefits for organizations, and how you can integrate it into your company culture today.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment. It’s a way of thinking and being that helps people become more aware of themselves and their surroundings, leading to increased happiness and better decision-making skills. Some people associate mindfulness with meditation, though the two aren’t necessarily the same. While meditating is one way to practice mindfulness, there are many other methods that can help people become more mindful, too. These include:

    • Taking time to observe your surroundings – such as noticing what the weather is like, or listening to the sounds around you
    • Investing time to reflect on your day and any personal triggers that caused you stress or anxiety
    • Reflecting on your goals and how you can achieve them
    • Practicing gratitude, specifically, focusing on what or who you’re grateful for in your life
    • Focusing on your breathing
    • Listening to soothing music
    • Journaling by writing down your thoughts, feelings, and/or goals.

The Science of Mindfulness

A 2011 study examined the impact of mindfulness training on attention and executive functioning in business students and found that it boosted performance in those areas. Mindfulness has also been proven to improve employee engagement and reduce stress. The Journal of Health and Human Services reported that the practice may also be beneficial in the healthcare industry, leading to lower rates of absenteeism and better overall satisfaction among employees. A 2016 study discovered that mindfulness may even improve creativity, with participants reporting more creative thinking after practicing the technique for just two weeks. Other research has found that mindfulness can help improve employee performance by reducing stress levels and improving emotional resiliency. It can also help reduce employee turnover rates and boost job satisfaction.

6 ways that mindfulness benefits organizations

Increased employee engagement. Mindfulness is a practice of being fully present in one’s experience, which allows employees to engage with their work and their colleagues with more clarity and less distraction.

Increased employee health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions. As a result, organizations see reduced absenteeism, as well as reduced health care costs associated with stress and anxiety.

Improved leadership and decision-making. Mindfulness cultivates self-awareness and self-regulation, so leaders who are mindful are better able to recognize their biases and make decisions without letting their emotions get in the way.

Reduced turnover. Turnover costs money, disrupts operations, and can be a huge disruption for organizations who rely on a consistent team. Studies suggest that mindfulness interventions can reduce employee turnover by up to 50%.

Improved employee productivity. Employees who are more mindful are less stressed, and less stress in the workplace means less time lost to productivity-reducing sickness.

Improved organizational culture. Organizations with a culture of mindfulness also typically have a culture that is focused on growth. In these cultures, people feel safe taking risks, asking for help, and exploring new ideas.

How to integrate mindfulness into your organization

There are many ways to integrate mindfulness into your workplace culture. The first step is to recognize that mindfulness is more than just a nice thing to do. It’s a crucial practice for running a successful organization in today’s highly competitive landscape. From there, you can take any of the following approaches to bring mindfulness into your organization: – Create space for mindfulness: One of the biggest barriers to implementing mindfulness in an organization is a lack of space. Mindfulness can be practised anywhere, but it can also be difficult to carve out time for it in a busy workday. Create dedicated spaces in your office where people can go to take a short break from their work and spend some time in silence or with gentle music to help them relax. – Provide training: Another barrier to implementing mindfulness in a workplace is the perception that it is only for people who are already interested in it. But that’s not the case: mindfulness can be helpful for almost anyone. It can improve focus, reduce stress, and increase positive emotions. – Track mindfulness interventions: One way to measure the effectiveness of a mindfulness intervention is to track how many people are engaging with it. You can do this by posting a mindfulness log in the office that people can sign up for.

If the science behind mindfulness has you convinced that it could be a valuable addition to your corporate culture, you’ll want to start by choosing the right type of program for your organization. There are several different types of mindfulness exercises you can choose from, each of which is designed to meet the specific needs of your employees. For example, while some programs are designed to help participants focus more deeply, others are meant to help people reduce stress. You can learn more about the different types of mindfulness programs by reading through this guide, or consulting an expert like the Mindful Company. Once you’ve chosen the program you want to use, it’s time to get started. The first step of integrating mindfulness into your organization is deciding who it should be available to. You’ll likely want to make it available to everyone, but there are different ways to do this. For example, you can offer mindfulness training as an employee benefit, or host an in-office class.

Conclusion

There is a lot of research that suggests that practicing mindfulness can have a positive impact on your employees and your organization as a whole. In fact, there are 6 ways that mindfulness benefits organizations, including reduced stress, improved communication skills, and improved productivity. You can integrate mindfulness into your company culture by choosing the right type of program, and getting started as soon as possible.

To find out more about Mindfulness Training in your organization, reach out to us.