It is fascinating how the ancient practices of meditation and mindfulness became increasingly popular in the modern times. It turns out that these practices are a solution that the modern man had turned a blind eye to for a long time. But thankfully, with the research supporting the role of Yoga practice in wellness, mindfulness has now also become mainstream and leading companies across the world are adopting mediation and corporate mindfulness programs for it’s huge benefits.
Mindfulness is the metacognitive observation of the mind from moment to moment without the urge to fix or judge. There are scientific studies that show that mindfulness restructures the cognitive abilities and creates a lasting impact on overall health. It helps us to calm down your impulses and choose responses over reactions. The essence of the practice is to simply immerse yourself in the present reality.
Corporate Mindfulness Programs have emerged as the leadership now realizes the impact stressed and dissatisfied employees have on not just the company’s performance but also on it’s overall culture. This is the reason why strategies for improving employee productivity and getting an individual to be the best version of himself has been given utmost importance.
Harvard Business Review quotes the example of VASTRM fashion’s CEO who introduced meditation to his employees after the 9/11. He took this step when he noticed that post the unfortunate incident, the employees had high stress levels, fears and were even shaky. The result, as quoted by him, was increased attention and peaceful involvement at work.
There are multiple benefits of mindfulness programs in an employee’s life cycle. Let’s take a look at the top ten.
Highly Effective for Stress Reduction
Mindfulness meditation reduces the activity in Amygdala, a part of the brain that’s responsible for stress responses. Studies, for example at Oxford University, suggests that constant mindfulness builds inner strength and instills the capability to endure stress and the individual learns to respond to the situation instead of reacting and thereby fosters wellness in an individual.
Improved Focus on Work
According to corporate psychologists, stress and emotional disturbances are the two main distractions at work. They are of the opinion that fostering emotional intelligence is highly effective in monitoring one’s focus levels. Yoga and mindfulness techniques create increased awareness of one’s emotions and stressful distraction and inculcate a sense of wellbeing which in turn improves focus and concentration on work.
Higher Work and Life Balance
It is not about the quantity of time that you spend at something or someone but the quality of it that makes the difference. That’s exactly what mindfulness offers. It improves the quality of the time that one spends at work, with family members or at learning new skills. Improved involvement, focus and absorption of the learning results in higher satisfaction. This in turn improves the work life balance, everyday experiences at recreational activities and also the time spent with family members.
More results in less time is the mantra of productivity. In the corporates, the big question always is how can an individual achieve more in less time. These days there are many productivity tools that claim to improve productivity among employees. These include time tracking apps, task simplifying, meditation apps etc. But none of these provide the larger benefits that mindfulness entails. A mindful employee spends quality time at work with high levels of engagement and satisfaction.
Strengthens Company-Employee Relations
A company that conducts meditation or mindfulness programs is one that cares for the employees not just for their productivity. Such programs will help employees connect and discuss common disruptors at work. Starting a dialogue about mental health and productivity killers is a great way to tell the employees that they are cared for. This in turn fosters company- employee relations.
Increases Awareness About Mental Health
The leading companies like Apple, Google and Nike periodically conduct Corporate Mindfulness Programs and it is their statement about caring for mental health. It provides a platform for people to access, observe and discuss their mental stressors and also to create increased awareness about mental health in the workplace.
Better TeamWork, Higher Collaboration
Mindful employees means less conflicting situations, higher teamwork, collaboration and higher productivity. While stress often creates a narrow viewing of the work at hand, with constant practice of mindfulness, there is clarity, monitoring of impulsive behaviour, less conflicts and better results. There is improvement in various aspects like communication, teamwork and more. Curiosity, friendliness and acceptance is the mindful attitude itself.
Boosts Emotional Intelligence at Work
According to Harwad Business review, Mindfulness improves wellness by increasing the emotional intelligence quotient. Meditation is becoming a commonly accepted practice among the employers and even in those the technique of mindfulness meditation is highly getting popular. The most beneficial aspect of mindfulness is to help an individual not be overwhelmed with emotions whether positive or negative. With constant practice, an individual becomes empowered to observe his emotions detachedly and also to regulate them. Corporate psychologists observe that mindfulness has created a positive impact on emotional intelligence.
Improves Cognitive Ability
Cognitive abilities like problem solving, clarity of thinking, quick cognitive responses and focus and high memory power are the cognitive skills that play a major role in one’s productivity. Mindfulness impacts all these areas of thinking positively and has shown improved results in an individual’s life. Creative problems solving abilities are also highly enhanced with mindfulness meditation.
Direct Effect on Company Functions
The reason why many of the leading companies are conducting mindfulness programs and also funding these programs periodically is that there are measurable results showing in all major functions of the company. From employee retention to leadership improvement, there are measurable results from these programs and it turns out to be a lucrative investment for the management.
Mindfulness trainers now constitute a major part of the alternate care industry. Companies like Apple, Google and Nike have promoted these practices and have gained high support from their employees. Other companies are now following the same methods to reap the benefits. With the mindfulness apps and their increasing number of users, the impact of the techniques have become obvious.