Mindfulness training can be an invaluable way of improving employee wellness, morale and productivity. Aetna has successfully integrated mindfulness into their corporate culture with impressive results.
Mindfulness teaches individuals to self-regulate and be more present in the moment, helping them think more clearly while improving concentration – ultimately leading to enhanced problem-solving abilities.
1. Increased Productivity
Mindfulness has been proven to increase productivity, decrease mistakes and promote creativity. Employees using mindfulness can see things from different perspectives and become better listeners. Furthermore, mindfulness may assist high potential development by increasing self-awareness (Hunter & McCormick).
Focusing on one task at a time and entering into a state of flow are keys to increasing productivity, and mindfulness helps facilitate this by decreasing beta waves associated with stress and anxiety in your brain.
Workplaces should encourage mindfulness by creating meditation spaces and offering educational materials (Dhanik, 2017). Managers must set an example by practicing mindful practices themselves and leading by example with their teams – even something as simple as providing “gap” time between meetings can help employees slow down and focus on tasks at hand.
2. Increased Creativity
Mindfulness practice can enable people to look at situations more objectively and develop compassion for those they encounter, leading them to be more understanding and supportive, ultimately encouraging creativity.
Mindfulness practice not only increases productivity but also develops one’s ability to deal with complex issues in creative ways and come up with novel solutions, leading to breakthroughs across various business areas.
Employers looking to promote mindfulness at work have several tools at their disposal: training sessions, encouraging a culture of mindfulness, creating quiet spaces and scheduling short ‘gap times’ between meetings can help employees relax, take a deep breath and view the agenda with new eyes (Team MyHub 2018). Establishing a mindful company requires long-term commitment and an holistic approach; for instance incorporating meditation practices can support employees who embrace change (Razzetti 2018) like Aetna did when creating its mindfulness program.
3. Better Relationships
Establishing healthy and positive relationships at work leads to more productive teams and an enhanced work environment. Better handling of conflict and showing more consideration towards coworkers are all hallmarks of good workplace relations that foster efficiency.
Mindfulness practices can help employees become more open to criticism and feedback while being less defensive overall. Furthermore, mindfulness can assist employees with being more flexible with work responsibilities and make them better team players.
As a result, more companies are adopting mindfulness into their business practices, especially those dealing with high costs of absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover due to stress-related conditions. Leaders play an essential role in successfully introducing mindfulness into workplace settings by setting an example and providing support; successfully doing so ensures a more productive environment overall.
4. Reduced Stress
Many companies have introduced mindfulness programs as part of their employee wellness initiatives or to assist employees with reducing stress and improving mental health. These classes, often taught by professional instructors, take place multiple times each week with additional individual practice required at home.
Meditation practice can be used to manage stressful situations by decreasing ego-defensive reactivity and encouraging objectivity. Furthermore, mindfulness can be utilized to overcome resistance to organizational change.
Mindfulness has been found to reduce absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover while increasing productivity, creativity and relationships in business environments. To foster mindfulness in your organization and enhance quality work environments, introduce it by offering your staff a peaceful place where they can focus for a few minutes without interruptions.
5. Better Health
Stress and anxiety can weaken an employee’s immune system, leaving them susceptible to illness. Engaging in mindfulness activities allows employees to slow down, focus intentionality and recharge quickly – ultimately aiding in maintaining a healthier work/life balance and better overall health outcomes.
Mindfulness practices also foster compassion and empathy toward others. For example, research from Northeastern University revealed that mindfulness training increases by 23% the odds that an employee gives up their seat on public transportation to a stranger.
Many top companies, including Aetna, Google, Mayo Clinic, Target and Goldman Sachs offer workplace mindfulness programs to reduce employee stress levels and enhance engagement. Successful implementation requires taking an holistic approach incorporating meditation, yoga and other mindful techniques as well as leadership support – something Aetna doesn’t provide!