Mark Sidney, Business Development Director, Mindful Therapies
Employee satisfaction, workplace harmony and company loyalty
Mindfulness training is increasingly being implemented for organisational and workforce development. Some of the world’s leading companies from Google and Apple to the NHS and Transport for London have invested in mindfulness training for their employees. Even Harvard Business School includes mindfulness principles in its leadership programmes.
On 20th October 2015, the United Kingdom declared its intention to become a ‘mindful nation’, with the publication of Mindful Nation UK produced by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group. The report recommends that government departments should take a lead by training their own staff in Mindfulness.
But why all this growing interest? In this three part series, we will explore some of the key benefits for businesses. We will be looking at how Mindfulness helps to directly impact on the bottom line by both reducing costs and increasing revenue.
In the third of the series we will be looking at;
‘If you argue against reality, you will suffer’ Katie Byron
At Mindful Therapies we talk about the three ‘A’ of mindfulness, Accepting, Appreciating and Allowing. When employees are dissatisfied it is often because they want things to be different to how they are. Mindfulness helps us to accept difficult experiences in the moment and softens our resistance. By practicing gratitude and appreciation we are able to see the positive and pleasant aspects of our lives. When we can accept the unpleasant without pushing away and appreciate the pleasant without clinging to it , we can begin to allow our experience to flow without judgement. We can have a more peaceful response to our experience. This can allow us to see our lives and situation in a bigger context. By seeing the bigger picture employees are more able to accept the unpleasant aspects of their job as they see their role in a wider context. Consequently satisfaction increases as they regard themselves as being part of something bigger.
Through regular kindness meditation we develop a greater connection with others and a sense of compassion towards ourselves and others. Developing this deeper understanding of the needs of our colleagues improves teamwork and collaboration.
Regular mindfulness practice helps develop emotional intelligence. Increased emotional intelligence enables people to recognise and understand their own emotions and be better at reading the emotions of others.
Being more present in the moment helps us to to take more notice. This includes not only improving our active listening skills but also picking up on non-verbal cues. Improved communication results in fewer misunderstandings and improved workplace harmony.
Workforce Company loyalty
Increased satisfaction levels leads to greater company loyalty. A loyal workforce will ‘go that extra mile’ and put in extra hours not because they feel they need to but because they want to. In the longer term want is a much greater motivator than need – the main difference between people who feel they need to go to the gym and those that want to go to the gym is that the latter actually go!
A loyal workforce also provides a free sales, marketing and recruitment service. Work takes up a significant part of our lives, it is therefore no surprise that we have a tendency to talk about it when not at work, when we meet someone for the first time we tend to ask their name, where they are from and what they do. A loyal workforce will always speak positively about the organisation, its products and services and what a great place it is to work.
Read part one, Increased productivity, Reduce employee absence and improve staff retention and Part two,Improved decision making, Greater creativity and increased focus and concentration here.