Is Mindfulness just a temporary, money-making fad: Buddhist teachings corrupted by the westernised community in order to brainwash workers with a solution to a healthier lifestyle? Or is there more to Mindfulness than some people think?
Google, Starbucks, Facebook, eBay… All these major companies are offering classes, workshops and seminars to teach their employees to “be more mindful.” In return, research shows that these companies are benefitting from more healthy, creative and productive workforces with decreased absenteeism and turnover.
But after attending a lunchtime workshop or a 30 minute meditation session, workers are thrown back into the demanding and chaotic working context which caused them to become mindless and tangled in their thought processes in the first place. How long will it be until employees turn back to their old ways? How can companies use Mindfulness to achieve sustained change and long term results?
Mindfulness is the state of being conscious or aware. It is about paying attention and learning to observe yourself in the context of day-to-day life to enable new insights. Employees today too often focus on solving too many problems simultaneously, rather than use their full potential to solve the most important problem in the best way.
However, if your company is looking to get serious about Mindfulness they need to look at the bigger picture. In addition to individual Mindfulness, it is important companies consider the following:
Building Collective Mindfulness
Collectively mindful organisations encourage practices which are aimed at observing and responding to unexpected events in a thoughtful manner, so employees can help transform a company in the face of complexity. Intel introduced “Awake@Intel”- a programme available to all 100,000 of its employees globally to encourage Collective Mindfulness and results already show an increased level of clarity between employees and the ability to develop new creative ideas.
Developing Mindful Leaders
The benefit of being a mindful leader has been praised by high profile leaders such as Evan Williams (Twitter co-founder) and William Ford (Ford Motor Company). Leaders who are mindful can refrain from developing toxic workplace cultures by being more self-aware and willing to reflect on areas of improvement; which in turn leads them to be more conscious of others’ feelings and behaviours.
While Mindfulness might be considered by some as the latest fad, we believe that, if properly implemented, it can lead to increased effectiveness of both leaders and their teams and tangible business benefits