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Why mindfulness is gaining ground in the workplace today?

As an HR Executive, your are under constant pressure and at risk of becoming one-dimensional and anxious in this frantic world. If you are resilient enough and have been able to escape from a burnout or other stress damages, you may have been exhausted sometimes, like every Leader in your firm. You may have a greater awareness than most of them, and you regularly reflect how your HR strategy could support the organization in coping with this over-connected world.

Have you ever considered introducing Mindfulness in your organization as did Google, Twitter, eBay, General Mills and many progressive companies? With great results by the way!

I am happy to recommend an interesting paper published in October 2015: Mindfulness at work: A new approach to improving individual and organizational performance. Its authors, Patrick K. Hyland, R. Andrew Lee and Maura J. Mills have exhaustively described a great deal of valuable applications of mindfulness training and practices in the workplace.

A growing body of research shows that mindfulness can increase performance at work, plus well-being in general, improving cognitive, emotional and physical attributes like:

  • stress resilience

  • sleep

  • attention and memory

  • decision making

  • emotional intelligence and conflict management

 

 Picture from the Huffington Post website

 

This second paper Mindfulness at the Workplace – a Lifeline for all of us? was written by Dr. Michael Pülz, Senior Consultant and Organizational Psychologist M.A., Professor and Dean of International Business Management University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) School of Business.

In the full article, you will appreciate why mindfulness training and meditation should not be restricted to the initial circle of Buddhist monks and other folks pursuing a spiritual life. I share with you just a few insights I found interesting out of many other:

  • Neuro-plasticity: our brain is flexible and never stops developing, and practicing meditation and mindful training has a long-lasting and measurable positive effect.

  • Relationships: Mindfulness results in improved interactions at work

  • Stress management: The persons trained in mindfulness will have higher resilience, and better deal with emotional stress and/or negative feelings

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the fathers of Mindfulness @jonkabatzinn

 

Mindfulness, a fad that will soon be replaced by another trendy leadership topic? Not so sure…
 

These 2 papers provide some scientific data why meditation and mindfulness techniques help the Leader of today focusing on “HERE AND NOW” and this way maintaining his/her success and high performance in the long run.

Had you seen the cover title of Time magazine: “The Mindful Revolution”, it was in February 2014. This article is unfortunately open to Time subscribers only, but it is one the best articles I have ever read on this topic. In our modern work places, many successful leaders endorse mindful techniques and habits, which help them to cope with daily hassles and stress, and increase resilience over the time.

 

HR leaders, food for thought?
 

Where are you on your road to prevent further negative influence of stress in your organization? I would recommend to keep the following items on your desk if you want to bring mindfulness into your organization:

  • Listen to your employees – Get to know your staff, should they be at any level of the organization, monitor absenteeism, turnover and number of burnouts.

  • Don’t wait – choose the right approach and seek support of solid experts in the field

  • Be confident –  believe in your strategy, bringing mindfulness in a corporate environment is challenging, but the investment is worth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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carine.andrey@agilem.ch

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