Many companies around the world believe they have found one of the most successful workforce development programs to help improve the performance and lives of their employees: corporate mindfulness. While meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and other forms of mindfulness have been around for hundreds of years, never before have we seen so many companies taking it upon themselves to offer mindfulness programs during work hours.
The reason behind this growing movement should be no surprise. We all face stress from work and life on a daily basis. Studies have proven time and again that stress can take a toll on our body and mind. Carrying this negative energy with us is draining and decreases our performance and job satisfaction. Professional sports teams figured this out years ago: If you can improve the mind, you can improve game-day performance. Now, this thinking has found its way into the corporate boardroom.
Think of mindfulness as a healthy diet and exercise program – but for the brain. Mindfulness strengthens brain fitness. It helps remove mental clutter and replaces it with positive emotional traits, leading to better mental clarity and focus and a greater ability to function in the present. This improvement in self at work and at home leads to a happier inner landscape and brighter outlook.
How do you start a corporate mindfulness program? Keep it simple. Here are a few ideas to help get you started on the journey to mindfulness in the workplace.
1. Spread the Word.
Many employees will be eager to take advantage of meditation during work. By now, many have tried it and will enjoy a break at work to focus on mindfulness. Others will need a basic understanding about why they should give it a try. Develop messaging and determine the best company platforms to share it. You can also communicate by having mindfulness artifacts placed throughout the office to create a peaceful, harmonious workplace environment.
2. Allocate Time for Meditation.
Schedule 15 minutes of corporate meditation once each week to help train employees in mind and body awareness. The session should be voluntary, and as people start to hear about the results, they will be eager to join their colleagues. Allocate time in a designated quiet area to perform meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises.
3. Develop a Centerpiece.
There are many programs that experts have created for companies to help them roll out a mindfulness program. For example, our employees study “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which is a shared language for our global employees and teaches leadership, including self-leadership, skills. Your program can help employees develop a shared understanding of healthy work and team habits by:
- Becoming proactive in taking action to achieve self-mastery
- Understanding how to plan and work to achieve the end state
- Putting first things first to prioritize items
- Thinking “win/win” to strengthen skills to work with others
- Seeking to first understand and then to be understood
- Having synergy to foster teamwork
- Improving health, energy and mental renewal
4. Consider Implementing a Minute of Silence.
Another dynamic strategy for corporate mindfulness is starting your meetings with a minute of silence. Setting time to focus on the present helps improve concentration, creativity, decision-making and focus. The minute of silence allows meeting participants to put worries, past meetings, stress, drama and moods aside and to prepare for the meeting.
Give It a Try!
These ideas are just a few ways to help you get started with your corporate mindfulness program. Taking time out of your busy workday for corporate mindfulness might seem inconvenient, but when you consider how much more balanced and happy your employees can be, it’s definitely worth the small investment in time.