August 25, 2015
Workplace stress has been cited in studies as a significant source of stress for American adults and it appears to be escalating with each new decade and costing U.S. industry an estimated $300 billion a year in sick days, turnover, lost productivity, and insurance, legal, and medical costs.
One reason is because managers tend to believe there is little they can do about it until after it becomes a problem. Another contributing factor is that managers are trained to focus on performance rather than the people they manage and are not trained to spot the signs of workplace stress. By not being aware of the issue, managers fail to recognize that when their employees’ well-being is significantly increased through stress reduction, it can have an immediate effect on employee engagement, productivity, and improved performance.
One simple way that innovative organizations today are initiating prevention and enhancing the well-being of their employees is by promoting mindfulness in the workplace. Mindfulness can be described as becoming aware of the present moment, especially of one’s negative thought patterns. As disturbing thoughts pop up in one’s moment-to-moment awareness, mindfulness allows a person to remain detached from the emotions of those thoughts, just observing instead of reacting or judging, then returning one’s attention to the present moment. Over time, we train our brain to not be so reactive to our stressful external circumstances and internal dialogue.
Many of the brain function and health benefits cited by current research include:
“Just 5 minutes a day of one of these mindfulness practices is enough to change the neuropathways in your brain,” says Diane Sieg, RN, who has successfully assisted many Colorado organizations in reducing workplace stress an average of 30 percent within 30 days by helping employees commit to 5 minutes of mindfulness each day with a program called Chaos to CALM in 30 Days! The Mindfulness Challenge.
Some, such as Aetna, have actually tracked the effects of their mindfulness program and found that they saved about $2,000 per employee on healthcare costs and gained $3,000 in productivity per employee.
Businesses are also focusing on developing mindful leaders because they tend to have more motivational impact on their employees – leaders who practice mindfulness more effectively manage the change that is inherent in the corporate world and are better able to inspire their employees and colleagues to achieve the organization’s vision.
Our popular mindfulness training programs include:
Offered by Kari Knutson, this program offers numerous methods to help participants practice mindfulness with easy techniques that anyone can do from the comfort of their car, while walking down the street, or in the middle of a meeting.
Diane Sieg shows leaders how they can cultivate qualities through mindfulness practices such as focus, clarity, vision and creativity that support them in leading with excellence.
Inquire About Mindfulness in the Workplace
About the AuthorLinda Anderson has been part of the Zoe Training & Consulting team for the past 22 years and is committed to providing impactful training solutions to the organizations Zoe Training serves. She has served in many capacities within Zoe Training such as staff writer, website content developer, and client account manager.