Workplace Mindfulness is the basic ability of an employee, team/department, and/or organization; to be aware, take perspective, and respond with clarity with what is needed in the moment. This may seem simple, but can be difficult in the face of habit, self-interest and bias which as a default drives our actions. We can develop this ability in a variety of workplace interactions such as; mindful dialogue, strategic planning, mindful emailing, meditation practice, etc.
At Mindful Gateway, we see mindfulness as an essential component to cope, sustain, and consequently excel at work today. With this in mind, we approach Workplace Mindfulness as a public-health effort. Wide-scale cultural adoption is possible by providing organizationally relevant language-styling and 100% workplace audience approved training, and by removing barriers for skeptics and for everyone else alike to engage in mindfulness.
It can seem like quite a fundamental ideal to practice workplace mindfulness, and it is. Though with the way workplaces have been structured it is becoming harder than ever to do so. According to Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer, we can begin to see when an employee, team or organization is diverging away from mindfulness when; the past is over-determining the present, trapped in a single perspective, insensitive to context, governed by rules and routine, and typically in error but rarely in doubt. She calls this "mindlessness." Sound familiar? The unanimous response from thousands of organization-based people we've trained is a resounding yes, and the impact on their health, sustainability and profitability of employees and organizations is tremendous.
With Google, McKinsey & Company, Blackwater and many other Fortune 100's marketing how "mindful" they are, it's no wonder the wave of interest in (and skepticism around) mindfulness is upon us. Mindfulness apps have been receiving multi-million dollar investments and since 1980 mindfulness has grown to become a mainstream media icon generating an average of 30,000+ articles annually as of 2015. Also, we know uncertainty is usually inevitable with anything that produces a vast amount of interest, confusion and noise. When considering bringing mindfulness into organizations, it is vital that we understand what “workplace mindfulness” is and how it differs from the “one-type-fits-all-mindfulness" programming that often is promoted in the workplace setting.
To achieve “gold-standard engagement”, workplace training material needs to be customized, relevant and empathetic to those attending; aligned to organizational key performance indicators (KPI's) and delivered by experienced trainers who anticipate and adapt to any workplace or leadership training setting. Research and evaluation of workplace mindfulness training programs are essential and allow for an organization to build a case from within to support it. Organizations who partner with public-health subject-matter experts who have demonstrable business acumen and possess certification in mindfulness-based programs maximize their investment and potential for sustainment.
Based on our experience and research, we've identified workplace mindfulness training as one of the most effective forms of personalized self-care training, in both impact and large-scale roll-out, to support and optimize an organization and those that work within it. With depression being identified as the leading cause of workplace disability worldwide, there is no time like the present to make this happen.