By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Google, General Mills, Aetna, and Target have already jumped on the mindfulness trend. Are you familiar with corporate mindfulness and its emphasis on slowing down to focus on the present? Extensive research on the topic of mindfulness and its benefits is convincing executives and managers to adopt this new-age approach to corporate culture.

What Is the Mindfulness Approach?
Encouraging mindfulness and a management approach involves helping employees to slow down. The goal is to focus on the present task at hand in order to reduce chaos and improve productivity. As a leader, you support reflection, thoughtfulness, and openness.

How Does Corporate Mindfulness Benefit Your Business?
When employees take the time to refocus their minds and attention, they become more productive. Practicing mindfulness allows them to direct all of their focus onto the task at hand. By eliminating attempts to multitask, an employee’s finished work product is of higher quality.
As a leader, being mindful means you take the time to consider all of your options and potential outcomes. This results in better decision making.

Improved Employee Wellness
Many companies that adopt mindfulness programs see a significant drop in stress levels among employees. This reduced stress results in a happier and calmer environment. On a corporate level, embracing mindfulness reduces the number of sick days employees take.
But mindfulness can do more than reduce stress. There are several benefits you’ll experience when regularly practicing mindfulness:
-Reduced inclination to interpret uncertainty as a threat
-Improved mental agility
-Improved short-term memory
-Ability to perform complex cognitive tasks
-Reduced mental wandering and distractibility

Company Longevity
Constant turnover is the death of any company. Recruiting, hiring, and training are expensive. If your company is constantly in this cycle, you will have a large draw on your overall bottom line. Additionally, it’s impossible to be productive when working towards long term goals when the team is continuously changing.
By creating a culture where mindfulness is encouraged, you create a more positive, caring, and open environment. Employees feel lower stress levels and perceive the company as caring about them. These qualities can help to encourage employee retention.
With higher employee retention, you have the opportunity to build stronger interpersonal relationships. Your recruiting, hiring, and training costs are reduced, which improves your bottom line. Finally, you’re able to be more productive at achieving short and long term goals.

How Companies are Implementing Mindfulness
While it’s helpful to look at how other companies incorporate mindfulness, for it to truly be a success, the program you implement needs to be customized. The program you implement needs to make sense and naturally incorporate it into your business. It can help to start with a pilot program.
Start from the top down with leadership training on mindfulness. This will encourage executive-level support. Then you could expand the program to include meditation training or mindfulness coaching for all employees.
To make your corporate mindfulness program a success, you’ll need to garner support. You’ll have to address those who are resistant to change, stuck in their ways, or doubtful of the new program. But by encouraging people to embrace the unknown, you’re already well on your way to incorporating mindfulness into your corporate culture.

Try Corporate Mindfulness Today
Whether you’re ready to try mindfulness in your company or are still unsure of its benefits, it can help to start with yourself. By practicing mindfulness for yourself, you can experience the benefits and get a better understanding of this new way of thinking.
It can help to speak with someone to help guide you on your path to mindfulness. Our coaching and networking services allow you to speak with others and learn about their experience with mindfulness.

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at [email protected]