Attending mindfulness training is on the menu du jour in many workplaces today.
It is regarded by some as the antidote to employee ill health and poor performance. Defined as "the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment", it is claimed that mindfulness can be learned via one-to-one or group training sessions which can be delivered in person or remotely.
Through meditational techniques people can improve their mental well-being and apply themselves more fully to their role at work. In fact it is so mainstream these days, it has even made its debut at Davos.
With its roots in Buddhism, some people are naturally skeptical. However, the majority of the research on its effectiveness to date is encouraging. Findings consistently point to evidence that mindfulness meditation increases positive affect and decreases anxiety and stress levels.
For those employers looking to provide additional support to staff either in a preventative or remedial health capacity, mindfulness is worth considering. For one, it is relatively low-cost and easy to arrange. And for two, people who acquire the skills can apply them not just to their work situation but importantly, to other challenges they encounter that are part of life’s rich tapestry. If it’s the latter, this might have an indirect impact on work too.
Dr. Bridget Juniper is an employee well-being consultant at Lockton Employee Benefits. She is also Head of Work and Well-Being Ltd which specialises in the measurement of employee well-being. www.workandwellbeing.com