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6 Reasons Why Cultivating Mindfulness In The Workplace Increases Employee Engagement & Performance

Written by: Vanina Pitsch, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

In honor of World Mental Health Day, I would like to highlight the importance of organizational mindfulness and why cultivating it in your day-to-day is the catalyst for increasing employee engagement and performance.

Calm businesswoman doing yoga exercise at workplace.

Demystifying Mindfulness:


Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, but it can roughly be broken out into three categories: Traditional Mindfulness, Therapeutic Mindfulness and Organizational Mindfulness.


Traditional Mindfulness is based on the teachings of Buddhism and one of its objectives is to attain enlightenment. The main objective of Therapeutic Mindfulness is to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. However, this article will be focusing mainly on Organizational Mindfulness and the benefits it can bring when practiced in the workplace.


According to the Institute of Organizational Science & Mindfulness (IOSM), Organizational Mindfulness is performance-focused and optimized to improve mental and emotional skills to support both the individuals and the organizations. The idea here is that mental and emotional skills are trainable via practicing Mindfulness regularly.


But why should you care about Organizational Mindfulness?


As you may know, we live in a world full of distractions and information overload. As such our brain is spending most of its energy processing and sorting all incoming information and managing all the distractions that one can encounter in a day. We are therefore frequently faced with decision fatigue. This is important as we recognize that leaders have to make important decisions on a day-to-day basis, while managing their teams and providing excellent outcomes at work.


The benefits of Mindfulness in the workplace:


As per Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, microbiologist, Emeritus Professor, and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. While it’s important to understand how Mindfulness works, it’s even more important to realize that Mindfulness is something you learn by doing. It’s considered procedural learning and it’s only through practice that you can reap its benefits.


As such, it’s important to practice Mindfulness regularly in order to be in the present moment, change the neural networks in the brain, and turn emotional states into behavioral traits. Below you will find 6 benefits that stem from cultivating Mindfulness:


1. Resolving Stress, Anxiety and Burnout:


Connecting to your breath via a box breathing exercise can help you regulate your nervous system and reduce any acute stress you may face in your day-to-day life. Breathe while visualizing a box (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhalte for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds).


2. Increased Focus & Attention Control:


You can increase your ability to focus on the task at hand by practicing single-tasking versus multi-tasking. Why only focus on one thing at a time? It takes someone around 50% extra time to complete their work if they’re constantly switching back and forth from one task to another. Therefore, learning how to focus on one thing at a time results in more efficiency.


3. Navigating Change and Uncertainty:


When faced with change and uncertainty, one can adopt a Beginner’s Mind, which means to remain open and curious about changes in order to learn something new and see situations from a new, sometimes refreshing perspective.


4. Cultivating Emotional Intelligence:


It’s important that employees at a workplace feel accepted and respected. One way to cultivate more inclusive behavior is to practice Loving Kindness meditation which helps cultivate empathy & compassion towards other people. This involves recognizing that people who may be different from you, also have basic human needs (just like yourself).


5. Enhancing Teamwork and Collaboration:


Mindful Listening is a great tool to ensure that the person you are communicating with feels seen, heard, and understood. The idea is to allow others to speak and listen intently without interrupting. When they’re done, you can ask them follow up questions if you need more clarification in order to fully understand their perspective.


6. Building Mental Strength, Grit & Resilience:


Practicing gratitude helps you to focus on what’s going well despite any negative or challenging situations you may be going through. A simple, yet powerful way to do this is to make a list of three things that you are grateful for every day. As a result, this habit fosters a more positive outlook and creative solutioning when faced with adversity.


Organizational Mindfulness Results:


While this may seem like a new concept, Organizational Mindfulness has actually been integrated and adopted by many leading firms in various industries over the last decade. Below are some results from a few organizations that have integrated Mindfulness in the workplace and have experienced improvements in the areas listed below:

  • Accenture

    • Increased focus

    • Decreased multi-tasking

    • Decreased distraction

  • Nike

    • Improved awareness

    • Reduced stress

    • Improved life-balance

  • Microsoft

    • Reduction in stress

    • Increase in memory

    • Increase in focus

Conclusion:


As we can see from the results above, cultivating Mindfulness in the workplace contributes to improving the overall performance and employee engagement of an organization. Additionally, mindfulness practices help employees cultivate mental and emotional skills, which enable them to navigate their professional and personal lives with more clarity, ease, and a sense of control.


If you ask me, Mindfulness is clearly the pathway to creating a healthy, excellence-driven, and inclusive workplace. Mindfulness is the future of work for many organizations and it will soon be embedded in everything that organizations do, including their strategic objectives.


That being said, I will leave you with this: Will you make Mindfulness a competitive advantage or will you wait until it’s already become mainstream?


If you would like some support in bringing Mindfulness into your organization, you can book a free clarity call with me via this link.


For information about my services, visit my website. For more content and inspiration, you can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


 

Vanina Pitsch, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Vanina Pitsch is a leadership development manager, mindset coach, and mindfulness facilitator. She is the founder of GloWell Coaching ‒ a coaching and mindfulness company aimed at bringing empathy and mindfulness into organizations and supporting professionals in their careers and life so they can evolve into their next-level selves.


Certified as a Personal and Professional Coach (PPCC) from Concordia University, she offers a variety of different coaching packages and organizes online wellness events as well as urban wellness retreats for professionals and organizations.


She believes in the power of the mind, leadership development, creating inclusive work environments, and teaching others to take care of their well-being. So they can serve from a place of wholeness and be in alignment with their soul’s purpose.

 

Source:

  • Content and stats from the Institute for Organizational Science and Mindfulness (IOSM)


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