Benefits Insights, Spring 2017
Mindfulness is becoming a popular trend in the workplace as more and more employers offer mindfulness training to help improve overall company performance. No longer seen as a fad, it now appears to be taken more seriously as research continues to identify it as a valuable management tool. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the positive effects of mindfulness training with improved health, outlook, and performance of employees.
Last year, the payroll company ADP put the average cost of disengagement at $2,634 per year/employee. Since that is an average, the cost of highly paid employee disengagement will cost dramatically more. The biggest cost issues resulting from low productivity include more illness, increased use of medical and other employee benefits, and damage to brand resulting from unhappy employees. A recent Gallup Poll found that 70% of employees are disengaged, which suggests that companies are sure to lose money from unhappy employees.
Science Daily reported in March 2016 that several top organizations such as Google, Aetna, Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Marine Corps use mindfulness training to improve workplaces. Research indicates that mindfulness improves a range of workplace functions, including improved attention, memory and emotional intelligence, but also can be used to manage stress and how employees work together.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) has published several studies addressing the benefits and success of mindfulness in the workplace. CEOs are increasingly viewing mindfulness as a useful technique to garner the full potential of employees.
Mindfulness, which emerged from Buddhist philosophy, is simply defined as present-centered attention and awareness, which has been cultivated for years through meditation practices. As the HBR states, “this form of meditation is being hailed as the new key to unlocking employee potential and boosting productivity.”