To adapt Mindfulness within the corporate world, it is important to first define Mindfulness.
The founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program (a series of tools to cultivate Mindfulness in everyday life), Jon Kabat-Zinn defines Mindfulness as “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” It is the ability to be the silent observer of our lives, every present and ever aware but from a place of non-judgement. Mindfulness also leads us towards self-compassion because when we don’t judge ourselves we remove guilt and blame. And from this place, we begin to love ourselves more. And when we love and accept ourselves more, we are more than likely going to project this outwards towards others.
Aside from the inner rewards, major corporations are also seeing the benefits of cultivating MBSR for their employees. As a leadership strategy, focusing on the moment and the task at hand has shown to be very effective at achieving results and no longer is the multi-tasking method showing to prove greater achievements
Many large organizations have now endorsed and even written on the benefits that MBSR has brought to their employees. Examples include:
Goldman Sachs made a key change to its employee wellness programming in 2009, during the woes of the financial crisis which they called Resilience Training, a form of Mindfulness practice. One research suggests that there’s a confidence gap between men and women: Women tend to be less self-assured than men, which can hurt their chances of professional success. But when women become more mindful, they’re “more aware of things that trigger them in performance settings.
Google offers employees many benefits and perks, including more than a dozen mindfulness courses. Google’s most popular mindfulness course, “Search Inside Yourself,” offered since 2007, has had thousands of graduates.
Aetna developed, launched, and studied two mindfulness programs in 2010 — Viniyoga Stress Reduction and Mindfulness at Work — in collaboration with Duke University. Aetna liked the results of its study on mindfulness so much that it now offers its mindfulness programs to customers.
General Mills has had a programs for its employees since 2006, offering weekly meditation sessions and yoga classes along with a dedicated meditation room in every building on its campus.
Intel began its program since 2012 and found, on average, that participants had a two-point decrease (on a scale of 1 to 10) in stress and feeling overwhelmed, a three-point increase in overall happiness and well-being, and a two-point increase in new ideas, insights, mental clarity, creativity and ability to focus.
Target has offered a Mindfulness meditation training since 2010 at its Minneapolis headquarters. The training is open to all employees at several company locations.
If you feel that you and your co-workers can benefit from being more Mindful for reduced stress and chance of burn-out, contact us regarding our 8-week Corporate Program.