Employees are struggling like never before with an experience that is shared among all of us yet is unique to each individual. One of the most pressing challenges business owners face right now is how to support a workforce affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This proves to be the best time for companies to focus on and broaden their employee wellness. Companies need to go above and beyond to provide employees with healthy ways to approach their mental and physical health.
In this time of social distancing, the workplace – whether onsite or remote – is a primary point of connection. The quality of connectedness is profoundly influenced by company culture: the way people feel about their work, what they think and believe, and how they act. That’s why it’s essential to establish a culture of mindfulness in the workplace to equip your team with the optimal tools to handle any adversity that is thrown their way.
How To Establish A Culture Of Mindfulness
What Characterizes A Mindful Culture?
Culture is described by Forbes as a living thing – something we cultivate, and when tended, a culture grows over time. By creating a culture of mindfulness, we extend practices and well-being to a larger population. Employees new to the concept of mindfulness will be given the opportunity to think from a brand new perspective. For those already familiar with mindfulness, it offers continued opportunities to learn and grow and share with others. A culture of mindfulness reminds all of us of our interconnection with one another.
What Are The Benefits?
Before diving into the different ways to establish a mindful culture in your workplace, it’s important to highlight the importance and benefits it can bring. For starters, mindfulness leads to decreased stress and higher levels of productivity. However, the benefits extend beyond productivity, affecting levels of employee satisfaction and overall happiness. This is an integral part of talent retention which is beneficial to a business given that turnover can cost you 16-20% of an employee’s annual wage. If increasing levels of productivity aren’t enough to convince you, saving money for the company should. No strategy that improves employe+-e retention should be ignored. But how do we create a company culture of mindfulness?
Steps To Creating A Culture Of Mindfulness
- Be the change: Mindful presence is a way of being that is attentive, open, and curious. It supports clarity – the ability to see things clearly, just as they are. When leaders themselves are under intense pressure, it’s especially difficult to support and help employees with their own stress. That’s why mindfulness starts at the top. Mindful leadership presence begins with one’s self, noticing stressful thoughts or emotional reactivity, and engaging practices to support greater calmness, openness, and acceptance. By modeling mindful presence, leaders lay the groundwork for a culture of mindfulness.
- Allow employees some time and space: Leaders need to be diligent in reaching out to employees with compassion and sensitivity. Cultivating a trusting environment where employees feel safe to share what’s on their minds doesn’t happen overnight. One of the most effective ways of helping employees manage their stress is to make it possible for them to weave moments of renewal into their workday. Leaders can encourage employees to take mindful breaks during the day. Mindful breaks can include walking around and stretching or just taking 10 minutes to clear the mind and breath. The purpose is for your team to restore and renew their energy and focus – balancing the demands of work and supporting employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
- Avoid the back-to-backs: Psychologist Bryan Robinson describes the “hustle culture” where we’re always “on”, pushing ourselves to the max every minute of the day. Although it sounds optimal, this hustle culture can push employees too far and increase their stress/anxiety while decreasing productivity. In a hustle culture, meetings are back-to-back and many of us come to those meetings rushed, distracted, or stressed. Allow employees the opportunity to relax and regroup between meetings or deadlines.
- Find culture captains: Leaders must lead by example, however, to establish an enduring culture of mindfulness in the workplace, leaders must identify those in the organization who can carry on your leadership. Find captains on your team who are the most enthusiastic about the initiative and leverage their enthusiasm. This will help motivate your employees to follow the recognition of the most mindful team members. This is how leadership cultivates from the bottom-up and it will also help you identify the employees on your team with the best leadership skills.
A Mindful Culture Supports A Thriving Business
Employers across the globe are turning to mindfulness in order to cope with the challenges and stress brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. This provides employees with effective ways to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and make lifestyle choices that improve their well-being. Creating a more mindful culture builds on the interest that is already there. It extends the benefits of mindfulness to a larger employee base – increasing the wellbeing of individuals and the organization as a whole. Establishing a widespread cultural shift isn’t easy, nevertheless, it can be implemented overtime through small steps.
Laying The Groundwork With eMindful
Although it can be difficult to establish a new culture within a business, there are many techniques and strategies that can jumpstart the process. For employers looking to create a culture of mindfulness to improve their employee’s productivity/well-being, eMindful has your back. At eMindful, our mission is to deliver mindfulness to your workplace and help you change the culture of your organization for the better. Check out our website today to learn more about how we can bring mindfulness to your workplace today.