After many years of working both within and with organizations, I find that despite the growing range of benefits that are offered to employees, this does not seem to be going far enough to help manage the stress levels that people are experiencing today.
Burnout is a growing concern as seen from the rise of short and long term leaves.
Change and Challenge has become an everyday norm in our working world, yet are we doing enough to help people through this so that they can navigate it better and therefore show up each day in a high functioning state?
There is growing research from so many reputable sources like Harvard and Stanford, which suggest that we might want to go deeper with managing stress in the workplace and the unhealthy impact it is creating. We are better served and will be better prepared for the future if we start to address this in new and innovative ways.
Yet we keep tossing around terms like "Stress Management" and "Change Management" in the workplace and keep attempting to help manage it in more or less the same ways.
The question to ask is: What are we doing to help people actively build a Stress Management Mindset?
What are we doing to help people take wellness to the next level, beyond a massage every once in a while, to take out the knots or a one-time stress management "workshop"?
This is why more Smart Businesses & Leaders are turning to Meditation as a powerful and effective solution to strengthen and prepare their workplace.
Meditation is starting to make good business sense.
Why is this so? Maybe it's because Meditation actively and effectively trains the Brain & Mind so that people, over time, become better able to navigate and cope with the stress and change that, today, is simply the norm. It's not a "band-aid" solution, like the odd massage thrown in here and there but a long term strategy.
Studies show that meditation strengthens the brain and this helps employees build stronger and more resilient mindsets.
The strongest evidence to date that meditation has a positive impact on well being comes from the first meta-analysis of 47 trials and shows that people participating in meditation experience less anxiety, depression and pain.
As well, companies like BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, report these benefits from their own Employee Meditation Program:
91% reported it positively impacted culture
88% would recommend it to a co worker
66% said they felt less stress or had improved stress management capabilities
63% are better able to manage themselves at work
60% reported better focus and better decision making skills
52% are better able to manage work relationships
46% report increased innovation and creativity
Organizations that introduce an Employee Meditation Program are likely to dramatically help reduce employee stress but also simultaneously increase productivity.
At Apple, employees have access to a meditation room and 30 minute meditation breaks. Google offers an on site meditation spaces and courses believing that meditation improves employee mental well being and that is just good for the bottom line. Companies like Yahoo have been early adopters of meditation in the workplace with magazines like Fast Company touting meditation as a "must do" to get hired! And Nike employs a meditation coach who runs regular seminars for employees.
It's exciting to see that more employee benefits are now covering meditation programs and initiatives.
"As the volatility in the job market and of individual careers increases - we will probably need far more effective stress-reduction techniques - ranging from drugs to neurofeed-back to Meditation - to prevent the human mind from snapping" Yuval Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
Meditation trains and conditions Mindset and that is why it is an effective "next level" Wellness solution. It can translate into tangible long lasting benefits for employees.
As a Personal Meditation Coach, I exist to make meditation accessible in everyday life and inspire employees around the science of their brain on meditation and how it improves every aspect of their personal & professional lives. From beginning the workday with a quick morning meditation to set the tone and energy for the day ahead, helping one actively get into their "Best State" to possibly integrating a midday "Focus" meditation before a meeting or important conference call to a simple transitioning meditation one can do on the commute home to actively leave behind the stresses of work life thus helping employees create a real sense of work-life balance - not just talk about it.
So here's what can make a Meditation Initiative successful in the Workplace:
1) Make it an important aspect of corporate wellness, align it with Health & Well being.
2) Get "Buy-in" and involvement from Leadership/Management - at least some - if not it could be seen as something that only those with "time on their hands" or nothing to do partake in, rather than something vital to productivity
3) Bring it in as an "on going" initiative rather than a one off - one offs don't do much and create nothing sustainable and tangible - it also takes time to build and strengthen new habits and create a new culture around this habit.
4) Make it accessible for people in their everyday professional and personal lives - meet people where they are at, especially in the workplace. Combine an initiative with both on-sites and virtual support to create success and traction.
"Meditation is now one of my foundational life and leadership habits. I love that if I need any support for my mind or meditation, Angela is there. I love having a Meditation Coach! MO Hagan, VP Goodlife & Canfitpro
Angela's work and meditations have changed my Life, my daily practice and my Leadership on such a deep level. Working with a Meditation Coach was one of the best decisions I have ever made from a holistic perspective, personally and professionally. Kim Fitzpatrick, Global Entrepreneur
Connect with me to discuss a Next Level Wellness Initiative in 2020.
Meditation & Mindset Coach