Companies like Intel, Google, Nike and General Mills want their employees to be less stressed and more focused. For this purpose, Intel for example introduces a nine-week mindfulness training to more than 100,000 employees in 63 countries – participation is voluntary and is supposed to increase both wellbeing and productivity.
What is mindfulness? It is generally described as attentive awareness of self and/or others in the present moment. Of body, feelings, and mind. A focusing and centering – active, open attention to the present. Also mindful of how we treat ourselves and each other. Are we hard on ourselves? Or do we take good enough care of ourselves?
At Intel, during weekly 90-minute sessions, employees learn to quiet their minds, listen mindfully, meditate, act choicefully rather than compulsively, relate authentically to each other beyond professional roles.
Desired outcomes are that people have increased individual wellbeing, are more highly engaged in meetings, and are better at team collaboration and more creative and generative together.
Such a program can clearly be part of HR’s Employee Value Proposition, improving work-life balance and employee health. The corporate programs will also attempt to prove not just qualitatively, but also quantitatively that mindfulness training at work leads to higher productivity, thus positively impacting the bottom line.
A new trend to sweep the international business world? Watch this space …