Keeping your employees engaged and happy in the workplace has a lot of benefits for the company. A great way to boost employee engagement is through meditation and mindfulness practices. Strengthening the well-being of the employees positively impacts their work performance.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
Having engaged employees means these individuals feel energized by their job. They have more initiative to improve and propel themselves, the team, and the company forward. These engaged employees also tend to stay in the company longer.
Companies that understand the needs of their employees and act on those needs have more engaged employees. How can companies show they care? By having better leave management systems, providing significant benefits, offering career growth and enhancement opportunities, having health incentives, and other systems in place to support the employees.
Employees that feel like their employers care about them find more job satisfaction. The employees are more productive and feel more fulfilled in their work. This job satisfaction creates a ripple effect that radiates out to how the employee interacts with customers, suppliers, other stakeholders, and the employer.
When employers have an effective strategy to create a better work environment, employees, in turn, create a better work culture, increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, and positively impact company profits.
How Does Mindfulness and Meditation Improve Employee Engagement?
Mindfulness and meditation are two correlated mental training practices. You can practice meditation and mindfulness separately, or you can combine the two as mindfulness meditation.
Meditation, as a practice, comes in many forms. The two main types of meditation are concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Concentrative meditation is when you pause to really experience whatever it is you’re focusing on your breathing, words of affirmation, or a mantra.
Mindfulness meditation focuses on your awareness and opening yourself up to the present moment. It helps slow down racing thoughts, releases negativity, and calms the mind and body. Like concentrative meditation, it involves deep breathing, and it’s an excellent practice for general stress management and anxiety relief.
Mindfulness is a broad practice that allows you, at any time of the day, to become more fully aware of the present moment with a non-judgmental mindset. It asks you to be “in the now” and feel your body's sensations, breathing, and what’s happening around you.
When you’re in the workplace, stress can reach high levels. You may often feel overwhelmed and anxious. Negative emotions and thoughts easily get in your head and are harder to shake off. Some get so wrapped up in their own bubble of dread that their relationships and connection with others suffer. All of these things are not great for employee well-being.
Practicing mindfulness, meditation, or mindfulness meditation, allows a person to feel more present and reframe their mindset to focus on things they can control.
These practices can strengthen your self-compassion, focus, and concentration if done regularly. You find it easier to shake negative emotions and channel them to more positive and productive energy. You are more aware of how you interact with others at the moment, allowing for deeper connections. And soon, your stress and anxiety levels are more manageable. Your body also benefits from these practices as you’ll be able to get better sleep, improve your immunity, decrease inflammatory symptoms, and lower your heart rate.
How does this translate in the workplace? Employees who practice mindfulness and meditation are generally better performers.
These employees are able to focus on their tasks at hand, with stronger problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, and can complete tasks with consistency and discipline. These practices also improve employee retention and lower absenteeism. Employees also remain intent and resourceful at work.
As co-workers, they are emotionally agile and resilient. They are more effective in expressing, understanding, and accepting their own as well as the other person’s emotions. This creates a workplace culture that can be emotionally validating, holistic, and nurturing positive emotions. In effect, you have effectively communicative, calmer, and happier employees.
Companies like Apple, Nike, McKinsey & Co., Prentice-Hall Publishing, Google, and Deutsche Bank encourage on-job meditation, seeing the positive shift in their organizations.
Building a Meditation and Mindfulness Practice for Your Employees
Take the time to educate your employees on these mental training practices. Take it one step further by supporting their regular practice of it.
You can begin by setting up a seminar on mindfulness and meditation. Cover all the benefits it has for the individual in and outside of work and how to incorporate it into daily life.
From there, the company can help support the employees’ practices by having a green space or relaxing corners where they can pause and go for meditation or a mindfulness break. You can also carve out unscheduled time for mindfulness, which can be anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes dedicated to taking a step back and being mindful.
Provide your employees with tools to help them with their practice. You can link them to guided meditation podcasts or mindfulness apps. Leading by example is also a great way for employees to see that mindfulness and meditation are important.
Employee engagement is all about keeping a team of happy and fulfilled individuals. Supporting their meditation and mindfulness practice does just that.