It’s a topic that’s been receiving more and more media attention over the past number of months. Mindfulness, or employee wellness, is a program run within a workplace to promote and support health, safety and well-being of employees.
The main aim of this more holistic, mindfulness approach is to look after the mental and physical health of employees, but there are many more benefits to the companies running these programs that include:
Lower absenteeism - decreased rates of employee illness and injury
Talent attraction and retention
Saving on healthcare costs
Improved employee relations and morale
When it comes to adopting a mindfulness program within your organisation there are no set rules. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will work but the good news is that these programs are surprisingly easy to set up and they don’t have to be time consuming or expensive.
Some key areas to address before you get started:
Understand the culture of your organisation– are people likely to be open to the idea of a mindfulness program or will you face scepticism?
Your objectives and scope– take the time to plan this properly and to know what you want to include and what the main benefits of the program will be.
Plan your approach– who are the key players within your organisation who you need to get on board? Will this be rolled out to your entire workforce or will it be a staged process?
Pilot your program– after initial launch you are likely going to want to make some small changes. It will be easier to correct any mistakes on a small scale before delivering the program to the entire workforce.
Consider your resources– do you have the time and budget to invest in a mindfulness scheme?
Formulate a communication plan– this will be essential to gain the support of key stake holders and to roll out the program throughout the entire organisation.
There are many key areas to look at while in the planning stages of your mindfulness program. Taking the time and planning correctly can be the difference in the program being a success and falling on deaf ears. Some practical planning considerations include:
Training:is this something that you will be able to manage in house or will you need to look at a mindfulness training program? There are a variety of ways to train staff and unlimited resources are available, so if you decided to have employees complete an online course, or if you hire a mindfulness expert to come in for practical sessions, you will need to consider the costs and time involved in organising this.
Costs involved:as mentioned above, depending on the type of training you offer your costs could vary drastically when it comes to setting up a mindfulness program. HR departments normally fund this type of program, but you can also look to Learning and Development Departments and other areas to help fund the costs.
Timing:when will you run the training? Is this something that is going to take time out of an employees work day? Do your employees have the ability to look at training after hours or is this something that will work over a lunch period? Having various time slots available will help allow employees in all areas of the attend training.
Employees:what level of interest is expected from your employees? Is this something that they are expected to buy into immediately or will you need to spend time winning them over? Having small taster training sessions followed by a survey for feedback will help gauge reactions before rolling it out company wide.
Logistical Requirements:when carrying out the training, are you going to need additional resources such as meeting rooms, laptops, additional staff to complete the training etc?
Before you begin the process of rolling your mindfulness program out, you will need to gain buy in from strategic stakeholders within the business in order to help assure its success.
Once you’ve achieved this, you can then start the process of introducing your mindfulness program to the business and reaping the benefits. For some examples of mindfulness activities within the workplace, you can read our previous blog here.
Mindfulness has been a topic in the workplace for many years but is being increasingly adopted by companies of all sizes. Whether you already operate a mindfulness program within your organisation or are considering implementing one, I hope that you have found this article to be of some help and interest.
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