Bringing Mindfulness and Compassion to the Workforce
What is mindfulness? It is the state of being conscious, self-aware and in the moment. Imagine, if our employees and management team were working in their conscious mind? Remember, we spend 95% of our time in our subconscious mind - this is when we work on autopilot. When we are not even aware of our thoughts and actions.
When we become more conscious and, in the present, we are more creative, productive and happy. We find a sense of peace and calm. If we were operating through our conscious mind, our lives would run more smoothly. Why compassion in the workplace? - if we all could show a little more concern for others, be of help and service to others, we could make the workplace a place of love instead of fear.
When we go to work from a place of fear - a fear of being fired, fear of being constantly criticized, stressed out or not fitting in, we don't do our job. Our creativity is covered by fear, our motivation is covered by fear and what you get is a workplace that runs on fear and it shows by the turnover rate, high absenteeism and overall work satisfaction.
The Conference Board reports that 53% of Americans are unhappy at the workplace. Which means that Half of the workforce isn't happy, a sad statistic but there are things we can to help our employees to be happier, healthier and more productive.
We have choices as management and leaders to run our companies with compassion, kindness and empathy. These choices can make the huge difference in a company. 1. Show every employee kindness through caring and respect. How? Show your kindness. Say Hi to each employee using their name. Ask how they are and mean it. Find out what each employees interests are, ask about their family and ask about them.
2. Teach each manager that emotions such as empathy, kindness, respect, caring, etc. are signs of strength not weakness. Let's change our thought process on kindness. A soft skill doesn't mean it's a sign of weakness instead these soft skills will bring up your rates of productivity and creativity in the workplace. Soft skills are impactful. Soft skills are the foundation for Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. Does that sound like a sign of weakness in an organization?
3. With empathy and compassion comes cooperation and working together. These types of emotions allow people to have better interpersonal skills and work better in groups. When we are more social at work and enjoy each other's company, we have better socialization at work. Socialization is the #1 factor in happiness. Do I need to say more?
Happy employees = Happy Companies
4. A compassionate, kind leader will communicate openly and honestly with their employees. Their constructive criticism comes from a place of love and learning.
5. A compassionate, caring leader express their own emotions, led by example, decrease judgment and criticism of others.
6. A compassionate and mindful leader will share constructive criticism with their employees but will also go over all the good the employee has added to their company.
The benefits of mindfulness and compassion: Promotes positive relationships which you see within the environment of the workplace. Better relationships, more cooperation and sharing, less workplace bullying and happier employees.
Mindfulness may improve relationships through greater empathy and compassion – mindfulness training for employees can have a positive effect on leadership and teamwork.
Moods and emotions are contagious - we catch the emotions of our leaders. When our leaders/bosses are kind, caring, compassionate, etc. then our employees will follow suit. Improved employee retention which boosts the company's bottom dollar.
Decreased stress from the socialization of the employees. When employees are encouraged to develop good relationships and have conversations with their fellow employees, they decrease stress which equals less burnout and of productivity.
There are also health benefits of good relationships at work. Employees who develop good friendships at work have lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, a boost in their immune systems and reduce absenteeism employees in good health and happiness are more productive.
About 70% of cultural initiative in mindfulness/stress management fail to implement lasting change. What separates the successful 30% from the rest is planning for challenges and having a plan of action that continues after the first wellness seminar. For best results – continue to have mindfulness/stress management workshops. When the company keeps wellness as a top priority, the success rate goes up along with a culture of happiness.
A few small ways to add positive emotions into the organization;
Conversations about family and interests
Delivering a cup of coffee or tea to a fellow employee
It's just about the basics - showing your employees you care. It's simple and effective!
To learn more, reach out to Diane Lang @ www.dianelang.org