Corporate meditation can greatly enhance employees’ overall mental health and their memory, resiliency, decision-making, work relationships, immune system, and stress levels. Simply put, it could be one of the best things to happen to your company, but some businesses are not ready for it quite yet. Here’s a look at some signs your company could benefit from meditation (and some indicators that it has room to go before being ready).
The Workplace Culture Emphasizes Mindfulness and Mental Well-Being
Corporate meditation programs are more likely to succeed in companies that have a commitment to employees’ mental well-being. A meditation program is not for situations where it just sounds good and is implemented willy-nilly. Likewise, if management hopes for a program to get disaffected employees smiling again after years of bad treatment, it is not that kind of magic one-stop solution. Employees see through empty gestures and are less likely to take programs seriously if there is no genuine intent behind them.
The programs are hugely beneficial as part of an overall corporate commitment. They can focus on anxiety, stress, work-life balance, succeeding at work, overall health, team building, working from home, and many other topics. Depending on the company you use for meditations, you can choose from in-person and virtual sessions and time lengths of 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. No matter how small or big your business is, look for a meditation partner that can handle its needs.
Unsure whether your company has a commitment to mindfulness and well-being? Now is a great time to take stock. The company culture probably prioritizes employee mental health if it does things such as setting clear expectations and encouraging open communication and work-life balance. Employees have incentives to work harder and smarter and aren’t capriciously disciplined. The company may offer flexible work options, wellness programs, gym discounts, on-site screening for depression and other conditions, or even on-site child care as part of its commitment.
If you feel your company is lacking, do not fear. You can get started today to change the chasm between written guidelines and what actually happens. For example, there should not be any, “Come into the office this weekend!” orders when a policy states employees do not have to work weekends.
There Are Specific Goals or Hopes for the Program
Any program tends to work best when you have goals, expectations, or hopes in mind. That holds for corporate meditation, too. The goals could work on multiple levels, for example:
- To improve employees’ overall well-being by offering regular meditation sessions.
- To address certain needs that managers, employees, or even clients have identified. Perhaps employees are not listening enough to clients or not being attentive enough to their needs.
- To save money and streamline the bottom line by encouraging productivity. A study in Taiwan showed that distressed, unhappy factory workers who participated in eight-week mindfulness training differed noticeably from the control group by the end of the program. The participants had less fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. They slept better and got along better with other people. Similarly, mindfulness training has drastically reduced burnout among physicians.
You must know what you hope to get from a program to know if it is effective.
You Plan to Get Buy-in
Rather than springing a meditation program on employees and expecting them to instinctively understand the reasons behind it, share resources about the benefits of meditation and why you hope such a program will enhance the company culture and employees’ well-being.
Consider soliciting employees’ participation in setting up programs. For instance, send emails asking who might be interested and outline the benefits. Ask them to choose among, say, one 30-minute session per week or daily 10-minute sessions.
If necessary, give employees incentives to participate. Choose the incentives wisely, though, and don’t penalize employees who cannot or do not participate. Get employee feedback and plan ahead for logistics such as where the sessions will be (maybe sometimes they can be outside) and whether employees can bring incense, scents, candles, and other aids.
You Plan to Track the Program’s Effectiveness
Meditation programs have proved to be a great return on investment for many companies. Tracking program results helps you make sure you’re partnering with the right meditation business and assisting employees as much as you can.
Metrics to track could include program participation rate, employee absenteeism, deadlines met early or on time, overall company profit, and even the number and type of conflicts reported to human resources.
More Team-Building Could Be Helpful
Team-building activities can be tricky although effective when done well. Employees perceive many of these activities as cheesy or time-wasters, but meditation gets actual results. It can also enhance employees’ communication and trust in one another, two essential components of team building.
Corporate meditation has worked wonders for employees’ mental health and productivity. However, these programs are something to be deployed strategically and with thoughtful intent. If your business is ready to benefit, the sky’s the limit.