Our current business environments demand multi-tasking to sort through huge amounts of information. So it makes sense that employees with good attention skills fare better in the workplace – they’re more focused, able to prioritise and manage their time, and more resilient to stress.
In recent years, large volumes of research have given birth to a new corporate attitude towards mindfulness, and shown that it can be taught to staff with resulting improvements in performance at work. That’s why the Claremont Graduate University teaches meditation to its MBA students, and why Google runs a range of multi-week mindfulness programs for its employees.
The most significant self-reported changes relate to concentration. One employee at General Mills noted that “I can be more present. I’m not carrying the previous meeting into this one.”
Closer to home, the mining industry has shown a rising interest in teaching mindfulness to improve productivity and communication, tackle alcohol abuse and address workplace bullying issues. Corporate psychology experts DTC have reported a surge in these problems, bringing to light the danger that poor mental health and emotional wellbeing outcomes can present to the safety and financial strength at these companies.
Attitudes in the industry are changing. Recently, HSG designed a two-day team-building program which used art therapy and creative expression to tap into intellectual capital, reveal individual strengths, set goals and align values to common purpose with a Mine Control team at BHP Biliton.
There’s nothing alternative or complicated about mindfulness training, which is simply the ability to focus on the present moment and the task at hand. A range of teaching methods, including meditation training, have been shown to be successful in fostering better health and wellness and resulting in better morale, less stress and increased productivity.