Mind & Matter believe that sustained and robust mindfulness practice within organisations can have a significant impact on the well being, resilience and productivity of its workforce. In this VUCA world we live in, we need to look for bold solutions which help employees deal with change, conflict and constant workplace demands. Whilst mindfulness is not a panacea, evidence suggests that it can lift an entire workforce when deployed professionally. (see Science Daily Article for the latest evidence)
More than 160 people attended Mind & Matter 2017 and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Mind and Matter once again returned to examine the impact of mindfulness in the workplace. Chaired by David Cox, VP Mindfulness and Wellbeing, Audible and Jamie Bristow, Director of the Mindfulness Initiative (click here to see the full programme and speaker line up), the conference featured speakers from academia, the public and private sectors and many of the UK’s leading mindfulness practitioners.
One of the major themes this year focussed on how mindfulness can be practically introduced into daily life. Typical challenges posed include resistance/scepticism and a perceived lack of time and there were several informative and lively discussions on how this can be overcome.
Speakers and audience members told how incorporating mindfulness into existing daily routines can be of great value. Often known as ‘water cooler moments’, the benefit this can bring is that person does not have to set aside extra time for the practice, thus helping to overcome one of the major barriers to change.
In addition to this, it was noted how there are many different ways in which mindfulness can be introduced to the workforce. Ranging from cost effective methods to a large workforce through seminars and mobile apps, to more in-depth tuition on a one to one or small group basis.
Whilst all of these methods can bring value to the organisation, it was universally agreed upon that the benefits of mindfulness are most effective when it is practiced regularly and as part of a daily routine.
Case studies from the NHS, Jaguar Land Rover, GSK, Ernst & Young and the National Offender Management Service of Wales, demonstrated how this can be nurtured, including:
- ‘Champions’ within the organisation
- Clear and open communication from leadership about mindfulness offerings and how they benefit both individuals, teams and the organisation as a whole – this is key to introducing people to the practice who fear that taking advantage of mindful opportunities might be perceived as ‘wasting company time’
- Creating a mindful environment, or mindful spaces where people can reflect and practice
- Sharing some of the hard scientific and workplace based evidence demonstrating the health, productivity and ultimately cost saving benefits mindfulness can bring
Once enough momentum has been generated, Parham Vasaiely of JLR shared with the audience how and why mindfulness can be at its most effective when delivered and practised as part of a group. As humans, we are social by nature; but the key message given was that group participation creates a positive feedback loop of wellbeing, innovation and ultimately, performance.
These non-clinical benefits were also highlighted by Jonathan Trimble, CEO of media company 18 Feet and Rising, who told of how mindfulness is a great aid to promoting creativity. Jonathan also told how demonstrating mindful values helps with the recruitment and retention of some of the best creative talent and new workforce entrants.
In addition to streams focussing on mindfulness in the public and private sectors, many delegates chose to take part in some of the many mindfulness sessions that ran throughout the conference; as well as taking advantage of some of the in-depth workshops that took place the following day.
If you’d like to learn more about the conference findings; share your mindfulness in the workplace stories; or attend or speak in the future, please email us – we’d love to hear from you!