Large companies such as Google, Aetna, and General Mills have been early adopters of wellness and mindfulness programs for their employees.
So how exactly can mindfulness, yoga, and meditation help improve operational efficiency and positively impact your bottom line?
In our current information economy, how well a company is able to manage stress and overwhelm is as important to succeeding as hitting quarterly goals. New estimates show that up to 22% of employers are offering mindfulness training, which means the majority are being left behind.
Here are 7 areas in which mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can benefit companies:
- Healthier Employees and Increased Wellbeing
Google employees who participated in their Search Inside Yourself Mindfulness Program reported that their emotional drain was down 34%. A study on Pubmed showed that after two weeks of mindfulness training, participants experienced significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction than participants in the control group. According to a study in the prestigious journal, Nature, mindfulness has been shown to activate areas of the brain associated with emotional awareness and emotional management. Another study showed that yoga led to the greatest increase in feelings of well-being, while sitting meditation led to lower feelings of self-judgement.
- Increased Creativity and Higher Performance
When Intel evaluated their wellness program, they noticed a two-point (on a ten-point scale) increase in employees having new ideas and insights, mental clarity, creativity, the ability to focus, the quality of relationships at work and the level of engagement in meetings, projects and collaboration efforts. At Google, employees reported a 32% greater ability to focus and be more effective after mindfulness training.
- Financial Savings for the Company
Aetna’s mindfulness program reduced healthcare costs by 7% resulting in a $6.3 million savings per year. Search Inside Yourself has demonstrated through 13,000 participants that wellness programs can save $3000 per year on gained productivity. Studies also show that an online wellness program can be as effective and much cheaper than an in-person program.
- Stress Reduction
Stress is estimated to cost enterprises $300 billion per year according to the World Health Organization. Not only that, but highly stressed employees incur $2000 more per year in health care costs. And with 18% of women and 25% of men reporting an increase in stress levels over the last 30 years, it’s worth finding a solution for. The World Economic Forum discussed stress as being the cause of 75% of hospital visits and mindfulness as the potential antidote. At Intel’s Awake Mindfulness Program, employees noticed a 2 point decrease in stress and overwhelm and a 3 point increase in overall happiness and wellbeing.
- Improves Business Decisions and Prevent Investment Mistakes
According to the Wharton School of Business and INSEAD Business School in Singapore, meditation helps people resist the “Sunk Cost Bias,” which is the tendency to allow unrecoverable prior costs to influence current decisions. Mindfulness has also been shown to help with identifying when a decision should be made, gathering information, coming to a conclusion, and learning from feedback in a more unbiased way.
- Leadership, Vision, and Moral Intelligence
Google’s leadership was 29% better able to maintain calm and poise in difficult situations after they completed mindfulness training. A study on ResearchGate shows that greater emotional intelligence has been associated with higher managerial and leadership performance. Institutes for Mindful Leadership and General Mills partnered on a mindfulness program which resulted in 93% of participants reporting that the training helped them create space for innovation, and 70% saying the training made a positive difference in their ability to think strategically. A University of Westminster study published in the Academy of Management Proceedings revealed that meditation training significantly enhanced overall self-confidence, as well as individual skills like inspiring a shared vision and demonstrating moral intelligence among senior managers.
- Boosts Mental Health and Reduces Drug and Alcohol Relapse
A recent study from University of Lund in Sweden showed that mindfulness can be as effective as traditional talk therapy for anxiety and depression. Researchers in Washington and New Mexico found those who completed a mindfulness and relapse intervention combination program reported significantly lower risk of relapse to substance use and heavy drinking; and among those who used substances, they found significantly fewer days of substance use and heavy drinking at the 6-month follow-up.
Pilgrimage Yoga Online’s Corporate Wellness Program
Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga is San Diego’s largest independently owned yoga studio, and sponsor of Pilgrimage Yoga Online, an online yoga studio featuring hundreds of yoga and meditation videos and classes. We’ve worked with thousands of individuals across the country to reach their wellness goals, which include everything from stress relief to weight loss to being able to handle conflict to staying organized at work.
Our online wellness and mindfulness program is an affordable and effective option for companies not local to our San Diego area, and features complete access to our online yoga and meditation library, our online resource center, and personalized check-ins with a PYO program representative, who will guide you through the process of establishing and tracking your wellness goals. Based on your specific needs, we schedule and host live seminars, meditations, and yoga classes via webcast, and can work directly with your employees during these sessions. Our team of highly trained meditation and yoga professionals have hundreds of years of combined experience guiding newcomers and long-time practitioners alike through mindfulness practices that ease stress and promote well-being.
New studies are coming out daily to support mindfulness, meditation, and yoga as beneficial across the board. The results are clear: happier and well-balanced employees, higher levels of productivity, and increased soft-skills that are critical in developing functional teams, projects and more.
Mindfulness programs are here to stay. The only question is: will your company innovate and stay ahead?
For further information on an effective and affordable online wellness program, please email [email protected] for discounted rates.
Zach Saltzman graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. After working in Retail Management for 4 years and seeing the stress and overwhelm that employees have to deal with in the 21st century he began to study the intersection of business and mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for 10 years and still finds it a challenge! Some of his passions include all things health-related, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, travel, and much more.