Lack of employee engagement in your workplace can be frustrating.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s in your best interest to know about the current levels of employee engagement, and moreover, how to improve it. In doing so, you can take both preventative and corrective action to address it, before it starts impacting your bottom line.
How Job Stress Affects Employee Engagement
Stress at the workplace is higher than ever. The American Institute of Stress highlighted the leading causes of workplace stress as:
- Workload à 46%
- People issues à 28%
- Difficulty of juggling work/personal lives à 20%
- Lack of job security à 6%
Most of the workers who are stressed on the job don’t know how to manage it. As a result, it leads to the following consequences.
- Absenteeism due to complaints of back pain, stress, fatigue, and headaches.
- Reduced productivity.
- Higher employee turnover because workers aren’t happy about their current situation.
- Violence in communication, behavior and actions
Unlocking the Secret to Better Employee Engagement
Big companies like Google, Aetna, and Intel know the secret to better employee engagement. Moreover, they’re already reaping the benefits of it. So, what is it? Mindfulness. Positive Psychology Program summarizes the benefits of mindfulness provided by experts and organizations who practice it as:
- Mindfulness teaches you to pay attention and be nonjudgmental.
- Mindfulness teaches you to focus on yourself, your thoughts and your behavior
- Mindfulness increases awareness of your environment and the people around you.
How Mindfulness Benefits Your Company
Better employee engagement is only one of the benefits of practicing mindfulness in the workplace. The additional advantages you can expect from it are the following:
- Better employee retention: Workers are less inclined to look for another job as mindfulness helps lower their emotional exhaustion at work.
- Better health of employees results in lower incidences of absences and healthcare costs.
- Better productivity¾because employees are happier and healthier!
Nowadays, many companies host corporate mindfulness programs for the benefit of their employees. Not only does it serve as a training ground for employees to learn how to manage job stress, but it also helps them acquire the skills to cope with it later on.
Ways to Implement Mindfulness Practices in the Workplace
Aetna provides its employees with mindfulness and yoga training programs. It is part of the commitment of itsCEO Mark Bertolini after his severe skiing accident. In an interview with CNBC in 2013, Bertolini reported turning to yoga to ease the pain he suffered from nerve damage. Because of the benefits he achieved from it, he sought to apply it to his company’s workforce. The result was lowered stress and better productivity.
If you’re a big company like Aetna, then you could consider doing the same. If not, there are several budget-friendly ideas to implement mindfulness in your workplace. Rest assured you can achieve the same results for less:
- Take advantage of technology. Many meditation apps are available. You could provide it to your employees for free or shoulder half the cost of a subscription.
- Hire an expert to conduct a mindfulness training program for as little as 30 minutes. You can even hold it during the office lunch break. However, you might consider paying for lunch (or at least offer a snack¾like toast and Manuka honey) to encourage employees to join.
- Schedule yoga classes after work to teach employees how to meditate.
Mindfulness expert Pandit Dasa reveals to TechTarget the key to the success of any mindfulness program is the involvement of leadership¾this means you! That said, your attendance and participation are a must.
High-functioning employees don’t happen overnight. Achieving employee engagement requires the combined efforts of management and workers to make this happen. Hence, mindfulness practices are worth considering for the positive benefits it delivers. In doing so, your company attains greater stability and efficiency as your employees can manage stress better. Are you ready to start your own mindfulness program? Contact Pilgrimage Yoga Online’s team of experts ([email protected]) to find out the best way to start!
CHERYL CHANDOLA Director, Editing and Testing, ReadPlease.com
Cheryl conducts hands-on reviews and extensive testing of products as well as manages the editorial and testing teams at ReadPlease.com. In her spare time she runs an ecommerce store and loves spending time with her daughter and dog, Blue.