Mindfulness in the workplace is helping teams stay more focused and productive. In part one of a series on must-read books for HR leaders, we're taking a closer look at "Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out" by David Gelles.

According to Statista, revenues from yoga alone have surpassed $9 billion, and mindfulness is close on its heels. As Gelles notes, mindfulness can help make teams less stressed, happier and more compassionate. For HR leaders interested in introducing mindfulness in the workplace to help improve both the employee experience and bottom line results, here's a look at three key takeaways from Gelles' book.

1. There Are Real Benefits to Mindfulness in the Workplace

What is mindfulness? According to Gelles, "Mindfulness, put simply, is the ability to see what's going on in our heads, without getting away with it." When your team masters mindfulness, they're able to make smarter decisions that are less driven by emotion. They're able to set aside distractions and get more done. And they're able to work through conflicts and challenges in a more straightforward way, which can help keep a work environment cordial and productive.

Harvard Business Review notes that mindfulness can build resiliency, enhance creativity, boost emotional intelligence and improve relationships and focus. Each of these benefits has numerous implications, from approaching day-to-day tasks, to interacting with clients, to successfully moving up the career ladder.

2. It's Easy to Implement Mindfulness Training

Implementing mindfulness training is a great strategy for helping your staff be more relaxed and more productive. Yet many firms don't know where to begin. Gelles talks about investing in mindfulness training in the form of teaching your employees meditation or yoga. This can be done by hosting a single workshop or ongoing classes. Building a successful mindfulness in the workplace training program requires a certain level of commitment, including:

  • Leadership support
  • Dedicated time and space
  • The right training and tools

3. Mindfulness Can Include a Variety of Practices

While Gelles focuses primarily on yoga and meditation as ways to practice mindfulness, there are a variety of different stress reduction techniques that are akin to mindful behavior. Ultimately, not every form of mindfulness works for all employees. Exploring other options might include journaling, spending time in nature, listening to calming music or incorporating other traditions such as guided visualizations. The benefits of mindfulness aren't restricted to a single practice, and firms that are open to different methods may be more successful.

Incorporating mindfulness into the workplace can be a strategy that HR leaders use to help make their organization's leaders more effective, manage stress for all employees and improve performance across the board. But it begins with understanding the profound positive impact mindfulness can have on one's state of mind.

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Other articles in this series:

Mindfulness in the Workplace: 3 Benefits for Every Organization

How to Implement Mindfulness Training in the Workplace

5 Types of Mindfulness Training to Improve Productivity and Engagement

Tags: Culture Employee Engagement