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Mindfulness: a cultural shift in the workplace

Posted 6 years ago on · Permalink



Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold

Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold

Mindfulness has now entered the business world like the quiet calm after the storm. Jon Kabat-Zinn has greatly assisted with this as he created the foundation for the western mindfulness practice known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program. This program has been adapted to address the stress of daily life. Now we have mindfulness in the workplace.

In 2007, Chad Meng-Tan an engineer at Google created a program to introduce mindfulness into the workplace. It was a blend of emotional intelligence, mindfulness and neuroscience. Search Inside Yourself has set the standard in the mindfulness in the workplace movement. Now organizations like Proctor & Gamble, McKinsey &Company, General Mills and other large organizations have embraced the concept of a holistic approach to employee well-being. This mindfulness practice ties in with the standard that was set in the business world by Daniel Goleman when he dared to say that EQ is more valuable to an organization than IQ, which shifted how educational institutions and large companies taught and conducted business.

The University of Massachusetts and the Mind-Body Medical Institute at Harvard found that mindfulness in the workplace assisted with the following:

•      Reduced costs and impact of absenteeism caused by illness, injury and stress
•      Improved cognitive functioning, increasing the ability to concentrate, learn, be creative and ability to retain information
•      Improvements in productivity and an increase in the well-being of the staff and organization
•      Reduction in staff turnover and associated costs
•      Increased customer and employee satisfaction
Impact on the individual:
•      Greater sense of self-awareness
•      Lower blood pressure
•      Increases ability to manage stress
•      Lowers feelings and symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD

The real question is what will this do for the workplace and why is it important? The challenges that employers/entrepreneurs face in the workplace are dramatically changing. The Mental Health Commission of Canada states that, this week, 500,000 Canadians won’t make it to work because of mental health concerns. By 2041, the cost to productivity is projected to be $16 billion per year.

The Workplace Bullying Institute completed a study and found that employees who were bullied in the workplace experienced depression, anxiety, loss of concentration and considered self-harm. We know that heart disease and stress levels are increasing as our workday lengthens and the expectation of being accessible for business is now on a 24/7 clock. This is why businesses large and small have to consider how will they make a cultural change that will impact all levels of their organization from the top down cultivating a healthy workplace. When the employees, entrepreneurs and organizations are well it has a positivity impact on the community, customer and society.


Randi-Mae assists individuals and organizations to integrate wellness and compassion into their daily lives.


Mindful Monday RMG