There are many reasons that organizations will benefit from a mindfulness meditation initiative. The benefits are well documented, from enhanced leadership qualities, self-awareness, emotional control, well-being, collaboration, and focus to reduced stress and burnout; just to name a few. We always emphasize that the last three outcomes (focus, and lower stress and burnout) are the most beneficial “side effects” of a regular practice, and often the #1 reasons that meditation initiatives are sought.
In today’s work environment, ALL of these benefits are more necessary than ever. Honestly, focus has not been a priority for our meditation initiatives, but again, a great side effect that should be nurtured. However, several recent experiences indicating the harm from a lack of focus caused us to pause. The situations indicated not just a lack of focus, but also stress and burnout, as well as decreased well-being, and possible leadership/work climate issues, all of which impact focus. A few examples of the experiences:
- Increased hospital medication errors. This became personal when a friend received an injectable medicine intravenously by mistake causing major side effects and discomfort. Not to mention it could have been fatal!
- An invoice payment mistakenly placed in the wrong mailbox.
- The mail person incorrectly placing the mail in the wrong mailbox.
- The owner of that mailbox depositing that check in his/her bank.
- The owner’s bank accepting the deposit.
- The owner did not ‘notice’ this deposited check until THREE months after the deposit.
There are many reasons for these errors, but certainly may include,
- A Lack of focus
- Lack of support
- Distractions and
- Low well-being
All of the above are preventable and mindful meditation practices as part of leadership and well-being initiatives would greatly reverse these, resulting in more beneficial outcomes for all. The question asked initially should have not just been, “Got Focus?”, but also,
- Does your organization focus on the complete well-being of stakeholders?
- Is there flexibility so that employees control their workload, have time to take care of themselves, and have time to meet responsibilities AND interests outside of work?
- How is the workload? Do employees have time to focus, or do they feel rushed and pressured?
- Is there psychological safety to ensure that employees are comfortable speaking up about errors, issues and/or concerns?
Consider and assess:
- The level of stakeholder focus, care, and commitment, as well as the quality outcomes at your organization
- The stress and burnout levels of your employees
- Stakeholder well-being and needs
- The qualities – qualifications – of your managers to lead in today’s work environment
- The leader qualities that are cultivated (and rewarded) at your organization
Based on the assessment results, a mindfulness meditation initiative may be a great addition to leadership development and employee well-being. There are other benefits to consider, several were summarized in a recent blog Should your organization jump on the bandwagon?