The major benefits of mindfulness to leadership

The major benefits of mindfulness to leadership

via the SMH by James Donald

Mindfulness remains a hot topic in learning and development circles within organisations, as a part of the broader effort to improve employee mental health.

The world’s leading businesses, including Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Deutsche Bank, and IBM continue to invest substantial sums in employee mindfulness programs. A 2017 survey of 141 US companies found 35 per cent were implementing mindfulness programs for staff and 26 per cent were considering doing so.

These investments are backed by growing evidence that workplace mindfulness programs have benefits for individual employees, in the form of less stress, anxiety and burnout, and greater wellbeing and resilience. But do the benefits of these programs extend beyond the short-term relief they provide individuals?

To explore this question, my colleagues and I completed a “meta-analysis” of 31 studies on the link between mindfulness and altruistic helping behaviours. We found that, as well as having higher wellbeing, mindful individuals are more aware of the needs of people around them, and are more likely to assist, support and collaborate with colleagues – even extend help to people who they have never met.

How can these social benefits be embedded inside workplace teams? The old adage is that people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. Having a manager who embodies mindful attributes may be a key factor. Research from Singapore has shown that having a boss who is mindful is associated with less subordinate burnout, better work-life balance and improved job performance…

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