Based on the original work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, our Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Courses (adapted for the workplace) offers a recognised and researched means of managing a wide range of physical, emotional and mental health concerns. It is ideal for organisations looking for a proactive means of reducing stress and anxiety.
Happily the majority of workplaces are physically safe though many organisations have not yet reached such high standards in terms of caring for and safeguarding mental and emotional health.
However, mental and emotional health issues often go unnoticed due to stigma and misconceptions; a 2015 MIND/London Healthy Workplace Charter study found that only 5% of those taking time off work due to workplace stress gave their manager the real reason for their absence. Furthermore The World Health Organisation identify depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide and biggest risk to the economy. All of which goes to emphasise the importance of an open and proactive approach to mental and emotional health in organisations.
Although not solely about mental health, mindfulness offers organisations a cost effective, scientifically backed and generally well received means of opening up conversations about mental health, improving health and well-being and beginning to nurture cultures and environments which are supportive of sustainable health and well-being.
Duration: 8 weeks, 1 session per week of 2 - 2.5hr
Group size: min 8 – max 12
Individual commitment to meditation practice: 30 minutes per day.
Expected outcomesMindfulness has been the subject of growing attention and interest in recent years, thanks to a rapidly expanding evidence base. This demonstrates it can be helpful for many mental and physical health problems, such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, IBS, CFS/ME, fibromyalgia and depression, in addition to promoting general physical and emotional wellbeing (Mindfulness Research, 2011). Researched benefits include:
- A greater capacity for relaxation and calmness
- Less worry, anxiety and lower instances of depressive episodes
- Enhanced emotional control, resourcefulness and resilience
- Improved self-confidence, engagement and creativity
- Better sleep quality
- Clearer thinking and decision making
- Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) (NHS Health Scotland, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh, 2006)
- Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (Cohen & Williamson, 1988)
- Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) (Baer, 2006)
Mindfulnet.org, generously developed and maintained by Juliet Adams, brings together research focussing specifically on workplace applications of mindfulness. The site provides the following overview of studies (June 2016) linking mindfulness and desirable workplace outcomes.
- 58 studies link mindfulness to factors that improve employee wellbeing
- 46 studies link mindfulness to factors that improve leadership capability
- 38 studies link mindfulness to factors that improve employee performance
- 34 studies link mindfulness to factors that impact on change and organisational transformation
- 33 studies link mindfulness to factors that improve safety in high reliability organisations
Being the change we seek
Many people would like to live and work differently. Despite genuine commitments to doing so, beginning to actually live and work differently can be difficult, requiring a surprising amount of commitment, sometimes even courage. Our 8 week mindfulness courses encourage both an intellectual understanding of the neurobiological elements at play in this conundrum and importantly the skills through meditation practice to cultivate and develop new ways of being.
Leadership behaviours impact strongly on organisational culture. Leaders are also under a significant amount of pressure - stress is something which in itself activates the circuitry of habit therefore making change even more challenging despite the best of intentions.
If your senior management are willing to participate in a mindfulness course, that is to say, willing to sit down and explore how an understanding of neuroscience and the practice of meditation might be of benefit to themselves as an individual. And through this inner exploration within the laboratory of their own minds how they might begin to create more ‘brain friendly’* organisations then please contact us about our ‘Being the Change We Seek’ Special Offer.* Hilary Scarlett, Neuroscience for Organisational Change.
These questions relate specifically to the commissioning of in-house mindfulness training. For general questions about mindfulness please see our general FAQs.
I would like to put forward a business case for offering mindfulness training, do you have any advice?
Following on from the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group's 'Mindful Nation UK' report (a great resource for anyone interested in the application of mindfulness interventions in education, health, the workplace and the criminal justice system) 'Building the Case for Mindfulness in the Workplace' offers a wonderful resource for anyone wishing to make the business case for Mindfulness in the Workplace.
You may also find the following articles helpful
- Mindfulness Works but Only if You Work at It by Megan Reitz and Michael Chaskalson for Harvard Business Review
- Here’s What Mindfulness Is (and Isn’t) Good For by Daniel Goleman for Harvard Business Review
- Mindfulness at Work: What do we really know? by Juliet Adams, Mindfulness at Work Facilitator and Author.
How can I be assured of good practice?In addition to providing details of mindfulness instructors meeting the UK Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness-Based Teachers the UK Network of Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations is also a helpful resource for anyone interested in training to teach mindfulness, offering guidance on good practice and pre-requisites for teacher training.
I’m interested in exploring a particular area of research, do you have any advice?
In addition to more mindfulness resources than you can begin to imagine Mindfulnet.org, generously developed and maintained by Juliet Adams, offers an overview of research focussing specifically on workplace applications of mindfulness.
Can you give examples of organisations you have worked with?
We have been offering mindfulness training in organisations since 2010. In addition to the clients section offered on our website several examples of our experiences of working with local organisations are shared, as contributory authors, in Chapman-Clarke’s Mindfulness in the Workplace: An Evidence-based Approach to Improving Wellbeing and Maximizing Performance, alongside a thought leadership piece exploring the potential within the cultivation of skills which are conducive to insight as a means of responding to personal, professional and organisational challenges.
Is my organisation ready for mindfulness training?
Requests for mindfulness training often come from staff themselves, be it through curiosity or a personal interest. In circumstances where this isn’t the case those considering offering mindfulness training sometimes have concerns about how it will be received in their organisation. Whilst understandable we find that these concerns are generally unfounded, with most workshops and course places filling easily.
It is helpful though to try and find a good fit in terms of your choice of instructor. As a team we benefit both from different personal and professional backgrounds so will always do what we can to ensure this, be it through ourselves or another provider.
Given the many misconceptions about mindfulness we strongly recommend that courses are preceded by an introductory workshop. This allows misconceptions to be addressed, hence raising general awareness within the organisation and also allows individuals to understand the level of personal commitment required before choosing to attend a course.
How many people can attend an introductory workshop?We generally say up to 25 people per workshop.
We would love to offer mindfulness and compassion training but are not in a position to fund a course.
We are happy to work in partnership with local organisations to offer staff discounts allowing staff to benefit from our public programme of 8 week mindfulness courses at a reduced rate. Where organisations wish to cultivate a shared sense of responsibility for health and wellbeing it is also possible to offer staff discounts in conjunction with organisationally funded taster sessions.
We would love to offer mindfulness and compassion training but are not based in your area.
If you are interested in a particular area of our practice such as Mindfulness for Change, Compassionate Care or Insight-based HR/Insight-based leadership please get in touch as we may well still be able to offer training in partnership with other providers.
If you are looking for mindfulness training from a health and wellbeing perspective then please visit UK Network of Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations where you will find details of mindfulness instructors meeting the UK Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness-Based Teachers.
We welcome your interest in mindfulness and are happy to discuss any particular questions you have.
Please note though, we are a small team who spend much of our time out of the office. If you would like to arrange a time to speak the easiest way to do this is to email us suggesting times when you are available during the following week.
We aim to put our team’s wellbeing and our wish to model alternative ways of working above and beyond commitments to unrealistic response times. We are conscious that this can be counter-cultural and thank you for your patience.