5 Critical Organizational Pain Points that Mindfulness can Help
By Mo Edjlali, Chief Community Organizer, Mindful Leader
It's been exciting and sometimes concerning for me to watch mindfulness go mainstream. Though mindfulness has been overhyped in some ways - marketed as a panacea to fix everything - I believe that we are at the early stages of the potential for the application of mindfulness in the workplace. Here are some of the critical pain points that all organizations across industry and size face, which I believe workplace mindfulness programs will help address.
1. Bad Leadership
The effects of bad leadership on an organization are devastating. The #1 reason people leave their jobs is because of a bad boss. It's also one of the best indicators for an organization's success or failure. Leaders are responsible for the organization's culture and set an example of how everyone else should show up.
2. Burnout, Stress, & Anxiety
You don’t have to look too far to find another survey or report documenting current record levels of burnout, stress, and anxiety. With the massive disruption, volatility, and change happening in our work and personal lives, it will become a core organizational competency to address mental well-being and to address the mounting levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout.
3. Loneliness & Lack of Meaningful Connection
There has been more and more talk about the workplace loneliness epidemic that former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, has helped highlight. We don't have the same level communal or spiritual institutions we once had and more and more people are looking to fill this void with connections at their workplace. And there is a real benefit to organizations as it's been found that people who have a best friend at work are most likely to keep working for that organization and connection drives employees' engagement.
4. Poor Communication
Communication binds an organization and its people. It's fundamental to how an organization exists in the world and interacts with those it serves. Understanding, expressing, and receiving and giving information with clarity and fidelity are critical for success. Conflict resolution, negotiating, listening, inspiring, and speaking are essential communication skills for a high functioning organization.
5. Lack of Focus & Stifled Creativity
These are two very different areas, however closely related. Focus is like a telescopic lens, zooming in on a distant object. Creativity is a wide-angle lens providing an expansive view, with possibilities and multiple perspectives. These are practically opposite mental modes; however, the most successful companies have a way of finding the right balance and mastering both.
We've seen many organizations using workplace mindfulness to address these pain points, most often in specific and targeted ways. What excites me the most is the possibility of a holistic organizational approach to workplace mindfulness where all these areas are addressed through integrated practices, values, and cultural norms.
What do you think? Did we miss any pain points? Have you led or seen examples of workplace mindfulness applied in these areas?