Already supporting your team? Really?
Whilst Safe Work Australia statistics indicate 71% of employers feel they are already adequately supporting their employees, only 37% of employees agree.
What can employers do to support their staff?
HR departments are now starting to engage external psychologists and wellbeing agencies to provide a range of tailored mental wellness seminars, workshops, holistic programs and bespoke consulting services to build employees’ overall health and wellbeing. This can include;
- resilience training
- stress management
- self-confidence training
- executive coaching
- communication and conflict resolution
- mental health in the workplace training
- suicide prevention and awareness
- mental health first aid
Where do you start?
The range of options can provoke decision paralysis (another type of stress!), so for those workplaces looking for a quick fix to improve overall staff morale and wellness, there is one simple technique gaining exposure and doing much to create that relaxed, positive outlook desperately needed in today’s post-pandemic world. It’s considered to be one of the oldest forms of health, spiritual and mental practices in history – Meditation.
Although the origins of meditation cannot be traced accurately, it is believed to be over 5,000 years old and only in recent years has been recognised in the scientific community for its benefits.
Thousands of studies have been conducted since the 1930s from major universities around the world (including Harvard, Emory, Yale and Sydney) as well as just about every health, psychology and workplace journal. The more recent studies have used technology that investigates the brain, nervous systems and other biological processes, showing the many benefits of meditation, including its ability to:
- strengthen areas of the brain that look after mood, impulse control, feelings of confidence and wellbeing
- strengthen the immune system, increase focus, concentration and problem-solving
- relax the nervous system and improve energy levels.
I doubt there is an employer out there who wouldn’t want some more of this for themselves or their staff!
Meditation and workplace stress
In a 2009 study, Dr Ramesh Manocha, a Sydney GP and researcher at the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of NSW, found that after eight weeks of silent meditation, occupational stress was reduced by 26 per cent.
Dr. Gregg Jacobs, Psychologist at Harvard University, reported in 2008 that 75% of long-term insomniacs who were trained in relaxation and meditation could fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. He also suggested that a better rested employee would be a better worker!
Mr Buck R.W. Montgomery, of a Detroit based chemical plant posted the following results three years after implementing meditation within their organization as far back as 1983:
- Absenteeism fell by 85%
- Productivity rose 120%
- Injuries dropped 70%
- Profits increased 520%
With these results achieved almost 30 years ago before the scientific benefits were even well researched, perhaps employers should now consider adding meditation to their staff’s to-do list!
For more information on how your organisation can best support the wellbeing of your team, please contact us.