Mindfulness meditation is a personal practice. But when mindfulness and meditation are supported as organizational initiatives, the benefits can cumulate from the personal to the interpersonal to the organizational level. And when mindfulness reaches the top of the organization, the impact can be extremely meaningful.
There is growing evidence about the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace. The good news is that the benefits appear to flow pretty equally to both the employee and the employer. Health insurer Aetna, ranked among America's largest 100 companies by revenue, is known for its mindfulness program including free classes in meditation, mindfulness and yoga. And the results are impressive, as reported in the New York Times:
"More than one-quarter of the company's work force of 50,000 has participated in at least one class, and those who have report, on average, a 28 percent reduction in their stress levels, a 20 percent improvement in sleep quality and a 19 percent reduction in pain. They also become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each, which Aetna estimates is worth $3,000 per employee per year. Demand for the programs continues to rise; every class is overbooked."