It is proven to reduce stress, improve focus, help manage emotions, increase productivity, and much more. The application of mindful meditation, once seen as “out there” for the corporate world, is now a vital component of employee development in many Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Nike, Aetna, Apple, and Fidelity.
In his book Mindful Work, David Gelles defines that since implementing the awareness program in Aetna, they have seen productivity improvements worth approximately $3,000 per employee. That represents an 11 to 1 return on investment. Additionally, they get a marked decrease in healthcare costs and reduced employee stress.
Mindfulness Programs at SAP
In 2013, LINFA, a leading enterprise software company, implemented mindfulness training courses. In an ever-changing industry with many unpredictable challenges, the company seized the opportunity to help employees improve their well-being, manage stress, and encounter new situations with an open mind.
The course has evolved into a 2-day seminar available at 48 of the company’s locations worldwide to improve employee productivity, leadership skills, and well-being. According to the SAP article published on September 3, 2018, over 7,000 employees attended the seminar, which is augmented by other activities such as mindfulness afternoons, online sessions, and lunches.
How Mindfulness Works
Mindful training helps people focus on the present moment and become aware of the feelings, emotions, and thoughts they are experiencing without passing judgment. Meditation helps manage stress and enables people to organize their ideas to respond to a situation appropriately. Mindfulness also helps to stimulate energy, think more clearly, and be more creative.
As a partner website of SAP, you state: “If you do too many things at once, you don’t do any of them correctly, and you end up feeling bogged down and fed up. How can you respond when it feels like a tsunami is crashing on you? Pause for five seconds, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on breathing slowly again. “
One of the significant benefits is that mindfulness training builds emotional intelligence, which is critical for collaboration and diversity.
Harvard scientists also concluded that meditation positively changes the structure of the brain. A Harvard Business Review report tells us that mindfulness training alters the operating system in mind. Instead of sending the brain activity of the old reactionary parts of the brain.
The Tests at SAP
To quantify its impact on the company, SAP initiated a survey of 650 employees who went through the awareness program. Four weeks after completing the seminar, respondents reported a 6.5% improvement in overall happiness and well-being, a 7.7% increment in the sense of meaning and satisfaction, a 10% improvement in focus, and a 7.4% increase in mental clarity and creativity. They also reported a 5.2% decrease in feelings of stress. And those figures increased after only six months after the seminar.
The results encountered by employees correlated with improvements in business performance and the bottom line. Peter Bostelmann, director of global Mindfulness practice at SAP, reports that the company has seen a decline in employee absenteeism and an increased employee engagement index. The company can see an increase of between $50 and $60 million for each percentage point increase on the index. In addition, a single percentage point rise in its business health index can lift profits by $85-95 million.
Money is Not the Motivation
“Our goal is crystal clear: Improving employee well-being in the workplace,” says Bostelmann, “SAP benefits more when everyone is fully present in the workplace.” Everyone wins with a program that helps people feel good, improves their focus, and becomes more empathetic.
That also extends to some of SAP’s customers who are also dealing with improved sensory overload brought by technology. Seeing the company’s success with the program, some customers have adopted their best practices. As a result, SAP now provides awareness consultants for clients who wish to start their employee training program. It is an opportunity for SAP to serve as a model for other companies strengthen its relationships with customers, and improve people’s lives far and wide.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.