Employee wellbeing is playing an increasingly significant role in employee engagement. Business Services provider Grass Roots found an unusual and successful way to connect employees and reduce stress at the same time.
Sharing skills at work needn’t be restricted to just passing on useful productivity techniques or best practice ideas. Business services company Grass Roots actively encourages employees to share what they know, – or learn together if they wish – so at lunchtime, their meeting rooms have hosted all sorts of events, including Speaking Clubs, Spanish lessons, and more recently, mindfulness.
Mindfulness was developed mainly for stress reduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. He used eastern techniques such as meditation, and then later incorporated elements like yoga. Mindfulness was designed to help contribute to mental and physical wellbeing and general life skills.
Grass Roots Creative Designer Justin Farquhar was already pursuing the mindfulness project outside work, and was looking for an opportunity to share and practise what he had learned. As a presenter at our speaking club, he ran a short presentation which then led to demands for more.
Justin offered to run a mindfulness taster session, not just for his own team, but for the wider business as well. Around 12 people turned up, keen to know more, and about eight full sessions followed on.
The benefits of taking ‘time out’
“Justin really helped show us the importance of taking a little mental ‘time out’ now and then as an antidote to stress, and keeping things in balance. He gave us a new technique to practise each week, and to keep a record of pleasant and unpleasant experiences. We shared these experiences and the benefits of using mindfulness with each other as feedback at the following session,” said participant Annette Yates.
“Justin’s delivery was brilliant, and he did a great job in sharing this skill – I am still using it many months later!”
From the feedback forms completed, every participant said that they were either more relaxed, more alert, more focused or all three.
“I wanted to join the course because of the need to reduce and cope with a busy schedule”
“I now know how to help myself with stressful situations and will definitely use this in the future.”
“I am quite honestly surprised at how readily I have been able to adopt and use it.”
Word soon spread, and Justin was also asked to run a few stress-busting mindfulness sessions at our Eventcom division in Marlow, where again, his course proved to be very well received. Time permitting, he would like to do more sessions in the future.