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4 Household Name Companies With Mindfulness Programs

Written By Sean Grabowski

A passionate ambassador, educator and student of mindfulness and meditation. Advocate for unique experiences and life long learning.

September 17, 2021

As ongoing research continues to back up the effectiveness of mindfulness & meditation more with each passing year, a wide range of businesses around the world are beginning to make mindfulness education for their work teams a priority. Not only does it display a corporate culture that prioritizes wellbeing and support for the mental health of their employees, mindfulness programs are also causing large improvements in workplace efficiency. With the massive reductions in employee stress, and therefore illness & absenteeism, employers with mindfulness programs are seeing that their employees are less costly to retain, while simultaneously being more productive while they are at work. What we are now learning is that resilience to stress, especially at work, is not only part of some individuals natural way of being, but it can also be taught to an entire workforce. These lessons bring with them dramatic benefits to both the employers as well as the individuals whom they hire. Healthier employees, who are educated and experienced with the art of managing stress, are a powerful force.

Although their are thousands of companies around the world investing in stress resilience and mindfulness education for their employees and work teams, included below is a small list of some of the most influential companies who are pioneering the movement toward corporate mindfulness programming:

1. Google

Among the very first businesses to adopt mindfulness, Google has made it a top priority for their company, hiring several mindfulness & wellness leaders around the world since 2012. Most well known of all these educators is Chade Meng Tan, a former Google engineer turned motivator and mindfulness educator for the company. During his time as the man leading the charge of bringing mindfulness and stress resilience education to Google’s valuable engineering teams, Chade has also launched a unique corporate mindfulness program known as Seach Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI). SIYLI is a unique program designed to educating mindfulness and corporate leadership on the importance of, as well as the information surrounding emotional intelligence, meditation and mindfulness in the workplace. Over the last 10 years, this man and the Google leadership team who supported him have quite likely made the largest contributions to the adoption of corporate mindfulness out of any other companies or corporations.

2. Nike

Considering one of the main lifestyles Nike is selling is that of wellness, athletics and health, it comes as little surprise that at all of their offices, mindfulness has a strong presence. Their office feature dedicated meditation rooms for resting, napping, praying, or whatever it may be. They also famously began offering free weekly yoga and free meditation classes to all the employees of their New York office several years back, a practice that has since spread to many more of the Nike corporate office environments around the world. Just as their tagline suggests, employees are provided with education, resources and spaces to practice mindfulness and meditation. They are encouraged to “Just Do It” to take care of their mental hygiene whenever they feel it is necessary.

3. General Mills

The food producer behind many of our favourite famous cereal’s as well as a wide range of other household name products, General Mills, has adopted mindfulness and meditation with open arms. As a result, their business has benefitted dramatically. In a follow up review of their 7-week corporate mindfulness program: 80% of leading executives reported that they had improved decision making skills resulting in less errors in judgement, and 89% of them had reported an improvement in their listening skills, which in term supported their workplace interactions and relationships. Up from 23% prior to the program, 83% of participants reported that they now spend intentional time each day optimizing their productivity and wellbeing. This program has since been widely adopted across the company, resulting in the Leadership Excellence Award for leadership development in 2011, and public acclaim of all sorts over the decade following.

4. Aetna

Perhaps my favourite story of the adoption of corporate mindfulness is that of Aetna. 58 at the time, Mark Bertolini, the unconvential CEO of Aetna was the man to bring mindfulness to the employees of his company. Following a near neath experience that shook him to his core, Mark returned to office inspired to make a change to his lifestyle and his company. This change include a widespread adoption of mindfulness, wellness and employee recognition programs. These offerings included free yoga and meditation classes for all employees, as well as a 33% salary increase for the all of his lowest paid employees. After just one year of the program, Aetna reported over $9,000,000 USD in savings of health care costs for employees. Employees also reported lowered stress levels by roughly 30%, which resulted in better productivity across the board. According to a study of this program after the first year, Mark’s courageous moves were likely to have added value of $3,000 per employee, a figure that has reportedly improved in the years following the adoption of the corporate wellness program in 2015.

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