Countless companies around the world now offer mediation workshops to their employees and continue to encourage employees to meditate regularly - during business hours. Here's a few reasons why:
· AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals now offers three meditation courses aimed at energizing its 5,000 employees during and after marathon meetings.
· THE CENTER FOR VISIONARY LEADERSHIP, Helping people develop the inner, spiritual resources to be effective leaders: SPIRITUALITY AND ETHICS IN BUSINESS © 2009 Corinne McLaughlin: A poll published in USA Today found that 6 out of 10 people say workplaces would benefit from having a great sense of spirit in their work environment.
· Key spiritual values embraced in a business context include integrity, honesty, accountability, quality, cooperation, service, intuition, trustworthiness, respect, justice, and service
· Business Week magazine reported on recent research by McKinsey and Company in Australia that found productivity improves and turnover is greatly reduced when companies engage in programs that use spiritual techniques for their employees
· A study reported in MIT’s Sloan Management Review concluded that, “People are hungry for ways in which to practice their spirituality in the workplace without offending their co-workers or causing acrimony.”
· Research by UCLA business professor David Lewin found that “companies that increased their community involvement were more likely to show an improved financial picture over a two year time period.”
· A proliferation of book titles (currently over 500) reflects a growing national movement to bring spiritual values into the workplace: Megatrends 2010, The Soul of Business, Liberating the Corporate Soul, Working from the Heart, The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace, Jesus CEO, What Would the Buddha Do At Work?, Spirit at Work, Redefining the Corporate Soul, The Corporate Mystic, Leading with Soul, etc. Some books on this theme, such as Stephen Covey’s pioneering The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, have sold millions of copies.
· People at all levels in the corporate hierarchy increasingly want to nourish their spirit and creativity. When employees are encouraged to express their creativity, the result is a more fulfilled and sustained workforce.
· A study of business performance by the highly respected Wilson Learning Company found that 39% of the variability in corporate performance is attributable to the personal satisfaction of the staff. Spirituality was cited as the second most important factor in personal happiness (after health) by the majority of Americans questioned in a USA Weekend poll, with 47% saying that spirituality was the most important element of their happiness.
· The ABC Evening News reported that The American Stock Exchange has a Torah study group; Boeing has Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayer groups; Microsoft has an on-line prayer service.
· According to a study at Harvard Business School published in The Harvard Business Review, business owners credit 80% of their success to acting on their intuition.
· Meditation classes are now held at many major corporations, such as Medtronic, Apple, Google, Yahoo, McKinsey, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, Hughes Aircraft, Cisco, Raytheon.
· Medtronic, which sells medical equipment, pioneered a meditation center at headquarters 20 years ago, and it remains open to all employees today. Medtronic founder Bill George says the purpose of business is “to contribute to a just, open and sustainable society.” He describes a “virtuous circle” whereby motivated, satisfied employees produce satisfied customer, which produce good financial results, which benefit the shareholders. Each year, six customers share their personal stories with employees, sharing how the company’s products have saved their life or that of loved ones, and this inspiration fuels the passion and commitment of employees.
· Apple Computer’s offices in California have a meditation room and employees are actually given a half hour a day on company time to meditate or pray, as they find it improves productivity and creativity. A former manager who is now a Buddhist monk leads regular meditations there.
· Aetna International Chairman Michael A. Stephen praises the benefits of meditation and talks with Aetna employees about using spirituality in their careers.
· Avaya, a global communications firm that is a spin-off of Lucent/AT& T, has a room set aside for prayer and meditation that is especially appreciated by Muslims, as they must pray five times a day.
· Prentice-Hall publishing company created a meditation room at their headquarters which they call the “Quiet Room, where employees can sit quietly and take a mental retreat when they feel too much stress on the job.
· Sounds True in Colorado, which produces audio and video tapes, has a meditation room, meditation classes and begins meetings with a moment of silence. Employees can take Personal Days to attend retreats or pursue other spiritual interests.
· Lotus founder and CEO Mitch Kapor practices Transcendental Meditation and named his company after a word for enlightenment.
· A research project by Prof. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin at Pomega, a biotechnology company that had a very high-stress workplace, found a mindfulness meditation training produced astonishing results in reducing stress and generating positive feelings.
· The CEO of Rockport Shoes, Angel Martinez, talks openly of the spiritual mission of his company and encourages employees to spend work time envisioning ways to express their deepest selves in their work. Companies such as Evian spring water have successfully used spirituality in their advertising, as for example: “Your body is the temple of your spirit.”
· Spiritually oriented materials on personal change have been used in employee training for several years at the Bank of Montreal, and Boatman’s First National Bank in Kansas City regularly provides spiritually oriented trainings for its top executive group.
If you're an employer or employee who is interested in finding out more about our mediation workshops - or about bringing mediation to the workplace, please visit the "Workshops" section of our website.
As always, HAPPY MEDITATING!
Renata Duma, creator of MEDITATIONWORKS and all MEDIATIONWORKS Guided Meditations.