In figures published by the HSE 1 in 5 of the workforce are affected by stress, it is now the biggest single course of sickness in the UK, with 105 million working days lost each year, costing employers £1.24 billion. Although from a reliable source these figures do not illustrate the whole picture as they do not take into account the loss of productivity of employees who continue to work but due to anxiety, depression and the adverse effects of the pressure of the work are not able to perform at optimum levels, resulting in under performance and loss of revenue and profitability.
Many of us know only too well that the busyness of the 24/7 365 knowledge economy that we are living in values how well we use our minds more than how many things we make each hour. It is ideas, inventions, innovation and creativity that fuel our rapidly changing global economy yet organisations still largely operate on old notions of productivity, work faster, think faster and use as much technology as possible to increase efficiency. People skills, even in this age of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ are more expected than cultivated and the idea that the workplace should be a place where people flourish and develop sets heads nodding, but are we really making this happen?
Traditionally when we think about people development we look at the skills level (capabilities) of our people and identify skills gaps which go onto form the training plans. However developing skills, behaviour and capability is only part of the picture and whilst skill development does lead to enhanced performance, if we want to optimise performance we need to look at the bigger picture.
A question we ask at the beginning of our Leadership programmes is “If you could have an abundance of one more thing, what would it be?” The over whelming response I get back is “space”: Space to stop and think. Creating Mental Space is critical for innovation, creativity, decision making general performance and mental wellbeing. Having the skills and capabilities to perform a role is important but if people do not have the mental capacity (space) to put their skills to the best use, personal productivity and effectiveness will be limited.
As we face longer and more demanding lives, it is imperative that we better empower and equip ourselves with the right cognitive and emotional resources and tools to enable us to maintain a healthy mind.
At the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition, (September 29th & 30th, NEC, Birmingham) Michelle McArthur-Morgan, Master Facilitator and Mindfulness Practitioner at Jigsaw@work will be discussing ways of creating more mental space , to enable better decision making, developing attentional skills and resilience to cope even in the most frantic of workplaces.
Michelle will discuss how Mindfulness is impacting on the world of work, looking at ways in which individuals and organisations are introducing and using mindfulness, and not just as a way of reducing stress, or being more focused whilst at work, but to create awareness of what and how they do things, enabling them to make more ethical choices and exercise social responsibility to ensuring the world will be here for generations to come.
The workshops are Free of charge to attend and will be delivered throughout the two day conference and exhibition in the Mindfulness Zone. Michelle will also be available for 1:1 consultations in between the workshops.