Mindfulness in organisations

Case studies of organisational practice

Carter A, Tobias J, Spiegelhalter K | HR Network Paper 127 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2016

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Mindfulness is popularly thought of as techniques for meditation, yet the idea includes far more than just contemplative practices. The concept of mindfulness is thus climbing the agenda in organisations worried about the effect of constant unpredictable change on the wellbeing of employees.

The use of mindfulness-based interventions is growing in many business sectors but questions remain about whether it is an entirely appropriate and helpful intervention for individuals within workplace settings and, if so, whether it has potential as a more strategic tool for supporting change. 

This HR Network paper builds on previous IES work on mindfulness, and draws on findings from research conducted alongside Cranfield University School of Management during 2015-16. It aims to respond to the demand from HR Network members for more detail on how companies might implement mindfulness programmes, the results and the lessons learned.

The research included interviews with early-adopter organisations, reviews of existing research, and a knowledge-sharing event hosted by IES, where 20 leaders in the field pooled their knowledge.

The paper gives details of how seven organisations have used mindfulness techniques in different contexts and formats, with a focus on their outcomes and experiences. The report then considers the learning from those examples, offering guidance on aspects such as selling in the concept, which employees to target, use of language, and training delivery format.


Infographic: Minfulness in organisations - cover

The findings from this research paper are summarised in an accompanying infographic, offering the top insights from twenty experts on how to use mindfulness for strategic change in your organisation.