Mindfulness and Wellbeing Training

The Cost of Workplace Stress

As restructuring, redundancies and restricted resources become commonplace, Australian businesses have seen a significant rise in employees suffering from severe stress. The cost of prolonged and unmanaged mental distress is high at both an individual and organizational level with Safe Work Australia (2013) estimating the financial cost to Australian businesses at more than $10 billion per year. Such costs stem from:

  • Absenteeism
  • Presenteeism – workers not working at their full capacity because of emotional distress
  • Poorer physical health of employees
  • Higher employment related costs for business in recruitment and training due to higher staff turnover
  • Higher risk of workplace accidents, incidents and injuries
  • Higher levels of stress leave and stress related ill health
  • Longer hours worked but at lower productivity
  • Low staff morale, employee engagement and job satisfaction

Psychological injury claims are steadily rising and account for the largest proportion of expense in relation to compensation claims (Safe Work Australia, 2012). The evidence indicates that managing stress and its impact in the workplace is of paramount importance for staff wellbeing, business productivity and financial efficiency.

Return on Investment

In recognition of the substantial toll workplace stress can take on a business many companies have take a proactive approach to this widespread issue. Companies that invest in staff wellbeing initiatives have seen a significant return on their investment, a finding which has been identified in over 600 national and international studies (Aldana, 2001; Chapman, 2007; HAPIA, 2011). A number of compelling findings were drawn from these studies which suggest that when companies introduced workplace mental health programs their business enjoyed:

  • 3% decrease in sick leave absenteeism,M
  • 7% decrease in workers compensation costs,
  • 2% decrease in disability management costs
  • $5.81 saving for every $1 invested in employee wellbeing.

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based training that helps people to alter the way they think and feel about their experiences – especially stressful experiences. Mindfulness can be practiced formally using meditations or informally using everyday activities. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to change how the brain works and research has shown that people who have participated in mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion – the pre-frontal cortex – which is generally less active in people who are depressed. (The Mental Health Foundation, UK).

The practice of Mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in managing a number of difficulties including stress, anxiety and depression (Baer et al. 2012; Marchand, 2012; Williams et al. 2013). Researchers have shown that ‘low dose’ or time limited Mindfulness programs can result in significant improvements in the psychological health of employees (Klatt, Buckworth, Malarkey, 2009) and that these programs are associated with a decrease in perceived stress, improved quality of sleep, an increase in attention and enhanced performance on memory tasks and multi-tasking (Wolever, et al. 2012).

Mindfulness and Wellbeing Training

If you think your team could benefit from Mindfulness and Wellbeing Training please contact us to discuss your specific needs. Once we have conducted a thorough assessment we can create a bespoke package to meet the requirements of your business within the specified budget. We can offer a half-day session to three full training days with our trained Clinical Psychologist depending on the outcome objectives you wish to attain. For example, participants attending the three-day workshop show:

  • Significantly lower levels of psychological distress which held constant over the six month follow up
  • Reduction in sick days taken
  • Increase in innovation
  • Reduction in perceived stress
  • Reduction in psychological burnout including a decrease in cynicism towards work colleagues and a reduction in
  • emotional exhaustion
  • Significant improvements in general mental health
  • Reduction in sick days taken

Our Mindfulness and Wellbeing Training programs are experiential and participants are equipped with strategies and skills to support them with managing stress and competing demands in the workplace. Resources are provided to scaffold the acquisition of these skills. For more information or to book a training session please contact the team at Mind Potential on 07 5437 7100 or email us at admin@mppsych.com.au

Dr Anna Pollock

Clinical Psychologist

MA (Hons), MSc, DClinPsy, MAPS, CClin
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