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Definition

mindfulness training

Mindfulness training is the teaching or learning of practices designed to help participants increase their ability to live fully in the present moment. The ability to be present and aware is a powerful counter to the common tendencies to relive past events or to worry about potential events.

The corporate world is looking to mindfulness training to deal with the problem of low levels of employee engagement. In Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace, the consulting company reported that "52% of workers are not engaged, and worse, another 18% are actively disengaged." According to the consulting company, "active disengagement" costs businesses in the United States between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity each year. To increase engagement among the workforce, Gallup suggests that employee well-being should be a primary focus of human resource management (HRM).

Intel is among a number of large organizations that are adopting mindfulness training to improve employee well-being and engagement – and, as a result, productivity. The company’s mindful awareness program, as it's called, is designed to develop creativity, focus, emotional intelligence and decrease stress and negativity. 

Other businesses including the insurance company Aetna, designer / retailer Eileen Fisher, Google and Twitter are also introducing meditation, yoga and other mindfulness training practices to help employees cope with the stress of the modern workplace. The approach is also being implemented in other environments including jails, hospitals, schools and the military.

See Andy Puddicombe's Ted talk on mindfulness:

This was last updated in August 2014

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