As business owners, we all know the pressure of being the driving force behind a business. It can be a stressful experience, and this can have an impact on your wellbeing. Running a business takes up so much of your time, and can consume your waking thoughts. But a tired, stressed and anxious owner is not an effective owner – so there's an increasing need to focus on mental health and to bring elements of mindfulness, meditation and contemplation into your routine. And, investing in employee wellbeing is good for the bottom line too, according to new research by Xero. Bringing mindfulness into the workplace The outmoded ‘We work hard, and we play hard’ ideology used to be the norm in many business environments. But as times have changed, and awareness of the impact of work-related stress has risen, we’ve begun to refocus on a healthier kind of strategy. As the owner, you have a responsibility to look after the wellbeing of your team too. Recent news stories about toxic ‘cultures of fear’ at well-known companies shows that employees can often be suffering in silence, unaware of the impact on their health. So, what can you do to focus more clearly on wellbeing in your working culture? And how do you bring a more sympathetic and empathetic approach to your management style? Look at ways to reduce your stress, turn down the pressure and refocus your thoughts on mindfulness:
- Get educated about mindfulness – read up around mindfulness and wellbeing, so you understand the benefits of taking time out to contemplate your thoughts. Knowing what you're signing up for will help you to appreciate the value of mindfulness and its place in a busy work environment.
- Improve your work/life balance – reduce your working hours to something reasonable and aim to achieve a better work/life balance. Pushing yourself and your staff to the limit, by working long hours with no breaks, will ultimately lead to burn out and mental health issues. So, redress the balance now and achieve a positive impact.
- Schedule time for mindfulness – to make a positive difference to your stress levels, you need to make time for mindfulness and other activities that will help you relax. Book time in your diary for some form of contemplation (or exercise) so this becomes a key part of your daily or weekly routine.
- Talk to your staff about mindfulness – a focus on positive mental health must be communicated through the whole business. Share your core values with your team and allow them the time and resources to try out mindfulness, yoga or meditation. These initiatives will only work once employees have bought into the concepts.
- Work wellbeing and happiness into your targets – profit and productivity are not the only metrics for measuring the success of a business. If you’re making huge profits, but staff are leaving in droves, something is going wrong. Include conversations around wellbeing levels in your employee reviews and act on the feedback you receive.
- Build mindfulness into your company culture – a happy team is a more productive team. Look at your results after a few months of your new approach and see the impact that a happy, contented team can have on your culture, results and output. With mindfulness and positive wellbeing built into your company’s culture, you set the foundations for creating a team who love their jobs, and love working for you.