Talent retention. That’s the word on everyone’s mind when it comes to executives, HR and company culture conversations. And it’s a seismic problem.
Loyalty is at an all time low. Mobility is at an all time high, and the millennial mindset makes it exponentially harder.
Booze fests deemed “team building” don’t work. Even skills training are not effective long-term. So how do we work towards making our staff, team and compatriots feel happy, fulfilled and downright at peace with the work they are doing right now?
In short, it’s an inside job.
Related Article: 6 Ways Yoga Can Improve Productivity at Work
Step 1: Reduce Stress by Calming the Mind
We must remember that it’s not within our reach to make others happy. Only individuals can do that for themselves. What we can do is lead the horse to water and teach tools to quiet the mind, nourish the spirit and develop a path to a routine that will reduce stress.
Begin by thinking about one person. How you can help them or even how you, as that person, can help yourself. Meditation practice, mind-body work like yoga, and simple routines or rituals are examples of where to start.
First, we need to help folks understand how to be proactive in building a regular practice of no distractions. Cultivate clear minded thinking time. For me it’s what I call bookending the day. Start with clear, no distraction time in the morning and end the day the same way. Being outside helps. Reading deeper, non-related books is even better and for those that have an open mind to it, meditation is the best.
This also means learning non-reactive habits, like turning off all notifications from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even texting during most of the day.
We get anxious and non-productive when we are constantly reacting to all this inane stimuli. It frays our mind and nerves, we become disengaged with our work and with our peers. It makes sense to set some time aside to enjoy that communication, in a mindful and focused way, but not at all moments of the day. A peaceful, purposeful mindset will do wonders for all, but especially our digitally native millennials.
Step 2: Avoid Burnout Through Acceptance Perspective
Provide perspective on how truly great it is to work in the industry. For my peers in digital marketing, it’s easy. This is an ever-changing world that is dynamic and fresh with boundless opportunities for those willing to unlock the secrets of success. But finding time to reflect on how much positivity there is in the work we do (compared to so many others), helps us keep some real perspective and reduce the self-crated, un-needed drama in our heads.
Share perspectives and support conversations on the seemingly intangible—like how nice it is to work with great and smart people. Enjoy interactions with like-minded peers. Understand and discuss your work path and long-term goals. Think about the career journey, what the path might look like while allowing yourself to relish where you currently are. These small acts of reflection and gratefulness can do wonders to enliven the day and re-connect those in your organization to one another.
In the mindfulness world, it’s referred to simply as “acceptance.” To build a practice one person at a time, and to have that as part of a daily routine, is truly life changing.
If you think a mindfulness refresher would be helpful as you begin to share these important perspectives, try taking a Mindfulness Basics course. You'll surely be inspired and more well equipped to bring some of these tips to life in your company.
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Step 3: Make Training the Catalyst to Life Practice
Nearly all training initiatives in every topical area, including mindfulness, create moments of inspiration but then two days later, fall flat into oblivion. The goal is to create enduring motivation. To find a training program that starts with inspiration, and has the day-to-day tools in place to capture that momentum and turn it into a life practice.
Daily audio podcasts, weekly video workshops, like-minded support groups and so on. If you want real results, this is where it’s at. Not one more training.
In summary, begin to think about one person. How you can help them or even how you, as that person, can help yourself. Then translate that into a meaningful dialogue about how the company can facilitate such. And finally, act with the long-term in mind and do it right versus getting a nice pat on back for bringing in that amazing speaker who gave a 2 hour lecture. The results to your organization will fade as quickly as those feelings of hubris on that given training day.
Good luck and may you go forth mindfully in this cauldron of chaos we call life.