Mindfulness is the concept of being aware of your surroundings and how you affect the environment in a variety of ways. It is all about the present moment and how things occurring at any given moment are perceived and experienced.
When it comes to the juxtaposition of mindfulness and employee experience, both employees and employers must be aware of how things affect each other. On the part of employers, they must be fully cognizant of the day-to-day experiences of their employees so that they can create solutions for their employees’ pain points.
What Is Employee Experience?
Employee experience is not just what’s happening at any given moment. Employee experience covers every moment that an employee spends at a given company from handshake in the interview to retirement. For some employees, this journey can be shorter, which means that the employee will have other experiences in other companies.
The concept involves employee interaction, job training, relationships with management, quality of tools and supplies, location of the office, and anything else that you can think of that applies to the work environment. It’s not only about what employees encounter but also about their impressions about it. Taking a step further, it can also be about how they feel about their impressions regarding what they encountered throughout the journey.
As a leader, you have a lot of influence on how your employees will feel about their journey in the company. You have the power to impact them in many different ways. The best way to ensure your legacy will be positive is by being mindful at all times. Let’s go over a few ways to practice mindful leadership:
Nurture a People-Centered Culture
Being a leader means more than just bossing people around and exercising your power. Mindful leadership includes making sure people feel welcome while they dedicate their precious time to your company’s goals. As a leader, you must make daily decisions that put your people first. These daily attitudes will make an impact on the company culture in the long term.
Keep a sharp eye out for opportunities to develop your team and improve their overall wellness. A big portion of the development of a people-centered culture is creating a sense of worth in your employees. Just handing out money doesn’t do it. Instead, create “outside-the-box” employee incentive programs, such as on-site daycare, student loan repayment assistance, or similar programs that have real value for your employees. Mindful leaders show employees that they are constantly thinking of them as real people and not just moving pieces of a whole.
Furthermore, you must encourage your people to interact with each other. A people-centered culture builds workplace trust and professional respect. People have a lot to learn from their coworkers and relationships. Team-building activities can help employees to define roles, delegate tasks, and improve the overall employee experience.
Equip Employees with Valuable Technology
No one wants to use a buggy whip when there are self-driving cars out there. Similarly, employees don’t want to be treated like Luddites when cutting-edge technology exists to help them do their jobs more efficiently. HR departments all over the world are looking for new ways to improve the employee experience.
There is so much more to be done. According to a study, only about 30 percent of employees agree that HR helps them perform their jobs better. Faced with statistics like that, HR departments are beginning to provide employees with the technology they need.
The focus of all new technology should always be about helping the employees to be productive — and mindful leaders realize that. Many people are hesitant about investing in new technology and are even afraid of becoming obsolete. However, investing in the right technology is crucial to maximizing employee potential. Once technology takes care of automated tasks, employees can move on to more complex responsibilities. As a leader, you must be able to identify these opportunities and take action.
Invest in a Welcoming Office
Different to what many think, the office physical space does have a big influence on employee productivity. As a leader, you must be attentive to details that can contribute to better employee experience. For example, If relationships are important for the company’s culture, the office must reflect that.
Creating open spaces where employees with similar job titles can collaborate to achieve goals together is one of the aspects that can improve the employee experience. The feeling of belonging to a team is crucial for a positive perception of the experience in the company.
Lighting is another aspect to pay attention to. Dark spaces might cause employees to feel demotivated while bright colors can encourage creativity. As a leader, you must identify how you can use the physical space to match the desired company culture and provide the best possible employee experience.
Ensure Employees Are Emotionally Attached to the Company
Mindful leaders know the importance of constantly expressing their passion. Doing what you love, and demonstrating that, is the best way to inspire people around you to do the same. Therefore, share your passion with your employees if you want them to buy in the company’s mission. Make sure you share successes with others in the company, and that you always lead by example and inspire others to strive for the same excellence you display.
One simple way to attach employees to the company’s mission is to constantly communicate it. Sometimes it is hard for employees to relate a small task to the whole, which can be demotivating. If you can get employees to understand their importance within the whole purpose of the company, it will become easier to get them excited about their job. This is a big part of how they will see their experience in the company.
Lower Employees’ Stress
When you are a mindful leader, you listen. More important than that, you listen to understand and not to reply. Stress is a major cause of negative employee experience. And listening to employees’ concerns and pain points is the best way to address this issue.
Each employee is a particular person with particular needs. And they should be treated as such. Something that one employee handles like a pro might be a major pain point for another employee. This means that you must always be aware of your surroundings and always open to listen to your employees to address their needs. This helps you understand how you can guide each specific employee to overcome challenges and consequently void stress. Employees’ concerns must be your concerns too.
One efficient way to address employees’ stress is to provide them with wellness programs. This can be on-site counseling sessions, paid gym membership, or healthy snacks. Additionally, encourage employees to go home at a decent time instead of striving to be the last car in the parking lot every day. Sometimes, the cues from employees are not direct. Be observant. Note stressors and move to eradicate them. Strive to be proactive instead of reactive.
Support Employees’ Growth Within the Company
No one wants to be in a dead-end job if at all possible. It’s far better to encourage your employees to move forward in the company. As a leader, employees look at you with admiration and they aspire to be like you. Being able to inspire and empower employees is a privilege, so don’t take it for granted. You should not only manage employees but also coach them. You must guide them through their career.
The Bottom Line
Mindful leaders are constantly looking for opportunities to inspire their people and make them enjoy a better experience. Great results are just a consequence. Investing in employee experience will put you ahead of the competition and attract young talent.
Keep in mind, even though you are a leader, you don’t have to know the answer to everything. So be open to learning from your employees. Be mindful that they might know something you don’t know — and be able to recognize that. After all, you hired them for their expertise. Give them a chance to use it for the betterment of the company. Also, if you learn something from an employee, be sure to recognize that person. That’s respect. That’s mindful.