Congratulations to the L&D Team, which in 2019 sought embed mindfulness practices at work as a way to help our people find balance across professional delivery, wellbeing and growth. The Mindful Monday initiative in particular, was rolled out in September for three months only and grew from 120 to 1,730 subscribers across the firm.
Jean Clendinning, Head of Organisational Development for People and Learning and Development says, “From a team perspective we are delighted that Mindfulness @ Work is being recognised for the impact it’s having – beyond learning.” It’s also a recognised part of WSP Health and Wellbeing Plan including our Mental Health Plan.
Components of Mindfulness @ Work include initiatives such as:
- Mindful Mondays: Voluntary subscribers receive an email each Monday with a new focus. Themes are centred around breath, mind, body and connection. The email contains guided audio meditation and mindful practices for employees to adopt while at work and includes links for further exploration.
- Mindfulness Sessions: All leadership, management, project management, and graduate programs now include mindfulness components. For example:
- Brief, mindful breathing practices and movements to encourage being present, releasing stress and reenergising
- Facilitated morning meditations
- Wellbeing activities such as Tai Chi and painting, also included in our graduate workshop
- Workplace resilience and career planning courses include teaching mindfulness.
- Presence & Connection: We embedded techniques to promote presence, connection, and compassion through teachings on neuroscience, breathing, body scan meditation, and mindful listening within short courses such as Difficult Conversations and Feedback.
- Intention Setting: To help our people be fully present, aware and engaged, we removed the focus on learning objectives at the commencement of courses/team building, in favour of mini-meditations on pausing, transitioning and setting intentions.
- Mindful Eating: We embedded mindful eating experientially and reinforced through healthy eating options available on courses.
According to Jean, there were a few hurdles in putting the program together.
“To begin with, none of us had ever put a meditation together in this way, once we crossed that bridge our biggest concern was getting it to the people who may be needing it most easily.”
Looking to the future, the vision for 2020 includes the continuation of Mindful Mondays with additional topics of Compassion and Dealing with Difficulty.
With many of our people working offsite on projects with clients, formally-led meditations have moved to Skype and with mindful practices being expanded into other programs and countries. Recorded meditations are widely available to all employees in the new WSP Spotify account enabling wider access.
This extended offering will positively impact our people in their daily working environments, so they feel supported and engaged throughout their career at WSP.
“We see mindfulness as inputting into an individual’s wellbeing, their performance and their success,” says Jean. “Inserting mindfulness into the lives of all employees in a seamless manner and seeing the benefit is what success for us looks like.”
HRD is Australia’s only magazine written for the most senior HR professionals and top corporate decision makers and for our L&D team receiving this accolade was a great honour.
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