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The Karma Workplace Initiative is a science-backed service, geared towards supporting the overall wellbeing of workforces across the Liverpool City Region. Furthermore, it’s an initiative that can also offer more intense support to staff who may be struggling with the likes of anxiety, depression, chronic stress and illness.
Prior to the pandemic, mental health issues were the leading cause of sick leave in the UK. Covid-19 and a struggling economy have led to further mental health issues amongst workers, and we’re reminded of the growing need for workplace wellness programmes that keep workers, businesses and the economy afloat in these challenging times.
As of March 2022, NICE guidelines are recommending that employers offer "all of their staff meditation, yoga and mindfulness on an ongoing basis" (1). Furthermore, they encourage employers to "offer mindfulness to those staff at risk of or struggling with their mental health".
This is exactly what we would like to offer your organisation.
Those who take part in the Karma Workplace initiative will develop the skills to better understand and self-manage their mental and physical health. Evidence of mindfulness-based interventions like ours, have been found to be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating both anxiety (2) and depression (3).
Furthermore, workplace mindfulness programmes have demonstrated positive effects on burnout, wellbeing and stress. They help to improve emotional skills amongst workers, with participants showing a greater ability to manage their thoughts and behaviour, as well being more skilled in coping under pressure, sustaining motivation, planning and problem solving (4).
Mindfulness training may be beneficial to those professions who require periods of intensive physical, cognitive, and emotional demands (5). Research has found that participants of mindfulness programmes can experience quicker recovery of heart and breathing rates, improved sleep, more robust working memory capacity and stronger immune response.
Studies in the US found that after mindfulness training, there were improvements in emotional intelligence metrics which included decision making skills and resistance to bias, including racial bias and age-related stereotyping (6).
Furthermore, leaders who practise mindfulness have been shown to experience less emotional exhaustion, better work-life balance, and better job performance ratings, as well as enhanced empathy and compassion towards employees (7).
While it’s true no single therapy works for everyone, mindfulness and yoga are both accessible to all employees across our workforces and is a cost-effective method of supporting employees and leaders alike.
Our programme is backed by the latest scientific research and supported by a steering group of mental health professionals, including a clinical psychologist, social worker and other healthcare and research professionals.
The Karma Workplace Initiative is available to your workforce in a variety of formats, whether that be weekly work-based sessions, online for remote workers, in the tranquillity of our yoga studio in Bebington, or a hybrid package. Our trained and experienced mindfulness and yoga teachers will formulate a package that works best for you and your employees.
This is an opportunity to bring the calmness and peace of a meditation and yoga studio to the workplace, helping to cultivate a culture of creativity, focus, level-headedness and peace of mind amongst employees.
We can offer 2-hour taster workshops to give staff a sample of what the Karma Yoga Initiative involves. Please get in touch and we can discuss this further.
And finally, if you’re wondering why it’s called the ‘Karma’ Workplace Initiative, that’s for two reasons: looking out for the well-being of your staff and taking proactive steps to support this is an incredible act of kindness that will bring good karma; as well as this, 10% of the money generated from this project will go towards funding placements for local people struggling with mental health issues to access this same type of support.
KARMA WORKPLACE INITIATIVE KEY POINTS
The Karma Workplace Initiative is a science-backed workplace wellness program that supports the overall wellbeing of workforces, with a focus on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and illness.
NICE guidelines recommend that employers offer ongoing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness to all staff, with a focus on those at risk of or struggling with mental health issues.
Mindfulness-based interventions have been found to be effective in treating anxiety and depression and can improve emotional skills, coping under pressure, motivation, planning, and problem-solving.
Mindfulness training can also benefit professions that require periods of intensive physical, cognitive, and emotional demands, with improvements in heart and breathing rates, sleep, working memory capacity, and immune response.
Leaders who practice mindfulness can experience less emotional exhaustion, better work-life balance, and better job performance ratings, as well as enhanced empathy and compassion towards employees.
The Karma Workplace Initiative is available in various formats, including weekly work-based sessions, online for remote workers, in a yoga studio, or a hybrid package, and is led by trained and experienced mindfulness and yoga teachers.
BENEFITS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Improved productivity: Studies have shown that mindfulness and yoga practices can improve focus and concentration, leading to increased productivity in the workplace.
Decreased absenteeism: By addressing and preventing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, the Karma Workplace Initiative can potentially reduce the number of sick days taken by employees.
Enhanced team cohesion: Participation in mindfulness and yoga practices can foster a sense of community and improve team cohesion.
Positive impact on company culture: Implementing a workplace wellness program like the Karma Workplace Initiative can help create a positive, supportive company culture that values the well-being of employees.
Potential cost savings: By reducing absenteeism and improving productivity, businesses may see cost savings in the long run.
Positive reputation: Offering a wellness program like the Karma Workplace Initiative can help a business build a positive reputation as an employer that cares about the well-being of its employees.
2. Hoge EA, Bui E, Mete M, Dutton MA, Baker AW, Simon NM. Mindfulness-based stress reduction vs escitalopram for the treatment of adults with anxiety disorders: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online November 9, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3679
3. Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Wampold, B. E., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 59, 52–60.
4. Poulin PA, Mackenzie CS, Soloway G, Karayolas E. Mindfulness training as an evidenced-based approach to reducing stress and promoting wellbeing among human services professionals. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education. 2008;46:35-43.
5. Jha AP, Stanley EA, Kiyonaga A, Wong L, Gelfand L. Examining the protective efects of mindfulness training on working memory and afective experience. Emotion. 2010;10(1):54–64.
6. Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston of the Surrey & Sussex Major Crime Team gave evidence on this issue at the MAPPG’s Parliamentary hearing on 9th December, 2014: as a mindfulness practitioner, he described greater empathy and concern for the wellbeing of others, with associated improvements in interactions with victims, witnesses and offenders. He argued that this has implications for evidence-gathering, crime detection, victim satisfaction and community relations. At the same MAPPG Parliamentary hearing, Southwark Borough Commander Zander Gibson noted that, from his personal experience, mindfulness training may help officers to recognise signs of stress and overreaction in colleagues and decode signs of fear in citizens, rather than mistaking these for aggression
7. Reb J, Narayanan J, Ho ZW. Mindfulness at work: Antecedents and consequences of employee awareness and absent-mindedness. Mindfulness. 2013;6(1):111-122. Reb J, Narayanan J, Chaturvedi S. Leading mindfully: two studies on the influence of supervisor trait mindfulness on employee wellbeing and performance. Mindfulness. 2012;5(1):36-45.