Mindfulness at the Workplace: do we really need it?

A couple of years ago, I attended a Learning & Development seminar. There were over a hundred senior professionals from the industry attending the seminar. The themes largely revolved around how to make learning more effective at the workplace.

The challenges most professionals articulated were the shortening attention spans for learning, especially amongst the millennial population. Increasing difficulty in getting learners engaged with learning. Coupled with this, the increasingly difficult VUCA environment & the need to be constantly evolving.

The solution, some participants felt, lay in introducing bite sized learning, using technology innovatively and similar strategies to enhance the learning experience. The inherent assumption here was, if learning was made more interesting, it would draw more people towards learning and make learning more effective.

Looking at ways to enhance the learning experience is always a great idea. At Shradha HRD, clients that we have worked with over 15 years come back to us because of the innovation we continuously introduce into the learning process.

However, I felt we were missing a crucial piece over here. The first step in learning is to make participants aware of the need for the training. Learning should ideally involve contemplation around where we currently are, where we would like to go and the journey in general. If we are able to move participants to become mindful about these processes, learning will automatically become much easier. Once participants sit back and view the bigger picture, they will automatically recognize the importance of learning for them to achieve their goals.

Technology and bite sized learning have their own utility in the learning process. However, to my mind if we are able to encourage mindfulness, stepping back & reflecting, the impact will be higher.

We are now slowly seeing the theme of mindfulness gain traction. It is a slow process but there is a definite movement towards reflection, being in the moment & recognition of the benefits that being mindful bring.