Recently, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton pointed to data that shows that employee well-being and engagement are the keys to stability and productivity for businesses. He even goes on to say that these factors are better predictors of national stability than GDP. So how do you create greater well-being and engagement? One clear way is to be more mindful.

Researchers have recently added to the evidence that mindfulness supports well-being and engagement at work. This time they looked at dispositional mindfulness – the orientation toward being present. This kind of mindfulness hinges more on a daily approach to life rather than depending upon a meditation practice (although that is beneficial as well). The authors write:

“The results confirm that self-reported mindfulness predicts work engagement and general well-being. The ability to step back from automatic, habitual reactions to distress turned out to be the mindfulness facet most central for predicting work engagement and well-being. Furthermore, mindfulness exerts its positive effect on work engagement by increasing positive affect, hope, and optimism, which on their own and in combination enhance work engagement. Well-being, on the other hand, is directly influenced by mindfulness, which exerts additional indirect influence via positive affect, hope, and optimism.” One of Clifton’s assertions is that managers have an enormous impact upon the well-being and engagement of their employees. There is evidence that mindfulness enhances the business success of leaders. One of the reasons for this may be that having a mindful manager leads to greater employee well-being, engagement, and creativity.

Researchers in Singapore write the following:

We hypothesized that supervisors’ trait mindfulness is positively associated with different facets of employee well-being, such as job satisfaction and need satisfaction, and different dimensions of employee performance, such as in-role performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. We also explored whether one measure of employee well-being, psychological need satisfaction, plays a mediating role in the relation between supervisor mindfulness and employee performance. We tested these predictions in two studies using data from both supervisors and their subordinates. Results were consistent with our hypotheses. In short:

  • Employee well-being and engagement have a direct impact upon the overall health and success of organizations.
  • The mindfulness of both employees and their managers has a direct impact upon overall levels of well-being and engagement.
  • Hmm…