This research project attempts to look at the secular use of Mindfulness as a potential organizational investment for Irish and U.S. companies to promote a high level of employee performance. For organisations to remain productive and competitive, they need a high level of employee performance as this translates to organization product quality and company reputation in a competitive market in any industry. This project will specifically assess how Mindfulness specifically is a strategy to promote employee performance and how it could be a worthwhile organizational investment which will benefit the organisation in a clear Return on Investment (ROI) based on a noticeable increase in the level of employee performance after the implementation of Mindfulness.
Current research suggests that “mindfulness trainings have been shown to reduce the extent to which employees experience emotional exhaustion in their jobs” (Hyland, Lee & Mills, 2015, p.579). What is curious to know is how effective Mindfulness training, which harnesses intrinsic motivation characteristics, is more effective than other forms of motivation such as extrinsic monetary rewards. Many strategies are currently being used to promote employee performance such as bonuses and monetary incentives. What will also be assessed is how Mindfulness could be a preferred and easily executable strategy to promote employee performance and a worthwhile organisational investment. Stress Management is important to manage to help cultivate a high level of employee performance. A report published by the American Psychological Association in 2014 stated that “Sixty-seven percent of Americans report experiencing emotional symptoms of stress, and 72% report experiencing physical symptoms” with between 80-83% of American workers expressing feelings of stress (Hyland, Lee, and Mills, 2015, p.589) According to the Irish Examiner, “82% of Irish workers are
suffering from stress” (Percieval, 2015, par.6). Consequently, stress and stress management is an issue for many people in both Ireland and the United States with very nearly the same employee stress rate, so it is worth paying attention to in order to see how organisations in both of these countries can harness a high level of employee performance due to their similarities. In addition, many of the organisations in the United States also share a headquarters in Ireland with companies such as Google and Microsoft among them. Thusly, discussing Mindfulness and how it may be applicable in industries in both of these countries is not without merit.
Today, organisations in any industry are in a highly competitive economic climate. It is essential that an organisation provide the best-suited workforce to produce the best service or product for its client to remain competitive. Every organization would benefit from understanding what promotes a high level of performance from its employees because “the performance of employees is the most important factor that affects the success of institutions. In fact, some scholars have pointed out that motivation is a prerequisite for an effective social and economic activity” (Sergio, Luis & Arriaza, 2016, p.3). A well-rounded employee that is properly motivated to perform at a high level is an investment for any organisation who will reap the rewards from this motivation. What is interesting to note is how intrinsic motivation tools such as Mindfulness could be an effective and even preferable strategy to harness a high level of employee performance.
Stress-related employee issues is a relevant and important issue to explore and the cost associated with employee burnout and turnover is worth looking into theories of how these employee issues might be assuaged. Management and Human Resources can “simultaneously influence firm performance through enhancing employees ’human capital (e.g., educational level, job-specific knowledge and skills), motivation (e.g., commitment, trust), and opportunities
to contribute (e.g., involvement, empowerment, information sharing) (Oh, Blau, Han & Kim, 2017, p.354). In short, investing in effective avenues to promote their employee’s performance will benefit the organisation.
In the pursuit of this issue, what will be explored in this project is the modern and secular use of Mindfulness and its potential benefit dealing with employee stress and motivation as well as how that might translate to assisting in an organisation’s overall bottom line through employee performance due to empowerment. In addition, what will be explored is how Mindfulness could even lower the rate of employee health-related claims which does benefit the overall bottom line and investment of any organisation. The findings will look explore what has been proposed in the research questions and recommendations will be made on how Mindfulness might be an attractive organisational investment with a valuable return.