Does it feel like health care expenses are eating away at you company’s hard-earned profits? It’s not just your company. In fact, corporations spend nearly 60 percent of all their after-tax profits on health care benefits. Most of these expenses are the direct result of workplace stress.
Mindfulness in the workplace is becoming a subject of great interest to employers everywhere. Rising workplace stress is driving up health care expenditures and lowering productivity. Industry leaders are finding the mindfulness in the workplace just may be the Holy Grail they’ve been looking for to gain a competitive advantage and delivering the growth that shareholders expect.
The Cost of Workplace Stress
In 2000, workplace stress cost American corporations approximately $9,500 per employee every year in health care, lowered productivity, absenteeism, turnover, legal and insurance costs (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). Since then the cost of health care has more than doubled—and so has workplace stress—the yearly cost is now closer to $20,000 per employee.
According to the World Health Organization, workplace stress is the #1 health problem in the United States. Each year, both public and private organizations are losing billions of dollars in tax revenues and profits due to a stressed out workforce. Workplace stress manifests itself in a variety of ways, such as:
- Poor health in the form of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and psychological disorders.
- Lower productivity from mental distractions and absenteeism.
- Less cooperation and teamwork, leading to greater inefficiency.
- Inability to focus on job tasks and the organization’s goals.
Why Health Care Costs Keep Rising
The main reason why we’re not able to control health care costs is because organizations and policymakers are approaching the problem from the supply side. They think that if we simply increase the supply, or make it more accessible to everyone, then the cost will come down. This approach works in most industries, but not in health care because it is a supply driven industry.
The incentive in health care is for patients to use as much services as possible, so they feel like they’re getting their money’s worth from their insurance. Furthermore, health care providers run patients through all kinds of tests to minimize their chances of a malpractice lawsuit. Clearly, the supply side approach to solving the health care crisis is not working.
Naturally, if we’re going to gain any control over health care costs, then we need to approach the problem from the demand side. We need to reduce the demand for health care services by reducing workplace stress.
Numerous studies have shown that approximately 70 percent of all health care expenditures arise from preventable causes, mainly from obesity and tobacco use. Remember that over-eating and tobacco use are two of the primary ways of dealing with workplace stress. So, if we want to reduce the demand for health care services, then we need to start living healthier lifestyles.
If we can put even a small dent in this excessive demand for health care services, then we’ll begin to exert downward pressure on the cost. Some might say this is easier said than done. I would say that it’s a lot easier than you think. All you need is an open mind, and willingness to try something not so new.
How Mindfulness in the Workplace Can Lower Your Operating Costs
Let me ask you this: If there was a simple and inexpensive medical treatment that had been scientifically shown to prevent the effects of workplace stress such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and various mental disorders—without painful invasive procedures or side effects—are you willing to spend a little entertaining time reading about it?
The good news is that there is such a treatment. It is called mindfulness, and employers are finding that mindfulness in the workplace is a powerful tool for helping them achieve their organization’s goals by dramatically reducing workplace stress.
The mindfulness practice has been around for over 2,500 years, and researchers a just now confirming its many benefits. They’re finding that mindfulness in the workplace enables employees to realize their highest potential, both physical and mentally. Research has found that mindfulness meditation helps people:
- Lower stress
- Improve their immune system
- Live healthier lifestyles
- Improve cognitive abilities
Lower Health Care Costs, More Productivity, Less Turnover…
As a progressive leader, you certainly want your organization and its workforce to reach their highest potential. Researchers are finding that mindfulness in the workplace leads to a healthier and more productive workforce.
Clearly, organizations with healthier employees will see a direct effect on their company’s bottom line. They will lower their cost of operation and gain a competitive advantage through:
- Lower health care costs
- Greater productivity
- Fewer costly errors
- Less turnover
- Greater innovation
Through greater productivity, innovation, and more efficient use of resources, companies will be able to deliver the growth and expansion that shareholders expect. Not only will your company benefit financially, but also the work environment will be more conducive to attracting and retaining good talent.
Undoubtedly, mindfulness in the workplace will lead to lower workplace stress, more positive attitudes, better communication, and greater teamwork within your organization and with your partners. And with improved cognitive abilities and greater organizational awareness, managers will not only become great leaders, but they will become visionaries.
And if that’s not enough to convince you of the power of mindfulness in the workplace, a recent Kaiser Permanente study showed that a health and wellness program enhanced with a mind-body intervention can achieve cost savings of $10 for every $1 spent. Now where are you going to find a capital project that gives you a 900 percent return on your investment?
New Ebook: “Mindfulness in the Workplace”
Earlier on, I asked you the question: “If there was a simple and inexpensive medical treatment that had been scientifically shown to prevent the effects of workplace stress such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and various mental disorders—without painful invasive procedures or side effects—are you willing to spend a little entertaining time reading about it?”
Since you’re still reading this, I’m going to assume you answered, “yes.” Well, now that I’ve shown you how mindfulness in the workplace can dramatically curb your health care expenses by reducing workplace stress, and maximize your organization’s productivity, it’s time to act on this.
Our new ebook, Mindfulness in the Workplace, will explain to you exactly how to do it. I’ll share with you the secrets to achieving dramatic savings within the first year of implementing a mindfulness training program. Here’s what you find in the book:
The Cost of Workplace Stress
What is Mindfulness?
The Mindfulness Revolution
Mindfulness and Systems Evolution
How to Reduce the Cost of Health Care
How to Increase Productivity
Building the Mindful Organization
Training the New Generation of Leaders
The Rising Popularity of Mindfulness Meditation
About the Author
Charles A. Francis has studied the practice of mindfulness with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He has taught mindfulness for over 16 years, and has published numerous articles on the practice.
He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University, with a focus on health care management and policy. He has written legislation on childhood obesity and government efficiency for the North Carolina State Senate. He has a background in accounting and business management, and has served as CEO of ITC, an international telecommunications company.
For about the price of lunch, you’ll learn how progressive companies like Google and McKinsey Consulting are using mindfulness in the workplace to save millions of dollars, and gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries. We’ll even provide you with a list of resources you need to get it done.
Click here to order your copy for only $4.99. Secure payment through PayPal.