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Burnt-out Employees? Give Mindful Leadership a Try

Today’s fast-paced corporate world has people juggling strict deadlines and pending assignments. The only way they can survive the ever-increasing workload is multitasking; operating on autopilot mode and applying themselves minimally to each task. Can implementing a more mindful leadership help restore productivity and balance in the workplace?


The expectation of 24/7 availability through a myriad of technological devices is slowly leading to a burnout in employees across the world. They are bombarded with anxiety-inducing information that can easily overwhelm them and invariably cause stressful isolation. This constant pressure has left the resources feeling depleted, forcing them into a vicious circle where their deliverables continue to mount but the motivation to work on them is at an all-time low.

According to a study by Coloniallife, a US-based insurance company, 41% of workers claimed that stress hampered their productivity, 33% said it affected their level of engagement and 15% said they wanted to switch their job as a result of stress.

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Similarly, leaders who were so far combating the issues of remote working and ensuring business as usual are now running from seminars to webinars, desperate to find a strategic insight to boost employee productivity.  No wonder the “Great Resignation” has brought further complications for most industries as they struggle to retain their talent pool.

Amid such tumultuous times, it is easy to see how beneficial the cultivation of mindful leadership would be for any organization. An open work culture that makes its employees feel heard could amplify employee satisfaction and eventually contribute to retaining an organization’s talented resource pool.

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Pressing the Reset Button

Mindfulness connotes ensuring one’s conscious presence at any given moment, paying attention and responding instead of exhibiting conditioned reactions. It essentially combats distractions by just being aware, accepting and training the wandering mind to come back to the present moment.

We need mindful leaders who can rewire their existing mindsets, creating an unbiased and welcome environment

With rampant workplace stress, practicing this simple habit in the workplace aids people to minimize the distractions around them and put their absolute focus on the task at hand, ensuring quality output. Traditional management styles and conditioned mindsets can be inhibitors when it comes to implementing agility among today’s overworked employees.

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Instead, we need mindful leaders who can rewire their existing mindsets, creating an unbiased and welcome environment, with the lucidity required to steer through unpredictable obstacles. A mindful leader is the ambassador of this practice, promoting awareness through focused non-judgmental interaction, active listening, clarity in work and compassion towards peers.

The Mindfulness Culture

Such leaders recognize that while defying the obstacles of modern businesses and uncovering new business ideas, organizations must cultivate a culture of listening and a meritocracy of inventive thinking. This can be achieved by democratizing innovations. When a mindful and diversified group of employees are invited to approach a problem, the results are more innovative than if the dialogue is limited to a small strategy or leadership team.

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Organizational crowdsourcing seeks to encourage employees to connect, collaborate and brainstorm ideas. Crowdsourcing offers a new method of listening by supporting targeted interactions across time zones, regions and organizational units. Crowdsourcing exposes problems to a wide range of people with a variety of talents, experiences and viewpoints to facilitate the generation of the best possible solution. The mindful growth of a company is aided by the collective wisdom of its united and engaged workforce.

With each individual who chooses to become mindful, a leader is born

Practicing mindfulness can, however, have a more profound impact in any workplace. It plays a key role in the individual development of employees. As they learn to minimize distractions and remove the aspects causing them stress and anxiety, they learn to augment their problem-solving skills, divergent thinking and resilience. As cognitive rigidity drops, there is a renewed confidence in employees to be creative, compassionate and take pride in the output delivered by them.

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With each individual who chooses to become mindful, a leader is born; with each mindful leader, an organization can be transformed; and such evolved organizations can contribute to the betterment of society. Thus, mindful choices often lead to a win-win-win scenario: good for the organization, good for the employees and good for the community.

Mario Peña

Mario is Regional Center Manager at Infosys, where he manages end-to-end delivery and governance operations for the company's Delivery Centers in Monterrey, Brazil and Argentina.
He's experienced in global business operation model and process development, as well as project management. At Infosys -where he has worked for 12 years-, he was responsible for delivery centers start up in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

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