Talking About Financial Matters That Affect You and Your Organization
Why Google wants its employees to meditate – and why you should too
Jun 23rd, 2017
Meditation hits the mainstream.
The stereotypical image of a Buddhist Monk or 1960’s hippie no longer apply.
Many of the world’s most successful people meditate daily, everyone from athletes to actors, sales people to systems analysts, and CEO’s to construction workers are in on the gig.
Fair enough you say – to each his or her own and if meditation is part of your daily routine – have at it.
But why in the world would an employer encourage, promote and offer meditation as an EMPLOYEE BENEFIT? That’s a little warm and fuzzy for most business types. For many, businesses offering meditation as an EMPLOYEE BENEFIT would be akin to offering unlimited vacation – something only those “techy” companies would consider and a passing fad. No chance that Meditation as an EMPLOYEE BENEFIT actually makes great business sense and can offer a definitive ROI.
How so? If you consider your employees expendable and view them as easily replaceable cogs then stop reading now. Not many (if any) business can function sustainably under that type of culture and most would argue it as a flawed approach that hurts your bottom line. Even if you don’t care about employees the cost of hiring, training, replacing, recruiting far outweighs the cost of keeping.
Back to Google, presumably Google has a large swath of employees who really want to work there and who are extremely committed to their work. Picture the coder who willingly buries him or herself in projects for extended hours at a time, voluntarily going above and beyond. Those same individuals are (presumably) encouraged to identify and tackle new ideas, new products, new (or better) solutions etc. on their own initiative. These employees can and will work themselves into the ground. They care about what they are doing and who they are doing it for. Tales of marathon “coding” sessions are common. Once started on the road to something innovative they have no desire to stop (or sleep).
This is where the employer can step in to make sure these amazing, irreplaceable employees are on a path to sustainability. If these employees are doing awesome things and you as the employer want to keep them doing awesome things – then you need to make sure they don’t burn themselves out. Aside from some glamourous Wall Street stories – the “work them until they drop and then replace them” concept probably doesn’t really work. If you’ve invested time, training, resources, energy, culture and more into great employees – you want them to stay and last. This is why Google wants its employees to mediate, they are in for the long haul. They know that if they can get their employees to understand the importance of balance, that it will have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Balance = Sustainability
Let’s be realistic – not every employee is going to take up meditation – it’s just one example and there are many more I’m sure. It’s one way Google has identified to help their best employees stay at the top of their game. A typical employer might look at something like meditation as a direct cost and then decide to offer or not offer it. However, the premium employers will look for ways to invest (not spend) in ways to attract, retain, and sustain employee talent. It has to be customized and authentic but these types of employee benefits or perks have massive ROI, just ask Google.
Therefore – if you view your employees and the benefits/compensation/culture around them as strictly a cost to be managed – well, you get what you pay for.
Companies like Google view their employees as performers. And Profits are the applause you get for taking care of your performers.