Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper
Chapter 10: Mindfulness improves work engagement, wellbeing and performance in a university setting
This chapter explores the effects of mindfulness training on autonomous motivation, work engagement, wellbeing and performance at work. Universities are under increasing pressure to improve performance in knowledge and creative work. In response to these pressures, the Australian National University introduced mindfulness training as part of its career development offering in 2010 and regular eight-week programmes have been offered to all academic and general staff of the university since that time. At the same time, the university commissioned research regarding the causes and effects of changes resulting from the courses. From a university perspective, the primary aim of the initiative was to increase both staff performance and overall wellbeing. The performance of knowledge workers such as those in universities depends upon discretionary effort and this in turn depends upon goal clarity and the self-regulatory capabilities to act effectively in pursuit of goals even in the face of setbacks, negative emotions and difficult relationships. As universities are public institutions with a social change role, staff wellbeing is easily justified as an end in itself. But improving wellbeing can also be justified from an instrumental perspective.
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