Bringing Mindfulness to Workplace Culture

I work for a non-profit behavioral health agency and was awarded a grant to provide a 3.5 hour introduction to mindfulness for front line staff and administrative staff at 6 locations across North Carolina. One of the challenges is finding coverage in a busy environment for all employees to have an opportunity to take part.

We are planning to expand mindfulness into businesses and I would appreciate feedback on your most common offerings? Lunch time meditation groups? All day retreats? A modified MBSR course? The full MBSR course etc. Do you do a combination of in person as well as webinar etc.?

What methods have you all found to be the most effective in establishing commitment from businesses to spend the time and money to invest in their employees?

Are there certain types of business cultures and or specific types of businesses who are more receptive to mindfulness?

I realize I have asked many questions and I appreciate any feedback, resources or suggestions.

Kind regards,

Jude Johnson, MA, LMFT


I am also interested in how to make it work to bring the 8 week program into the workplace. I was asked to give a business a bid on this and they were willing to pay for this for their employees. However, they wanted to have the sessions be 1.5 hours or less versus the 2.5 hours of the regular course classes. What are people’s thoughts on this and how would consider setting this up?


Thank you for adding to the discussion Janie. I am glad to hear that a business was willing to implement a modified course. What industry? I will share below part of our business plan for mindfulness services other than MBSR that we are hoping to implement into the business world.

Kind regards,


Modified MBSR course: This course takes the principles explored in the MBSR course; however is delivered in a modified 4 week format. The orientation is free of charge and required before signing up for the course. The modified MBSR course consists of 3 sessions of 90 minutes each and a 4 hour retreat.

Half-day session (3.5 hours): This session includes an introduction to mindfulness, the basic attitudes of mindfulness, effects of stress on the mind and body, benefits of mindfulness meditation, discussion of mindfulness in daily life and up to 4 guided meditations. During this session there are brief periods of self-reflection. Facilitator to travel to location (up to 20 miles from Charlotte, further locations will incur additional travel time fees) )

Full-day session (7 hours): This session takes the information provided in the half-day session and explores each area more fully. During this session there will guided mindful activities that may include gentle movements. Guided meditations are provided that invite members to explore a deeper level of awareness. This training will include specific areas of discussion such as communication and self-compassion. This training can be modified to meet the needs of audience based on request. This session will include varying levels of guided meditation and self-reflections.

Multi-day retreat (2-days): The multi-day retreat includes periods of silence, a more expansive experience in mindfulness and guided meditations, gentle movements, and various mindful activities. Areas such as communication, relationships, self-awareness and self-compassion are fully explored. The multi-day retreat is designed based on the particular needs of the members attending and requires consultation with the trainer(s).

Corporate Facilitated community groups: Hour long facilitated group which is held on site. Number of participants limited to size of room. Community group contracts vary depending on service.
• Once per week: $200.00 per group ($2,400 per quarter) Quarterly contracts
• Every 2 weeks: $225.00 per group ($1,200 per quarter) Quarterly contracts
• Monthly: $250.00 per group ($1,500 per 6 months) 6 month contracts
• Bi-monthly: $275.00 per group ($1,650 per year) Yearly contracts
• Quarterly: $300.00 per group ($1,200 per year) Yearly contracts

Services can be combined within an 8 hour period for a flat rate of $1,000. Additional services are available for negotiation based on corporate need.

Trainings on site: Corporations can utilize technology to expand audience with no limit (understanding that some questions may not be able to be addressed if high in volume).

Based on current revenues/expenditures, a discount for services will be offered to non-for-profit, community agencies (law enforcement, schools, Department of Social Services, etc.)


Thanks for sharing this information. It’s very helpful to me as well.

Thank you for sharing and collaborating on this topic. Have you found it hard for folks, within the business sector, to establish a daily practice? Did you find that you needed to introduce the concept and practice sitting in the workshop just as with MBSR? Wondering about any effective methods used to share the importance of practice without having the participants run for the door! Typically the stress levels are very high, folks are curious but possibly not committed to practice regularly.
What has been your experience? Have there been other challenges?

Thank you again and this is a very keen topic of interest.

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Just joined this community as I am a therapist in Atlanta and pursuing mindfulness teacher training opportunities. I am very interested in bringing mindfulness to the corporate world and am reaching out to law firms to talk about balance, resilience, emotional intelligence, etc. The outline above is very helpful. I am wondering if anyone can share how they have taken the UMass courses and applied them to Mindful Leadership in the corp world. Thanks so much

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Thanks all, for sharing.
I can share a bit on my own workplace regarding Mindfulness offerings. I work for a large pharmaceutical company - our campus has about 3000 people spread across various buildings.
About 9 months ago I formed a Mindfulness Club on site - as Jude mentioned the biggest challenge is time. I have tried 2 formats so far: 30 minute lunch sit (in person), offered on drop in basis weekly. This is lightly attended, but a small group of dedicated people tends to join.
We also have a fitness center on site - so earlier this month we did a joint program to bring an introductory practice to the community, via a daily 10 minute remote/teleconference session offered for a week. This was very well received - and definitely many more were able to join because it was convenient and they can join from various buildings.

I am definitely hoping to offer a modified course in the future - the shorter/convenient format helps give opportunities for people to try it out and to experience the benefit for themselves, as most are not familiar with “mindfulness”. So this is a useful step to help build the awareness on site.

Deb - In terms of sharing importance of daily practice, since I am not offering a formal class, I don’t really ask people to commit. However I do encourage daily practice by sharing tools and other informal practice. Apps (e.g. headspace), or brief challenges where they can perform informal practice anywhere - e.g. pause and enjoy the aroma of the morning tea/coffee for a few minutes; Pausing before they dive into emails; Taking a quiet lunch somewhere other than their desks!

Finally another surprise that I noticed with workplace sitting group as opposed to regular community groups - is that it is easy for people to think about other participants with the “colleagues” hat on (rather than just fellow human beings). So establishing the rapport is important as folks tend to be a bit more inhibited if the “colleagues” hat is firmly on.

Thanks again!

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