You may already know that SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes (especially SMEs!) run at their best. But did you know that SAP is also a global leader in mindfulness in the workplace?

From day one, SAP’s purpose has been to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. The SAP Global Mindfulness Practice, is a not-for-profit initiative that offers best-practice models to help deliver mindfulness-based programs to enable employees to unlock their potential and improve their wellbeing and work and in their wider lives.

Mindfulness is proven to improve wellbeing and resilience

Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on what you're feeling, in your body and through your five senses, in the present moment without making any judgements or interpretations. Mindfulness practices can include different types of 'being present' meditations, sometimes using guided imagery, breathing exercises, an even noting your thoughts without getting caught up in them.

Mindfulness is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve wellbeing and resilience. That’s something we at United VARs are very keen to promote to our global family of employees, partners and customers in these stressful times!

In partnership with the not-for-profit Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), SAP has trained selected SAP employees in the emerging field of teaching mindfulness in corporations. SAP’s mindfulness program, which is based on the SIYLI two-day course, is producing tangible results. Employees who have done the course and continue to practice mindfulness have reported improvements in their mental clarity, creativity, ability to focus and job satisfaction, as reported in this Forbes article.

United VARs’ Member, In Cloud, finds out about SAP’s Global Mindfulness Practice

Matt Champion, Customer Innovation Director at SAP UKI, is a ‘Search Inside Yourself mindfulness teacher’ at SAP. One of our implementation members in the UK, In Cloud (now part of Sapphire Systems), which is an SAP Business ByDesign specialist, interviewed Matt about the SAP Mindfulness Program.

Below is an excerpt from Lucy Thorpe, Head Of Communications at In Cloud (now part of Sapphire Systems), and Matt Champion’s fascinating conversation on the positive effects of mindfulness at work. We’ve also included links to the resources Matt refers to in the podcast, so you can try this amazing, yet simple, practice for yourself.

Lucy, InCloud: What's mindfulness meditation got to do with the workplace?

Matt, SAP: The mindfulness journey at SAP really started with Peter Bostelman, who is the Chief Mindfulness Officer at SAP. Peter had a vision that he could bring mindfulness into the workplace. He attended a course at Google called Search Inside Yourself which was brings together emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and neuroscience as part of an organizational development program at Google and that's the course that we teach.

After attending the course, Peter was so inspired that he brought that into SAP. There was a bit of an initial struggle in terms of it being accepted as something that we do in the workplace. But credit to Peter and the team that's around the SAP global mindfulness practice, it’s developed over the past eight years into one of our most successful programs at SAP.

Lucy, InCloud: Tell me about your job as mindfulness teacher at the SAP global mindfulness practice.

Matt, SAP: I'm an innovation director for SAP in the UK, so I am generally working with customers and helping on customer engagements. I do a lot of design thinking work. It's about human-centered design and how do we take an empathetic approach to problem-solving.

I'd always had my own personal mindfulness practice, which has helped me through my life, but I didn't realize that there was a workplace program at SAP. And then I started looking at how I could get more involved. So I became an SAP mindfulness ambassador in the UK and started talking to people about how it can help. And then I trained to be a teacher. I've been a mindfulness teacher now at SAP for the past three years and I’ve found it very interesting.

We do have stats as part of our business case. We've seen something like a 200-300% return on investment for the mindfulness program globally. We know that happier employees who feel more comfortable, more aware, more present, and more connected to others are more productive. We've actually got the research that shows that connection to a sustained mindfulness practice.

I'm also now part of a community called the mindful workplace community in the UK. And I actually help to set that up. It’s a community of people from businesses across all industries, globally, who are talking about and sharing how to develop mindfulness in the workplace… as a kind of peer exchange. So that's a good place to go if anybody's interested in developing a mindful practice within their business.

Want to discover more, and perhaps try mindfulness for yourself?

· Check out Lucy and Matt’s full podcast on the positive effects of mindfulness at work

· Take advantage of the free trial offer on the mindfulness app, Headspace

· Check out the mindfulness meditations and body scans (a type of mindfulness practice) on the free meditation app, Insight Timer

· Find out how your organization can benefit from some simple mindfulness techniques at the SAP Global Mindfulness Practice page

· Visit the Mindfulness Workplace Community, the primary forum for the international conversation on workplace mindfulness


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