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Article

Make mindfulness your differentiator in the new normal

Ashish Devalekar & Madhu Rajputra
Published: May 10, 2022

The concept of mindfulness has caught the attention of organizations the world over in recent times for the right reasons. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines mindfulness as the “awareness of one’s internal states and surroundings.” With its roots relating to the philosophy of meditation or dhyana, the essence is to focus on the present. This philosophy is now a growing trend within businesses and continues to grow in importance as the world works in hybrid and remote environments.

What does mindfulness mean for businesses?

When people are in a state of mindfulness, they are present in the moment and more likely to respond logically and without bias. Organizations promote mindfulness because it helps create a healthier workplace and increase performance.

The pandemic has played the role of a catalyst pushing many towards the vital practice of mindfulness as a respite from changing norms to remote work, and other flexible work arrangements, increased responsibilities, and heightened emotions. The pandemic has also impacted our interactions with stakeholders within the organization.

When organizations practice mindfulness, team members can detach from the situation to act from a place of logic and not emotion. It brings awareness to the current state of the business and gives stakeholders objective visibility into what actions are driving business benefits. Being mindful in the workplace increases customer satisfaction and team member centricity. It accelerates growth by bringing out the best in individuals, teams, and situations and creates a mentally rewarding environment.

Cultivating, practicing, and advocating for mindfulness in your organization

Organizations that are cultivating, practicing, and advocating for mindfulness realize the benefits it can have. Let’s look at these three aspects and how they impact businesses.

  1. Cultivating mindfulness 
    Mindfulness is an effective tool for navigating through high-pressure professional environments.

    More than ever, empathy in team member engagement has taken the forefront while developing businesses. As the Harvard Business Review article “Connect with empathy, but lead with compassion” mentions, managers must be able  to take that extra step from empathy to compassion and be available for their team members in trying times to strengthen interpersonal relationships. Cultivating mindfulness empowers employees in many ways, including adding value to client interactions.

    A great way for companies to cultivate mindfulness in the workplace is to incorporate mindfulness in training, and learning and development programs. Doing this will positively impact work culture, motivation levels, and engagement levels across the organization. Many organizations do this today and have experienced great success.

  2. Practicing mindfulness
    The IT industry is going through disruptive changes leading to several emerging trends. However, very few businesses have focused on bringing mindfulness and emotional intelligence to the client experience in recent years.

    Typically, one builds a strong business relationship through a consultative approach across multiple touchpoints, including emails, presentations, and other methods. Mindfulness plays a crucial role throughout the sales cycles in determining when to reach out, present, and follow up. A strong proposition pitched at the wrong time to the right stakeholders will not yield the desired outcome.

    Fundamental pillars of mindfulness, such as being attentive, humble, open, and adaptive to ever-changing situations, can be a game-changer in building long-term relationships. The long-term vision is to create an open environment to explore new ways of engaging with clients, stakeholders, and ecosystem partners. 

  3. Advocating for mindfulness
    During the pandemic, many organizations created initiatives to help their employees, building trust between employees and employers. Organizational leaders should use these programs as an example as they focus on making subsequent team member-centric initiatives that build on their current programs.

    Advocating for mindfulness will help ingrain it into the work culture and create a better business for employees and clients alike. The role of marketing is even more crucial to position and create engagement programs that promote mindfulness. 

Mindfulness benefits business

Mindfulness, being present in the moment, has many business benefits. It helps improve customer experience and accelerate value delivery across the life cycle of sales, delivery, and other client-facing functions. Internally, it enhances teamwork, builds trust across the organization, and helps organizations adopt emerging trends, evolving business models, and new ways of working with ease. IT organizations can use mindfulness to create a differentiator as the world of technology continues to evolve and change.

Ashish Devalekar

Ashish Devalekar

EVP & Managing Director,
UK, Europe and Middle East

Ashish Devalekar oversees a high-performing team across Europe and the Middle East that delivers business transformation, digital innovation, consulting, and IT services to clients across banking, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare and life sciences sectors. He is responsible for driving Virtusa go-to-market strategy in Europe and the Middle East.

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Madhu Rajputra

Madhu Rajputra

Vice President and Delivery Head - TMT and HLS
Virtusa, UK, Europe and the Middle East

Madhu leads the TMT and HLS delivery for Virtusa UK, Europe and the Middle East. He is an experienced Technology Executive with a demonstrated history of blending strategic thought process with excellent execution capability. Madhu is responsible for managing and delivering large multi-tower deals in Digital Engineering, Cloud transformation, Agile, DevOps, NetOps, Testing, Automation, Network and Emerging Technologies. 

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