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The ROI Of Mental/Emotional Health Programs, In The Workplace

Two years ago ( you read that correctly--two years ago ) a Healthcare consulting group affiliated with Deloitte , published a detailed paper entitled, Mental health and employers: The case for investment, which concluded: "The return on investment ["ROI"] of workplace mental health intervention is overwhelmingly positive" (emphasis added). Hello?

I'm going to go way out on a limb (not), and assert that mindfulness and meditation are critical components of a balanced workplace mental/emotional health program. They directly address the "mind" portion of the mind/body dichotomy that we all recognize. And, as the cited study states, "[proactive] organization-wide preventative activities which improve employee resilience can achieve a higher return on investment than reactive individual focused practices" (emphasis added).

For the men and women who manage our law firms and other legal institutions, the conclusions contained in the Deloitte report are truly eye-popping: "Our research suggests a conservative ROI range of 4:1 to 9:1 based on the reliable sources found in our systematic review".

In plain English, there is strong and credible empirical evidence that has existed for the past two years, supporting the financial wisdom of initiating workplace mental/emotional health programs, in the workplace. Full stop. Drop the mic. I mean, for real.

I'm not a medically-trained doctor or psychiatrist, but common sense leads me to the conclusion that early "soft" social or behavioral difficulties (like constant stress or recurring anxiety) can ripen into "hard" addictive or diagnosable medical concerns, if not addressed through a balanced mental/emotional health program. And what more logical place for such a program, than the everyday workplace?

There are numerous well-documented studies that have received much scientific and academic attention: improved resilience, improved focus, decreased stress and anxiety--the list is impressive. Now there is even evidence that proactive workplace programs designed to educate, coach and promote mental/emotional health practices (like mindfulness and meditation), can positively impact the financial bottom line of a business organization--which is a major factor in calculating ROI.

Armed with that information, our law firm leaders are beginning to act, notwithstanding the traditionally conservative nature of the profession. Dentons (the world's largest law firm) recently announced the appointment of a woman in Poland as the Europe, Chief Mindfulness officer. Can law firms in the United States be far behind?

The times, they are a-changin'--both in the legal profession, and throughout the business world. Care to join me, on the wagon?


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