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What We Can Learn From the Success of L’Oreal’s Mindfulness Program

Yesterday I attended an online L’Oreal mindfulness case study hosted by the Institute for Organizational Mindfulness and facilitated by Andy Lee, former Chief Mindfulness Officer at Aetna/current Senior Consultant for the Potential Project.

Jade Ku Sonlin, Assistant Vice President of People Development and Learning at L’Oreal, spent the hour talking about her personal mindfulness journey. She described how she went about gradually getting the C-level on board for a pilot, the success of that pilot, and how the pilot grew into a wellness program. She then expressed the continued impact on those who are now participating in that wellness program across the organization.

Sonlin started at L’Oreal in Marketing after burning out in LA agency life and adopting mindfulness as a practice.  Her marketing background proved very valuable in gaining buy-in and funding for this pilot (they outsourced to MindFresh.) Below are ways she applied her marketing know-how to eventually gain the approval and funds to move forward with a pilot.

Meet them where they are at

People are practicing mindfulness at some level, whether they know it or not. When you engage in activities in which you find yourself “in the flow,” take in all the details of something, and that moment before you do something that requires physical acuity when you take a breath you are practicing mindfulness. Sonlin’s boss is a mountaineer. He had some resistance to not just mindfulness, but also to the idea of dedicating time at work to it. So, Sonlin asked how he gets focused when he’s on a mountain in a precarious spot. He breathes. That was merely a seed planted that she could water later. More importantly, she now knew a way to frame mindfulness in a way that had relevance and resonance to him.

Throughout the pilot, they gathered feedback to continue to tap into messaging that would make the training more palatable, for instance eliminating names for yoga poses that weren’t understood by a non-yogi.

She also made sure the program was clearly named for what it was and dispelled some common myths, such as mindfulness is all about being still, or being still for long periods of time. In fact, there are various ways that you can practice mindfulness, and many take under 3 minutes!

Change is a marathon, not a sprint

Time is a precious commodity for anyone, but employers literally commoditize it. That’s why it’s not an easy sell to ask a company to spare any of it. The Aetna case study, which I had included in an accredited training that I did at an HR summit for my local SHRM chapter, proved that investing time in meditation creates … more time. (Read my Mindfulness and EI training report to find out more.)

Does that make people jump on board? Well, as Sonlin shared, mindfulness is a practice. This was repeated frequently throughout the training. So, not only is mindfulness training an investment of time, but something that must be practiced ongoingly in order to produce the ongoing benefits. You’re not just asking people to spare some time, but to accommodate something new permanently. That can feel overwhelming, especially for people currently experiencing burn out. This will likely cause resistance.

It is best implemented in stages for sustained longevity. First, it’s just about trying and learning. Then it’s noticing that trying and learning is making a difference. Then, it’s getting the brain to crave that difference and draw you into the practice, and that’s when you find yourself in a habit, or practice. The more social proof you can offer, the easier it becomes to enroll new people.

It starts with a ripple.

Offer evidence

Sonlin did a deep dive to find evidence that the investment of time and money would have business payoffs.  There are various case studies, some of which I’ve written about before. Since “because Google does it” is losing its luster as a compelling enough reason to try something, it’s thankfully really easy to point to the science.

The report I wrote a few years ago could have really come in handy for Sonlin since it lays out the science-based business case of mindfulness (and emotional intelligence) training.

L’Oreal’s mindfulness program was initiated in 2016, and Sonlin credits this program for L’Oreal employees sustaining productivity and morale during COVID.

Here are some other self-reported results from L’Oreal’s pilot participants:

  • 100% reported improved clarity
  • 96% reported increased patience
  • 95% reported it had a positive impact on their work
  • 84% discovered a technique that can use to de-stress

I have started to compile a curation of case studies to help you as a supplement to the Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Training report.

Mindfulness isn’t just a trend; it’s a breakthrough technology that will help forward-thinking leaders solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems. Read more about this in the report, and let me know if you want help promoting this to your company.

New Radicals – You Get What You Give (Original)

New Radicals Song Get What You Give…Ultimate 90’s Song!!I Claim NO Ownership Of This Song, All Credit Goes To New Radicals And Universal Music Group!!I Wis…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Making Executive Decisions – Intuition vs Data

It seems there are forces drawing me to address a quandary – one that is directly critical to conscious leaders.

I was asked by Susy Jackson, LinkedIn editor, to share my thoughts on whether decisions should be based on numbers or intuition after journalist, Reeves Wiederman, used WeWork as a potential example of when intuition can steer a company down a drain.

Ever since I ran the Conscious Decision Challenge for Conscious Leaders in August, I have had this exact topic in my queue for blogs, so why not take this invitation as a sign that it’s time to address the elephant in the room.

In the past, I have included intuition as a required strength for conscious leaders, while my challenge solely addressed data and external input-driven conscious decision protocols. So, am I promoting the following processes that use data as the primary driver of decisions, or am I more in support of leaders developing intuition as a critical tool for decision making?

The answer: Conscious leaders learn, apply, and teach data and input-driven conscious decision protocols AND hone highly attuned abilities to use intuition to identify outlier situations that threaten desired outcomes.

The reasons for using data and input-driven decisions is multi-pronged. The protocols I teach as part of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint account for the volatile, unpredictable, ever-evolving world that we live in. These protocols engage stakeholders in the decision-making process, as well as the solutioning and execution, and create transparency that is integral to building trust in leadership that is sorely lacking right now. This lack of trust in leadership is causing confusion, dissension, division, and resistance – all of which kill innovation and progress.

However, intuition is necessary for innovation. Past data will keep us looking solely at the past to predict the future, which will just perpetuate more of the past.

This explains why there are odds and a spread when betting. Past data is not a 100% prediction of the future. Winning big is more associated with identifying the outlier result.

Intuition creates greater ease, time, and money. When you have several options that need to be tested, intuition can guide you as to which options to test first, saving on the usual cost of trial and error. Intuition offers wisdom as to which actions will be the most meaningful, impactful, and productive. Effectively applying intuition also looks like seeing all of the data and sensing that there is a need to delve deeper.

There are some intuition landmines leaders need to be aware of, such as the one that led to the ultimate demise of WeWork. Wishful thinking – wanting something to be true – is a hazard many entrepreneurs fall victim to. Entrepreneurs are often extreme optimists. Optimism, just like any other quality, can be a strength and a liability if it’s not balanced.

On the other end of the spectrum, fear is also often mistaken for intuition, as is bias. Being able to distinguish the differences between bias, fear, and optimism for intuition takes acute self-awareness and objectivity few are able to achieve.

Intuition doesn’t always align with the truth you want. Being able to accept intuition when it’s in direct opposition to what you want means you have to literally override your natural neuro-tendencies, which are naturally resistant to discomfort, pain, dissonance, and change.

I’ll be honest, in these times of chaos and volatility, every leader alive will need to be vigilant in their habits to achieve and maintain the clarity and mindfulness necessary to consistently make these distinctions. This is why in the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, not only do we teach mini-practices that even the busiest of leaders can integrate into a full schedule, but also teach habit hacks to help leaders accelerate the reinforcement of neural pathways to make these distinctions more automatic.

What if intuition and data are in complete conflict with each other?

It takes guts to use your gut as a leader. If you have absolutely eliminated the possibility that your intuition is actually bias, fear, or optimism, I fully support using intuition. It will always be a gamble, however, and you should expect to have to answer to stakeholders who are vehemently in disagreement with your decision.

What decisions have you made using intuition that have paid off?

Have you mistaken intuition in the past?

Jewel – Intuition (Official Music Video)

“Intuition” from the album ‘0304’ – stream/download: https://Jewel.lnk.to/0304 Subscribe to Jewel’s channel: http://bit.ly/jewelyoutube FOLLOW JEWEL https://…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

HR professionals surveyed

Mobile Games - Bejeweled by ilamont.com on Flickr

Mobile Games – Bejeweled by ilamont.com on Flickr

I spoke last week at the GVFHRA HR Summit on Gamification in Mobile Recruiting at Penn State Great Valley.  I took the opportunity to gather some intelligence that will be helpful to understand the implications of and barriers to adoption of gamified mobile recruiting. This blog is dedicated to sharing this data.

37 attendees (the classroom’s maximum capacity)

 

Everyone would rather have their recruiters out amongst people actively recruiting than sorting through online submissions.

Four attendees had said that their organizations had explored gamification for either recruiting or training. One attendee said that her company had been evaluating it for 10 years, but due to compliance, cost and development concerns, no decision had been made yet. Another attendee pointed out that the companies who have implemented gamification for training will be able to provide others who aim to implement it for recruiting with a lot of insights on both being successful AND avoiding failures.

How many applicants per job: 75-100 average, which is in alignment with national averages and how many depends on level of the position.

 

When the group was asked, who was the most elusive demographic or candidate type, no one answered. One attendee did voice the concerns of the whole – While “demographic” is a common term when it comes to marketing, which was discussed as a function of recruiting, it is illegal to profile candidates who are of a particular age, gender, race or health status.  For the sake of ongoing reflection of how using a mobile game to attract talent, we defined demographic as a profile of a candidate with particular behaviors, interests and qualities, regardless of age, race, gender or health status.

 

We also clarified that during strategic planning, a human resource organization would determine the general skill level of candidate for which they will want to build a pipeline, and that would influence whether a mobile game would be a good investment and critical component of a human capital planning strategy.

 

A lawyer who spoke in a later session brought up an issue with using Facebook during the qualification process, as more may be revealed about a candidate than you should know prior to giving that candidate a fair assessment. This insight will most likely influence which social media sites are accessed at various junctures in the recruiting cycle in the standardization of recruiting workflow in an internal mobile recruiting game.

 

All but two people were using LinkedIn groups to as a talent community to source skills needed ongoingly. Other talent communities mentioned by Joe Stubblebine of Beyond.com (founder of Jobcircle.com), who attended this session as well as spoke in the next session on social recruiting, included GitHub and Stackoverflow (a forum for programmers) as alternate talent communities.

 

Most were in general agreement that the metrics that their organization uses to measure recruiting performance were 70-85% accurate.

 

Only one attendee knew her organization’s cost-per-hire off the top of her head, and stated that it was $35,000-$40,000. Five attendees knew that this data was available to them, but they did not know if off of the top of their head. This seemed shockingly high, as a survey of average cost per hire conducted in 2010 by Bersin & Associates found that the average cost per hire for all U.S. companies was $3,479, though companies with 10,000 employees or more averaged $1,949.