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Engagement is a Trainable Skill

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

The pandemic and financial collapse are winding down. Markets are surging, companies are hiring, opportunities returning. So, will we see a corresponding leap in employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention? Not if past recoveries are any guide.

Seemingly regardless of market conditions, disengagement stays at about 70% of the workforce, with resulting turnover and productivity losses at or above $450 billion.

This crisis has exposed deep mental health concerns. We've been treating the symptoms of disengagement with benefits and rewards – instead of curing the underlying cause, by teaching our people to reduce stress, distraction, and negativity – while increasing awareness, concentration, and positivity. The results being not only greater health and happiness but deeper engagement with life and work.

Engagement is a Product of Mindset

Today’s engagement programs tend to offer external solutions, but engagement comes from our internal map of the world, and mindset. As employers, we love mental attributes like positivity, ambition, motivation, initiative, and drive – and character traits like patience, compassion, and understanding.

We work really hard to find and hire people with these personal attributes and traits, but do almost nothing to train them into the existing workforce. Why not? Because we’ve long assumed them to the result of genetics, or family values, or spiritual principles – all beyond the purview of traditional corporate training.

Mindfulness Trains the Mindset

But B-schools are now realizing that in a post-industrial market, these behavioral competencies are precisely the variables that differentiate great leaders and organizations – and neuroscience is proving that they are in fact, trainable skills.

Science-based mindfulness is the methodology that allows us to reach past traditional skills… to train the underlying mindset, that drives the competencies, that drive excellence and achievement.

Mindset Creates Personal Engagement

Extreme athletes, virtuoso musicians, and Navy Seals all know that elite performance is determined more by mental fitness than technical skill. How did Tom Brady pull out that Super Bowl?  His skills were the table stakes… But it was mindset and super-engagement – his belief, determination, concentration, and resilience – that won the game.

Enjoy this article? Want to stay updated with the latest research and best practices in science-based, performance-focused mindfulness? Become a FREE community member of the Institute for Organizational Mindfulness (IOM) — and join our LinkedIn Community of Practice.


Institute for Organizational Mindfulness (IOM) is a membership association of researchers, educators and executives, with a shared mission to bring science-based neural training into the mainstream of business, healthcare, education and government. We're working to create a global community of shared experience, conduct research, define standards and practices, develop educational programs, and determine the measures, metrics and analytics for organizational mindfulness.

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