Stepping beyond mindfulness to improve staff wellbeing

Mindfulness 3

Stepping beyond mindfulness to improve staff wellbeing

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Mindfulness apps have their strengths and have played an important part in providing mental health support within workplaces over the last 5-10 years. Mindfulness is a fantastic way to support your employees’ mental health, which is why we include guided meditation and sleep stories on our platform. But as a standalone offering, it can have limitations and leave important wellbeing needs unsupported.

Below, we’re going to explore some of these limitations and hopefully provide a structure for companies looking to take the next step beyond mindfulness, to better support employee wellbeing without increasing costs. 

Mindfulness apps – the key issues

  • Value for money: Mindfulness apps are often considered expensive for the value they provide, largely because they a) focus on one area of wellbeing, and b) do not offer the depth of services and support to meet the needs of a diverse set of employees with different challenges.
  • Limited content and services: They primarily focus on meditation and mindfulness, which can limit the range of wellbeing services available to your employees. Their content and support generally doesn’t address specific demographics or issue-based needs, and is somewhat limited to more general themes. 
  • Simplistic approach: These applications generally focus on the process of mindfulness, rather than measurable outcomes. Dedicated enterprise-focused platforms care about tangible outcomes for employees, such as engagement, effectiveness and evidence. 
  • Reliance on celebrity endorsements: We get it – famous personalities can help take-up amongst staff – but we believe this is potentially overshadowing the importance of professional expertise. We prefer to let our trained subject-matter experts be the authentic face of what we do.
  • One-size-fits-all: The overreliance on pre-recorded tracks can feel impersonal, providing a generic experience, and being a large reason why user-ratings for these apps are tumbling. Employees now expect custom-made content and interactive modules to create a more tailored experience, catering to individual needs.
  • Lack of real-time support: A heavy reliance on pre-recorded content, combined with limited user technical and account support, is a real issue for corporates and enterprise users that expect this level of service from their vendors.
  • Lack of engaging community: Mindfulness apps tend to operate as personal tools, lacking a sense of community and collective benefit that can achieved through interactive and live sessions. Here people share experiences, seek advice, and support each other, creating a culture of shared wellbeing and community. 
  • Abstract content: Content on mindfulness apps can sometimes come across as too abstract or spiritual, which may not resonate with all staff. Of course, this sort of content can and does form part of the whole offering, but not at the expense of everyday tips and guidance, which appeals more to those looking for reliable and straightforward advice to improve their wellbeing.
  • Lack of flexibility: Mindfulness app audio sessions tend to have a fixed length, which may not suit employees with busy schedules or tight time constraints. Instead, a range of short, medium, and long-format content in various forms of media helps to accommodate everyone.
  • Poor accessibility: Mobile-first platforms limit access for users who prefer desktop or need cross-functionality and a seamless experience across different devices. These apps also predominantly provide content in English, excluding non-English-speaking employees.

While mindfulness apps have their strengths, their limitations are now starting to show, with many employers looking to more comprehensive wellbeing solutions for their people. If you’re using mindfulness apps to support your workforce, we’d encourage you to review how effective they are in achieving your organisation’s wellbeing goals

Wellness Cloud offers a versatile and cost-effective solution that goes far beyond traditional mindfulness apps, appealing to diverse wellness needs, achieving high engagement, and ensuring a personalised experience for users everywhere.