How to Hire a Mindfulness Instructor for your Company
Your task is to hire a Mindfulness Instructor for your company. Either you decided to bring Mindfulness into your organization, or your supervisor (possibly even your CEO), has given you this task. Do you know the steps to take to find a qualified Mindfulness Meditation instructor? Do you know how to interview prospective teachers and organizations offering corporate mindfulness programs? This article will guide you through the steps to find and hire a Mindfulness teacher or organization to support the well-being of your employees.
There are two stages to hiring a Mindfulness instructor. In stage one, you define your needs and the parameters of your needs. It is essential to be clear on your goals and needs. In stage two, you begin your search for a qualified mindfulness instructor.
Stage #1: Define your needs and the parameters of your needs.
1. Define the reason(s) why you want to hire a Mindfulness Instructor.
So many companies are hiring mindfulness meditation instructors that it seems a no-brainer that your company should have one. But what are the benefits of hiring a mindfulness instructor? How are you going to benefit from a Mindfulness class or program? Read our article titled The Benefits of Corporate Mindfulness Programs for the answers to these questions.
2. Determine your budget.
It can be incredibly difficult to determine a budget for a Mindfulness program. Our best advice is to start with a 3-month program and review the results of the program. To get a somewhat accurate picture of the effectiveness of the program, you will need to at least provide employees with a once-per-week class. Classes offered once per month are not sufficient to determine the effectiveness of Mindfulness programs on employees. A once per week class for 3 months (i.e. 12 classes) will cost approximately somewhere between $1,800 and $3,000 depending upon the number of people attending the classes and the length of the classes (i.e. 15, 30 or more minutes per class).
3. Survey your employees
Submit a survey to your employees to determine:
– How many people are interested in attending Mindfulness classes?
– Which day(s) and time(s) would people attend classes (you may need to set specific days and times based upon when you want employees to attend the classes)?
4. Determine approximately how many people will participate in the mindfulness program.
Most companies offering Mindfulness programs to corporations base their pricing on the number of employees and the length of the classes. You should not need to discuss the exact number of employees attending the classes and you should not have to pay based upon how many people actually show up for the classes. Consider how many employees will potentially show up in groups of 1-25, 25-50, 50-100, 100-200, 200+. Your survey should guide you to determine this.
5. Determine which day(s) and time(s) you will make the program sessions available to your employees.
Once again, your survey will help you determine this. But keep in mind the following:
– One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is that they somewhat arbitrarily set days and times for the classes. Many times, the day(s) and/or time(s) are not good choices based upon employee schedules.
– If you have employees working in different time zones, it can be very difficult to find one time that works best for employees working on the East and West Coast. You will have greater success in attendance, and program effectiveness, if you can offer two different time slots that work for employees in different time zones. When this is not possible, our recommended times for classes are 8:30 am PST (11:30 am EST), 9:00 am PST (12:00 pm EST, 10:00 am PST (1:00 pm EST), 3:00 pm PST (6:00 EST, and 5:00 pm PST (8:00 pm EST).
Stage #2: Begin your search for a qualified mindfulness instructor
1. Where do your search for “Mindfulness Instructors”?
Mindfulness instructors can be found via any of the following methods:
– Perform a search in Google using “mindfulness instructor for corporations” and other related keywords.
– Post a position via Indeed.
– Contact your local Yoga or Meditation center.
2. Decide whether you want to hire a company specializing in mindfulness meditation for corporations or an individual instructor who has experience teaching to corporations.
There are thousands of people that label themselves “Mindfulness instructor” or “Meditation instructor”. In some instances, the word “instructor” is interchangeable with “teacher. Of these thousands, there is only a small percentage that has experience leading corporations in Mindfulness classes. And of this small percentage, there is an even smaller percentage that has any significant experience. If you post an ad seeking a “Mindfulness instructor”, be prepared to be inundated with applications. You will receive a lot of applications from people who have only started teaching within the last few years and have little to no corporate experience.
If you search for companies that specialize in providing “Mindfulness classes and programs to corporations”, you will find a relatively small number of companies.
3. There are advantages to hiring a company that specializes in teaching Mindfulness to corporations over hiring individuals:
– These companies typically have one or more instructors that have several years of experience leading Mindfulness classes and programs for corporations.
– These companies tend to be very reliable.
– You will most likely be able to see public reviews from their clients so that you can assess their work.
– Most of these companies carry insurance (an often-overlooked requirement for hiring an outside firm or person to interact with your employees).
4. Check the organization and teacher’s credentials.
Is the person you are considering leading your organization in Mindfulness sessions a “certified Mindfulness instructor”? There are thousands of people that call themselves “Mindfulness instructors.” Their experience ranges from teaching a few classes in person or online to teaching hundreds of in-person and online classes. Regardless, you will want to ensure that the person leading your classes is certified. Certification will demonstrate to you that the instructor has studied and passed a program in Mindfulness.
Note: There are several organizations that offer mindfulness classes and programs to corporations that state that they are “certified”. However, these organizations do NOT have certified mindfulness teachers or they may have a lead teacher that is certified yet the teacher that may lead your organization is not certified. It is a similar concept to hiring a contractor to do work (e.g. electrical work). The person leading the electrical company may possess a license, but the actual person performing the work may not be licensed. Make sure to ask the person/company that you are interviewing whether they are a certified mindfulness instructor and whether they will be leading your classes or whether one of their employees will be leading the classes and whether the employee is certified.
5. Ask to see a sample video of the teacher leading a mindfulness session or ask to attend a session as a guest.
Before hiring a person or company, listen to an audio sample or watch a sample of the instructor’s work. If a sample is not available, ask whether you can sit in as a guest at an upcoming session. This may not be possible as most companies do not want people outside of their organization attending. And if the person/company that you are considering cannot offer you a sample, then you may want to consider others.
6. Make sure that an audio copy of your Mindfulness sessions will be available for you to have.
With most Mindfulness sessions now being offered virtually, they can be recorded. Ask whether your session(s) will be recorded, whether this is included in the fee, and whether the recording(s) will be delivered to you.
7. Try one class before committing to a program
Before starting a Mindfulness program, it is best to hire the instructor/company to teach one class before making a commitment to a program. Part of searching for a Mindfulness instructor is finding a good fit for your company. After an instructor has led one class for your organization, survey your employees. Allow your employees to tell you:
a. Did they like the instructor?
b. Did they like the content of the session?
c. Would they take more sessions with the instructor?
d. Did they have an opportunity to ask questions of the instructor?
Most organizations do not possess the experience to evaluate and hire a Mindfulness instructor. They tend to make their hiring decision based upon the instructor/company’s price with many organizations simply looking for the least expensive solution.
The number one mistake that companies make when starting a Mindfulness program is that they plan very poorly. They do not research employee availability to determine the best day(s) and time(s) for sessions. They tend to choose days and times that they believe will work best. When they do this, and employees do not attend the sessions, they assume that the instructor is at fault. It is essential that companies survey their employees to determine days and times when the employees will most likely attend sessions.
It is essential that companies survey their employees before a Mindfulness program starts and at various times during the program. The first survey serves as a “baseline” so that HR managers can see if there have been any positive results. The surveys issues during the program will give HR managers insight into whether the instructor is offering sessions that are relevant and well-received my employees.
And finally, it is essential that HR managers implement some type of “reminder system” to ensure that employees attend the sessions. Employee attendance can drop off significantly when HR managers do not check in with employees. Sometimes, HR managers find that there has been a change in department schedules that conflicts with the Mindfulness sessions. When this happens, HR managers should immediately contact the Mindfulness instructor and adjust the schedule accordingly.
Mindfulness programs can have a very positive impact on employees and company bottom lines. However, they need to be created with the steps that have been outlined above and they need to be overseen by someone within the organization.
Meditation House has been leading employees in Mindfulness programs for corporations for seven years. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a shift from leading employees in Mindfulness Meditation at the employees’ offices to leading employees online via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex. Meditation House has become a Virtual Mindfulness Programs for Corporations specialist. Please contact us to learn more.