The world is full of books, DVDs and motivational speakers on the subject of how to become successful. Some are mere lists of platitudes to keep repeating to yourself. Others, like Napoleon Hill’s Classic Think and Grow Rich, focus on the character formation required for success. Others still are based on case studies with a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach.
There is a growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness in areas such as health, medicine, schools, prisons, law, and even government. In numerous clinical studies including over 100 randomised controlled trials, its practice has been shown to correlate strongly with greater wellbeing and perceived health as well as physical health. It has also been shown to foster better decision-making and clarity of thought.
Finnish children don’t start school until they are 7. They hardly have any exams or homework until they are well into their teens. There is only one standardised test, which they take when they are 16. Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess per day, versus 27 minutes in the US. Finland spends 30% less on education per student than the United States.
These facts may paint a picture of a laid-back nation without too much concern about educational achievement. Why, then, does Finland consistently top global education achievement rankings?
The number of people in the UK with health problems that require health and social care is growing. Over the next 20 years the percentage of people over 85 will double, and this will bring a commensurate rise in people with complex health needs. There will therefore be a greater need than ever for qualified Health and Social Care workers. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the 2017 budget that he was going to give a cash boost of £2 billion to the Care sector, which came as some small relief after years of cuts.
Is it worth spending money and resources on employee health and happiness? According to research by Nuffield Health, FTSE 100 companies that report on employee health and wellbeing outperform those that do not by 10% on the bottom line. This suggests that employee wellbeing translates directly into business wellbeing. But does this correlation imply causation? Let’s look at a few other stats from the same report to help us decide.