Shute’s new book is called The Full Body. Yes: change your work and your world from the inside out

Steven Loeb interviews Scott Shute, Head of Mindfulness and Compassion at LinkedIn; his job is to help Employees build traits like emotional intelligence, resilience, and better wellbeing to create a better work experience.

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Highlights from the interview:

  • Schute created this role two years ago, and his job has two parts: mainstream mindfulness and operationalized compassion. This means that regular meditation classes are offered in LinkedIn gyms every week. The company also offers drop-in community sessions that include a five- to eight-minute guided exercise followed by a discussion on how the topic is relevant to the employee’s life.
  • LinkedIn also offers an app; It used to use headspace, now it uses an app called Wise @ Work. Once a year, the company runs a 30-day challenge that requires employees to complete at least 20 sessions with the app within the month of October and receive a free t-shirt or hoodie.
  • Some other companies have a person with a similar role including Google, SAP, and Aetna, and now more and more companies are using mindfulness to support their employees.
  • Around 30 or 40% of LinkedIn employees have either attended a series of speakers or participated in a workshop or meditation, or completed the 30-day challenge, although the number of employees who do this regularly is lower.
  • While ROI is hard to measure, Shute thinks about it in terms of consumption and customer satisfaction. In other words, if he has a program, are people actually using it? The company then conducts surveys to see if employees liked it. Productivity or wellbeing is harder to measure because so many other things are going on. He therefore relies on anecdotal evidence and what employees tell him that it affected their working lives.
  • While many companies only think about their shareholders and their profitability, Shute believes you need a balance between our employees, our customers and shareholders. When you have that balance, everyone wins because when people are at their best and getting great results. For our customers, it will provide better solutions for them. Ultimately, it will produce better results for our shareholders.
  • The pandemic has helped employees educate themselves about their mental health issues. Zoom is a great offset because now you can see your kids or dog instead of the CEO or C-suite on stage. More and more leaders are more open to their own challenges, and when a leader is more vulnerable, we are all licensed to have real discussions.
  • Now that the lessons are virtual, they are no longer geographically limited, although lessons have shrunk from a maximum of four hours to 90 minutes. The downside of the real in the room, the eye contact or the hug or the handshake or the high five you might get while in the room are lost.
  • As soon as the workers come back, Shute doesn’t think we’ll be back to what it might have been, but certainly not for long. There will be a certain group of people who always work from home, and then some who come to the office sometimes, and some who work from the office full time. This has an impact on how we build our offices and what types of conference rooms we have. We need to relearn how to hold meetings, even how to position our bodies in the room so that we don’t turn our backs on the camera and just learn to be aware of one another.
  • Shute released a new book on May 11th, titled The Full Body Yes: Transform Your Work and Your World from the Inside Out, in which he presents a four-step plan that will enable readers to have happy and fulfilling working lives. These steps are: get to know yourself; learn to love yourself; learn to master ourselves or to take responsibility for our own lives; and then the fourth step is compassion and doing the first three steps for another person.
  • He pondered writing this book for 20 years and it is a personal discovery book. Shute’s real hope for the book is that people will actually read it because he believes it will resonate with them, change them in some way, and inspire them to be more of themselves in the workplace. When you are more of your true selves at work, when you break down those barriers to your true selves, then we all benefit.
  • The future of mental health care at work will mean the same level of mainstreaming that physical activity has. In five years’ time, Shute wants everyone to know the benefits of mental exercise and that every company offers mental health services and that 40% of companies have a Head of Mindfulness in their organization.

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