What are Human Factors?
We’ve heard a lot lately about human factors and the workplace. Traditionally, human factors were mainly associated with workplace health and safety. However, we have recently seen an expansion of this description as it is applied to the entire workplace environment. According to the Human Factors Conference 2019, “Human Factors is the scientific analysis of all of the elements that affect performance. It encompasses all aspects of the physical and cultural environment, as well as, individual factors such as stress, decision making, workload management and communication.” In other words, human factors play a key role in every aspect of our human capital management processes.
In our last blog post, we talked about the growing practice of mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and improve productivity among your employees. Becoming aware, or mindful, of your employees’ physical and psychological welfare is the first step in recognizing human factors in the workplace. In this post, we will take a closer look at the benefits of mindfulness and how it informs human factors.
It’s All about Clearing the Mind
Recently GQR, the global search firm, released an article addressing the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace. The article helps to dispel some of criticisms of mindfulness as a “touchy feely” trend and presents sound data to support the science underlying the practice.
Some of GQR’s findings include:
- Stress Reduction - Mindfulness in the workplace is a hot topic among businesses as a way to help reduce stress. To combat feelings of stress, prominent organizations such as Google, Adobe, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Mayo Clinic, Aetna and Target all have formal mindfulness programs to promote stress reduction and employee engagement.
- Absorption of New Info - How do you create space for your mind to absorb new information? Science shows that when you allow your brain to take a break from problem-solving, critical-thinking and developing new skills, it helps increase future learning and creative possibilities.
- Adaptability - Being able to adapt quickly and efficiently at work is essential. It means you can quickly acclimate to new situations and handle multiple demands. The more you practice and expose yourself to different ways of doing things, to learning, and to gaining confidence in uncertainty, the more adaptable you will be.
- Problem-Solving - Problem-solving is the ability to remove clutter from the untrained mind; it helps improve concentration which leads to problem-solving. When you are in the thick of a challenge and you practice mindfulness, you may be able to process the information in a new and different way that is needed for a resolution.
- Facilitates Creativity - A core aspect of creativity is divergent thinking, which refers to the ability to come up with an abundance of new ideas. Mindfulness helps liberate your brain from distractions.
- Vitality - Vitality is essential to accomplish tasks while simultaneously enjoying the work you are doing. Continuing to stay focused and mindful is likely to have a positive effect on your vitality as it helps you remain cognizant of your aspirations and goals.
- Increased Empathy for Others - Empathy plays a role in allowing us to understand the minds of others and to resonate emotionally with those states. Practicing mindfulness in the workplace enables us to feel empathy for others.
A Clear Mind - A Human Focus
Focusing on the human factors in your workplace will require you to clear your mind and reprogram your brain to think in a healthier, less stressful way. You’ll want your employees to do the same. At Incentra, we know how to integrate human factors into your employee recognition program. Let us help.