The Mindfulness and Enhancing EQ Program commissioned by The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and run in late 2016. The results presented below are consistent with our earlier published research in addition to findings that mindfulness training is effective in reducing mental health issues as well as fostering on-task attention and social skills.
The ‘Mindfulness & Enhancing EQ’ Program was delivered over eight weeks. It focused on individual mindfulness (Day One) and interpersonal mindfulness (EQ: Day Two). The aims for the program were to bolster resilience and mental health among participants, in addition to improving their social awareness regarding conflict and communication styles. The training was delivered over four sessions: Two full-day sessions, and two part-day consolidation and finishing sessions of 1.5 – 2.5 hours each.
The following assessment inventories were administered to training participants
both before and after the Program.
The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale is a 21-item
inventory that measures three domains of mental health.
The Work-related Acceptance and Action Questionnaire
assesses work-related psychological flexibility in the workplace.
The Health and Work Performance Questionnaire measures
presenteeism and absenteeism produced in conjunction with
the World Health Organisation.
The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire uses 39-items to
assess five components of mindfulness.
The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale measures work
engagement as a unique positive, fulfilling, work-related state of
mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption.
The eight-week Mindfulness and Enhancing EQ Program has been shown to predict strong improvements in mental health and communication skills. Prior to the Program, the average participant was mildly stressed, mildly anxious and mildly depressed. Subsequent to training, the average participant was in the normal ranges in all of these areas. The Program was associated with significant improvements in Psychological Flexibility (WAAQ) among participants and On-Task Attention (HPQ) also. These results suggest that the Program had real benefits for work-performance. No effects were found on the FFMQ, though this likely the result of sample size, nor on presenteeism as measured by the HPQ, which we attribute to ‘ceiling-effects’. This is an excellent result, and one that delivered an ROI of 291% according to our calculations.
I feel so much better in myself, I have never purposely spoken
to myself in a positive manner before, or checked in with
myself to determine what are my feelings, do I need to be
gentle with myself or am I able to do more? I am taking care
of myself, exercising and eating better. By mindfully listening
to people I am able to communicate more effectively and help
others. Overall I feel the program has helped my personal selfesteem
and I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend.
I found Mindfulness and EQ hugely valuable in giving me skills
to manage my own emotions. The structure, with face to face
classes reinforced through online materials, 'homework'
practice/buddy system and workbook, really helped me
embed the learning and make the practices part of daily life.
Absolutely fantastic program. The skills and techniques that
I have learnt in this program have not only helped me in the
workplace, but also in my personal life. Can't wait to learn
This program should be completed by all staff and students
at USQ. Academic staff should be encouraged to attend
to assist with managing workload.
Excellent program with significant benefits for work and beyond.