Something that seems like a given, yet may not be so commonly practiced around you. Morgan Freeman once said, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time”. Kindness is something that should not only be shown to your family and friends, but also to your colleagues. Altruistic reasons aside, promoting kindness in companies can result in tangible business outcomes. By promoting kindness in the workplace, the overall organizational climate will improve, and likewise, employee engagement. I recall this incident a few years back when I was giving a talk on happiness and employee wellbeing. The SVP of an MNC made this remark; “I pay my staff to get work done. I don’t pay them to be happy”. That moment will forever be etched in my memory as the entire conference room went silent. Lucky for me, this wasn’t the first time I was faced with such a remark. My response to him was this: “What if I could prove to you that organizational happiness can result in better business performance?” I spent the next 45 mins presenting my case for organizational happiness and the importance of kindness in the workplace. I think I was persuasive enough as the SVP approached me after the conference and invited me to share my talk at his corporation.
The story above depicts a common misperception. Companies tend to ignore the positive correlation that both happiness and kindness can have on organizational outcomes. We tend to think that work and happiness are dichotomies that cannot coexist in the same universe, but that isn’t true. In fact, I would argue the opposite. Kindness can be a driver of business performance. And I know what many people might be thinking. As a company, how are we able to promote a culture of kindness? In fact, it really isn’t that difficult. Hence, I would like to share with you 5 ways you can promote kindness in the workplace.
Say “Thank You”
A culture of gratitude. Showing your employees gratitude by saying a simple “thank you” allows them to feel appreciated for doing a good job. You could even send a thank you message after work hours in the company’s group chat to acknowledge your employees’ hard work for the day and end their night well.
Compliment Your Employees
A compliment on your employees’ work achievements could boost their morale exponentially and motivate them to work harder, such as congratulating someone on their promotion or praising their personal qualities and skills that allowed them to get to where they are today.
Give Them The Recognition They Deserve
Recognising your employees’ accomplishments can have a positive effect on motivation. Openly give recognition to your organisation’s top performer, it may encourage the others to work harder. You could also celebrate your employees’ birthdays with them to show them appreciation.
Listen To Your Employees
Your employees will definitely have feedback on how the organisation can be improved. When they do share it with you, listen to them! Allow your employees to also share their problems with you, be it work or personal problems. Try your best to empathize with them, this makes them feel respected.
Random Acts of Kindness
Small acts of kindness such as offering to buy your employees lunch when they are too busy or checking in on them throughout the day can increase their overall wellbeing. Your employees will know that they are cared for and be motivated to work harder. Encourage kind acts among employees as well!
Kindness has been shown to have a direct effect on happiness. Actively practicing acts of kindness within your organisation and making it a norm allows for a more positive working environment. Having employees that are happy and motivated is what would allow your organisation to grow.