Cultivating Kindness in the Workplace

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It’s expected that people will be kind to family and friends, but what about in the workplace? Don’t “nice guys finish last?”

Actually, the opposite is true.

Employees in a respectful and kind environment have higher productivity, are more motivated and are more creative. A work environment where kindness is practiced by everyone from the C-suite to the entry level employees creates a positive culture and results in significantly happier employees. This positive mindset translates into high morale, loyalty and a stronger commitment to the success of the organization. Leaders who treat their staff with compassion build trust and create valuable relationships that thrive through empathy, encouragement, and mutual respect. When extra effort is required, compassionate and empathetic managers will find their employee much more willing to put in the necessary extra hours and effort because they feel valued.

Genuine kindness, practiced with intention and integrity is a professional strength, not a weakness.

Leaders who are kind are not only are more successful, but they are also happier and more respected by their staff and colleagues. Coworkers who are kind to one another benefit from a happier and more respectful workplace.

So, what actions demonstrate kindness? Kindness includes being considerate, helpful, and understanding of others. Genuine compassion, caring, friendship, and generosity are other aspects. Kindness is an action, it involves showing concern for the feelings of others and acting with intention.

There are many ways in which we can show kindness to our coworkers. Here are only a few:

  • Recognizing the work and accomplishments of others
  • Mentoring new employees and junior staff
  • Giving coworkers your full attention during meetings and interactions
  • Giving others a voice in meetings and actively listening to their contributions
  • Helping an overwhelmed coworker with a deadline
  • Asking “How are you?” and actively listening to the answer
  • Greeting others with a smile, holding the elevator, saying thank you
  • Respecting deadlines and the workloads of others
  • Not engaging in, and actively squashing, rumors and gossip
  • Being an advocate for someone else’s ideas
  • Recognizing successes, showing compassion when there are defeats
  • Delivering difficult messages to others in person and with compassion

It’s important to lead by example when it comes to developing a kinder workplace. Acts of kindness encourage others to behave in the same way, producing a ripple effect that results in a happier environment for all. This behavior leads to a feeling of comradery, caring for one another and general wellbeing. It encourages more productivity, creativity, and meaningful engagement. It’s a win-win!

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