At one point or another we have suffered the effects of incivility at work, some of us have had it so rough to a point where we chose to resign for the sake of our mental health.
Kindness is not a very common practice in the corporate world. For the most part, it is associated with weakness. I am sure you have heard about nice people finishing last.
The business world has for so long brought about the impression that kindness and astuteness are mutually exclusive. You cannot be a respected leader and be kind at the same time.
This is not true.
As a matter of fact Leo Buscaglia phrased it so well; Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.
Apart from having positive effects on individuals, kindness has also proved to have positive impacts on businesses.
1. Kindness Builds Trust: Opening Channels of Communication.
Being kind to one another at work paves way for stronger interpersonal relationships, trust and inadvertently better and effective communication. There are moments whereby we experience some challenges, could be personal or work-related, that affect our work performance. Having a kind manager makes one comfortable enough to discuss the challenges with them and work hand in hand to find a viable solution that will eventually lead to better performance.
2.Boosts Productivity and Engagement
A study carried out by The Association of Professional Executives (APEX Canada) revealed that 26% of employees exposed to respectful work environment had more energy, 36% expressed more satisfaction with their jobs while 44% were committed to their organizations.
On the other hand, 48% of those exposed to an unkind and disrespectful work environment were significantly likely to decrease their effort. Another 38% noted that they intentionally decreased the quality of their work.
3.Kindness Enhances Teamwork
For any business to thrive there has to be a collaborative effort to work towards a common goal. This is teamwork. An essential part of any team is the interpersonal relationships amongst individuals. Kindness is contagious, and a simple act of kindness between two colleagues will have a ripple effect on the entire team.
4.Thinking Long-term? Think Kindness.
Every business is created with the aspiration to become a brand that is trusted and will stand the test of time. For any business to thrive, it needs dedicated and committed employees who are fired up to work towards meeting set targets. For these employees to perform, they need a conducive work environment. That largely includes a place of work that upholds kindness and respect.
Let’s not get it twisted, the job needs to get done but remember we can be assertive leaders and still practise kindness.
We all know of companies that have ridiculously high employee turn-over rates, we also know what the future holds for such businesses; not much.
Here are some of the ways we try to practice kindness at Akili Network. (A list from some of our colleagues)
-Check in with one another. A simple slack message, “Hey, how are you doing?” is good enough
-Acknowledge the effort and good work of others
-Share material that you think would be beneficial to your colleague; it could be a blog or a YouTube video.
-Allow others to finish putting their point across instead of interrupting them
-Celebrate birthdays and other important dates
-Listen. Then find out how you can help
-Show gratitude and appreciation
-Help a stressed out colleague meet their deadline
-Share posts referencing to a colleague’s work
At the end of the day, we are all dealing with something. It could be family issues, health challenges, personal relationships, financial difficulties, work pressure, loss of a loved one, anxiety. You never know what your office deskmate may be going through and you definitely do not want to add on to the list of challenges they may be facing. So, today, try something new. Choose kindness.