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Kindness in the workplace costs nothing but the effects are priceless

Posted by Supportis Legal Experts in HR and Employment Law

Spreading kindness ultimately leads to higher self-worth, health benefits and happiness. So, as we approach National Kindness Day on 13th November, why not add some kindness into employees’ lives?

A recent study found that performing acts of kindness boosts wellbeing and positive social emotions. The experiment involved 691 participants from 39 countries who performed acts of kindness every day for seven days to family, friends, peers, strangers and themselves. The results showed that kindness to all groups had a positive effect on the participants happiness, life satisfaction, compassion, trust and social connection. Most importantly the research discovered that these benefits increased as the kind acts increased.

But what does kindness mean to you? By definition it refers to the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Whilst this meaning may appear woolly, kindness obviously means different things to different people, however the Random Acts of Kindness organisation suggests there are three main types:

  • Interpersonal Kindness
  • Environmental Kindness
  • Personal Kindness

So is kindness relevant in an office environment?

Yes. As well as making for a better place to work, a culture of kindness can also benefit the bottom line.

  • Deepening positive emotional connections with others

Kindness is contagious. If a leader, colleague or employee is spreading kindness in the office, this then cultivates positive emotions, creating a more welcoming office environment.

  • Creating a better workplace culture

The culture of a business is extremely important to boosting employee engagement, retaining talent and setting the expectations of how employees should act in the workplace. In a recent report focused on the state of the global workforce researchers found that on average just 15% of employees were actively engaged in their jobs.

The Zenger & Folkman study for the Harvard Business Review tracked 51,836 leaders and noted that the most likable leaders who expressed warmth were also the most effective. They suggest that those seen as low-warmth have a significantly smaller chance to make the top quartile of effectiveness as a leader.

Having kind leaders, colleagues and employees overall helps to improve positive business culture, creating a safe office environment where creativity and ideas are encouraged.

  • Increasing sales

Deepening positive emotional connections in the office environment could lead to greater self-esteem and an increase in confidence will impact positively on sales. If employees truly back your business philosophy and are driven for success, this will lead to higher sales and better customer service.

A Case study by Happy or Not of more than 25,000 of its feedback terminals found that dissatisfied employees will drive customers away. Only 11% of consumers would consider buying from a company again after a bad experience with an employee and almost half would actively warn others against the organisation. This startling figure demonstrates how important employee satisfaction, wellbeing and engagement is for business.

  • Environmental kindness

Environmental awareness is now headline news and the public is increasingly making decisions on whether to engage with a brand based upon it’s environmental ethos, whether that’s through purchasing a product or being interested in working for a particular business.

Having a clear vision about your company’s environmental impact and embedding a policy into your business will not only help the environment but will aid recruitment and retention.

Acts of Kindness everyone can perform in the workplace

  • Greeting everyone in the office when walking in, a simple hello goes a long way
  • Offering to make colleagues a drink
  • Making time for colleagues who may need help or checking that they are ok
  • Showing appreciation and recognition when colleagues have done a good job
  • Being kind to yourself, whether that’s through giving yourself breaks or treating yourself
  • Bringing in treats for employees, just because
  • Celebrating key life events company wide
  • Taking part in charitable & fundraising events

Implementing a training plan based around a well thought out and holistic colleague handbook will encourage a culture of kindness within the business.

If you would like to find out more about how Supportis can help you create training plans, policies or handbooks or any other HR and Employment Law issues please call one of our Employment Law Consultants on 0161 603 2156.

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