Many of us show and experience kindness in our daily lives. In the workplace, however, it is not always perceived as essential, especially given how competitive some office cultures can be.
In reality, kindness should be a crucial component of any organization’s values.
Why is it important to show kindness at work?
Here are some reasons:
1. Kindness makes you feel good
Engaging in acts of kindness boosts your levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter in control of your well-being and satisfaction. Being kind also relieves anxiety by boosting your positive affect, or the tendency to experience positive emotions and interact with others positively.
2. Kindness lets others know you care
It’s important to be compassionate at work because you don't know the battles your colleagues are fighting. For instance, some of your colleagues may be experiencing depression and anxiety due to the social isolation created by the pandemic. Others may be experiencing stress or going through serious personal issues.
When you show even the smallest act of kindness, you show concern for others, which can be comforting to those who are going through tough times.
3. Kindness promotes a positive work culture
A study in the academic journal Emotion examined how random acts of kindness promoted positivity in an organization. The study found that people who received kindness not only reported an improved sense of camaraderie, and much higher levels of happiness, but were also inspired to give back and be kinder to others
How do you show kindness in the workplace?
Here are some things you can do:
1. Lead by example
If you want to foster a culture of kindness at work, you need to set an example. Some small acts you can do include:
- Checking up on your employees regularly
- Helping a colleague with a project
- Starting an email with a short compliment
- Giving a colleague a good review on LinkedIn
- Having meaningful conversations, whether in person or online
Leading by example not only helps your employees feel good, but it also encourages them to keep the ball rolling.
2. Give thoughtful and sincere feedback
Providing feedback can encourage your employees to go beyond their comfort zone. For instance, discussing positive observations motivates them, boosts their confidence, and shows that you value them. Giving constructive feedback and working with employees to discover areas of improvement, on the other hand, helps them perform at their best.
3. Practice gratitude
Showing gratitude to one another helps employees build strong relationships, feel more positive emotions, and improve their mental health. One way you and your team can practice gratitude is to exchange appreciation messages using physical cards or virtual greeting card services. Alternatively, you can use employee recognition platforms like Nectar and Assembly to encourage staff to show appreciation for one another.
4. Acknowledge what’s important
Recognize top-performing employees not just by giving them gifts, but also by acknowledging them during team meetings. A study found that doing so encourages those who weren't recognized to do better and improve their performance.
What’s more, acknowledge your employees’ milestones such as their work anniversaries and birthdays. According to a study, many employees tend to reflect on their career and become more inclined to look for another job around these dates, especially if they don’t feel valued enough in their current job.
5. Supply healthy snacks and lunches
Providing your team with food not only reduces the stress of finding time to prepare food between appointments and completing to-do lists, but also improves their productivity. In fact, in one study, when an employer added a serving of fresh fruit to an employee’s lunch for three weeks, the worker’s performance and well-being improved.
Regularly supplying snacks or meals is a small price to pay for healthy workplaces full of hardworking and fulfilled employees. Stock your break room with healthy options, or have subscription services like Naturebox and SnackNation curate food for your team. As for your remote employees, try to regularly send them food or reimburse them for their meal purchases.
Another way to show kindness to your employees is by making sure that they can always access the apps and files they need. NetQuest can help by maintaining your IT infrastructure and eliminating network issues before they can disrupt your operations. Schedule a FREE, no-obligation security assessment today.