Why Practicing Kindness At Work Matters

27th July 2020

To say emotions have been running high over the past few months is an understatement.

Nearly everyone has been impacted by an increased level of stress and anxiety since the UK went into lockdown, an understandable response given the threat and uncertainty of current circumstances.

While people across a number of industries have had their work life upended by this pandemic, those working on the front-line have seen their workload and stress increase massively.

Adding to this additional stress, there is also a general feeling of unease regarding the uncertainty of what a post-Covid world will look like.

It is in times like these that it is more important than ever to ensure that people’s emotional wellbeing is not ignored.

It is critical that leaders across all sectors of industry understand that now is when their people will be looking to them not only for guidance in work but also reassurance and support.

Kindness boosts wellbeing

Stress is a normal part of work, but when it is prolonged and intense people’s wellbeing, health and resilience are likely to suffer.

Failing to address these heightened levels of stress can lead to long-term health problems that will ultimately impact the organisation by way of employee absence and presenteeism, poor retention and lower productivity.

One way to help address this and to show your people you are aware of their situation is to demonstrate empathy, kindness, understanding and a willingness to take their feedback onboard and implement changes as required.

People are unlikely to feel engaged with, or go the extra mile for, an organisation they feel is not invested in them or their wellbeing.

Leading with compassion and kindness during a crisis can significantly boost employee wellbeing and morale. Therefore, leaders should actively promote these values throughout the organisation and encourage kindness between co-workers.[1]

Kindness begets kindness

Showing kindness at work is not only the right thing to do on a personal level but is also highly beneficial for the organisation and your people.

Promoting kindness throughout the organisation will help breed the type of inclusive company culture where people can thrive and feel more positively engaged with their work.

Research has found that people who were treated kindly at work were in turn 278% more generous to their co-workers when compared to a control group.[2]

The same study found that showing kindness is both emotionally reinforcing and that everyday prosocial behaviour was an undeniably positive experience for both parties.

Harvard research supports the sentiments of the Dalai Lama when he said: “The more you nurture a feeling of kindness, the happier and calmer you will be.”

Kindness nurtures inclusivity

The study found that participating in acts of kindness also helped boost people’s own levels of happiness and wellbeing.[3]

In addition to the mood boost, acts of workplace kindness have been found to increase a sense of belonging and camaraderie among co-workers, which in turn helps increase engagement and resilience.[4]

Strong bonds between workers are a key factor in building a resilient and effective team.

Encouraging kindness in the workplace can be as simple as showing recognition of effort, listening to and acknowledging employee input, and then offering support and guidance to your people.

Using Trickle’s Fist Bump feature, managers and coworkers can quickly show appreciation for each other and offer the encouragement required. Fist Bumps are a quick and effective way to celebrate small wins and recognise hard work or for a job well done. 

Organisations can also use Trickle’s Shout Abouts feature to quickly share good news and spread positive vibes by sharing group praise.

Managers need to lead by example

Senior managers can also demonstrate kindness and empathy by listening and responding to employees.

Actively listening is a great way to make your people feel “seen”, valued and provide them with a sense of agency. With Trickle you are able to do this in a structured way across the organisation.

A real-time platform like Trickle provides your people with a voice to express what is important to them at that time.

In turn, this enables you to respond more quickly and show your people transparently how their feedback is being actioned.

What is key is that your people know you care about them and are willing to lead by example when it comes to promoting wellbeing and engagement in the workplace.

If you’d like to learn more about how Trickle can benefit your organisation or to request a demo of Trickle’s employee engagement, wellbeing, and recognition tools please get in touch with us for more information.

 

[1] https://trickle.works/blog/how-to-lead-support-employee-wellbeing-during-a-crisis/

[2] https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-24716-001

[3]https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-heart-and-science-of-kindness-2019041816447

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2019/08/26/making-kindness-a-priority-in-the-workplace/#228c886438f4

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