Why Workplace Kindness is Good for Business

12th April 2021

To say emotions have been running high over the past year is an understatement. Described as the “challenge of a generation” the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives both personal and professional. 

Since the first lockdown over a year ago, the majority of us have experienced some degree of heightened stress and anxiety.

We’ve all had to quickly adapt to our “new normal” as the situation continues to unfold. Change can be tough at the best of times, but when it’s done under duress it can be particularly stressful. 

While people across a number of industries have had their work life upended, those working on the front-line have faced enormous strain and pressure. 

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

Now, more than ever, with people feeling fatigued and burnt out by the situation, it’s important that we do not forget the importance of workplace kindness. 

When times are tough, kindness can easily fly out the window, especially as kindness is often viewed as a vulnerable act, which might put you at a disadvantage during a cut-throat time of turmoil. 

Even during times of relative ease, many business leaders hold on to the mentality that when it comes to employee wellbeing, it’s “survival of the fittest” and that there is little space for compassion at work.  

Leaders like this also tend to believe that behaviour such as staying late at the office, being always on and not taking sick days will lead to greater financial success.

However, this usually only leads to a burnt out workforce that has a negative opinion of those in charge. 

In fact, health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organisations.

Kindness promotes both mental and physical wellbeing

“The more you nurture a feeling of kindness, the happier and calmer you will be.” – The Dalai Lama. 

The power of kindness should not be underestimated; it’s a potent cure for combating toxic work cultures, preventing employee burnout, and building a more positive work environment. 

Research has shown that performing acts of kindness, no matter how small or simple, boosts both the giver and receiver’s mood. 

One study on the effects of kindness, reported that after just seven days of performing or observing kind acts every day, people were left feeling significantly happier.

Someone performing an act of kindness can experience increased levels of confidence, a sense of being in control, increased happiness and greater optimism. 

Being aware of our own acts of kindness can also increase our sense of gratitude, satisfaction and help us to have a more positive attitude. 

In a workplace context, this mood boost can help alleviate some of the daily stresses we face at work and enable us to have more empathy for our colleagues.

The benefits of kindness can also be physical; kindness has been found to stimulate the brain to release beneficial chemicals such as serotonin and oxytocin (also known as the love hormone), which do the following: 

  • Increase serotonin levels (regulates mood) 
  • Increase happiness 
  • Ease anxiety 
  • Reduce blood pressure 
  • Decrease pain 

A study by the University of British Columbia discovered that kind people have 23% less cortisol (known as the stress hormone).

These wellbeing boosts that come from performing acts of workplace kindness can translate to financial benefits for the organisation in the form of reduced absenteeism, fewer work errors and increased productivity. 

Acts of kindness help strengthen company culture

Company culture is a key part of your organisation’s DNA; it influences employee engagement, wellbeing, retention, productivity and brand reputation. 

Your culture sets the tone for your whole operation and is a key determining factor in how your people interact with each other and your customers. 

Companies with high rated cultures and a strong commitment to employee wellbeing often outperform their competitors, so culture is an aspect of your business you should be actively nurturing on an ongoing basis. 

Championing kindness in the workplace will help you to build a more inclusive, empathetic and supportive work environment where people feel psychologically safe enough to bring their whole self to work and contribute fully. 

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. 

Everyone benefits when people show a little more kindness in the workplace. 

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.

Acts of workplace kindness were also found to increase a sense of belonging and camaraderie among co-workers, which in turn helps increase engagement and resilience.

There is no set rule for what workplace kindness looks like, it can be as simple as; 

  • Offering to make someone a cup of tea or coffee
  • Sending a thank you note 
  • Acknowledging and greeting people in a positive way
  • Offering to help an overworked colleague with some tasks
  • Checking-in on people to see how they’re doing
  • Celebrating wins and peoples hard work

How Trickle can help

Trickle is a real-time online employee engagement, wellbeing and recognition platform that empowers managers and employees to work together to build a kinder and more productive workplace. 

Trickle enables you to check-in with your people regularly and demonstrate an authentic commitment to your people’s wellbeing. 

Trickle’s MoodSense feature lets you take a quick temperature check on your people’s feelings. This can be in relation to their wellbeing or changes in your organisation or anything else you think is important.

A MoodSense is a way you can regularly connect with your people and demonstrate a genuine interest in their opinions and wellbeing. 

Active listening is also 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, which, in turn, 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.

Using Trickle’s Fist Bump feature, managers and coworkers can quickly show appreciation for each other and offer encouragement. 

Organisations can also use the Shout About feature to quickly share good news and spread positive vibes by sharing group praise. 

Find out more about how Trickle can help your organisation improve your workplace culture and make things better for everyone.

Get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo.

Alternatively you can trial Trickle absolutely free for 30-days.

 

LIKE THIS?

We produce a quarterly Newsletter about all things HR and People Engagement.

If you’re interested in receiving our Newsletter, fill out your information.