Most of us want to work at a productive and successful work place but did you know working at a caring and connected workplace is especially important to most of us? In fact studies have demonstrated that it’s not the perks that make people happy, it’s working at a caring and committed company that matters to many of us.
A lot of truly successful and admired leaders are making sure this happens as it benefits all who work within an institution, and the bottom-line as well. In the research-based book Leading with Kindness the authors identified some key attributes of kind leaders such as “humility, authenticity, gratitude, integrity, humor and compassion.”
As well, they identified factors like being honorable; soliciting ideas from all not just senior management; having a higher purpose; connecting with people – taking the time to learn about employees; recognizing achievements and, yes, measuring results and setting the right culture – open, resilient and engaged.
Overall, it’s important that the vision of a company include the above and all employees know its importance. So how can your company do this? In the research done by Kim Cameron at the University of Michigan, he cited Steve Schroeder, founder and CEO of Creative Werks, a successful packaging company, as a great example. He attributes much of his success to his company’s positive culture. He makes sure his employees are happy. As a long-time fan of the Dalai Lama, he ensures that his company’s culture is both positive and supportive. When interviewing new employees, he looks for “caring” as he believes caring people never let their colleagues or the clients down.
The company’s focus is not just on the bottom line or shareholder needs but it looks at the power of each person and allows them to lead with their strengths and work on helping them with their weaknesses.
And here are 3 tips for a kindness workplace to help this happen in our environment:
1.) Set the right tone – make a strong vision statement on a caring culture and walk the walk. Leadership needs to care and show this via a culture that is caring, knowing its employees and making sure there is encouragement of personal growth.
2.) Create acts of kindness that take place in the workplace i.e. kind words instead of nominal greetings on staff birthdays; knowing when a staff member is having a hard time; recognizing hard work.
3.) Stop mean behavior –nipping it in the bud right away instead of allowing it to continue to happen so everyone knows mean behavior is not tolerated. This sends a message that caring is rewarded.
What impact can these small actions make? Glain Roberts-McCabe, President and Founder of The Executive Roundtable, a mentorship and leadership organization, has been involved in #RAKWeek the past few years. She has this to say about the power of this character emphasis:
“Kindness is something that we seem to have lost focus on as our lives get busier and the pace of work more frenetic. Slowing down and being intentional about kindness has a way of resetting priorities at work. I find that it’s easy to get caught up in keeping up. By participating in events like #RAK week and #12daysofbizrak, our team has the opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate what’s really important. I find the positive energy rejuvenates our team and helps us put other challenges into perspective. It’s the ultimate pressure reducer!”
Overall, it’s not difficult to carry out but takes time to incorporate. At the end of the day, a caring a compassionate environment leads to a more productive and happier workforce which in turn benefits the company’s bottom line and offers a better atmosphere for all. It’s that simple and that powerful. Every human deserves to work in an environment that is respectful and responsible. It’s time.
Steffi Black is a Life/Career Coach and Kindness Advocate promoting ‘spreadthekindness’ during the international Random Acts of Kindness Week, which involves people and corporations in performing three kind acts that week. She also presents on this topic to schools and corporations.
She is a featured Author, Ready, Aim, Thrive – Amazon best seller on Discovering How To Flourish and Prosper from Today from experts, and author in ‘My Creative Thoughts.’
Steffi Black is a New Directions Expert who empowers women in transition and young people at a crossroads to create a clear roadmap for life and career transitions. She is also a Kindness Advocate for Schools and Corporations and creates impactful ‘spreadthekindness’ keynotes and workshops.