Do you need to be told to be kind?
‘Random Acts of Kindness Week’ is an annual event every February and social media is always awash with heart – warming examples and lists of ideas about how to be kind.
Is it a bit shocking that we need to be told how to be kind – that an international week exists devoted to it?
Gallup this week (17/2/17) released their latest ‘state of the American workplace report’ which shows that still only 33% of the workforce are actively engaged, (drops to 13% when measured worldwide), more than half are actively looking for new jobs, and only about one in five say they’re managed in a way that motivates them to do great work. When measuring engagement, Gallup say the impact of managers makes up 70% of the variance.
The majority of the clients we work with have a value around kindness – and the evidence shows that people really do work for people, so it should be easy to engage our teams- right? Feel patronising to be given a list of how to be kind? It seems at work, we all need it.
Are we all too busy doing the management tasks, dealing with the tough daily demands of work and being what we think a good strong manager ‘should’ be – and then forget to be human?
”People who said leaders treated them with respect were 55% more engaged.” Christine Porath research.
This shows that kindness works. As managers, leaders and team members what if we looked beyond just getting the tasks done – to the person – and created an environment of trust and respect – a more human approach?
It would mean us all taking more responsibility for our impact on others – making it more positive, keeping our power, managing our emotional response, getting rid of that blame culture – and making kindness our natural way of being.
Business too tough and busy for this soft stuff? There is so much evidence now to show that engaged employees improve business performance (think Top 100 Companies list) and there is also lots of scientific evidence that being kind to others makes you feel good too!
Here’s another list (!) – Our short tips to spread kindness everyday:
- Be more conscious of your behaviour every day and the impact on those around you – put them first – aim to have a positive impact.
- Manage your emotions – had a bad drive into work? Leave any frustration and annoyance at the door.
- Give people time and pay full attention to others, drop the multitasking with technology whilst speaking to others and really listen instead. Ban phones from meetings.
- Invest some time every day in others – and stick to it.
- Practice small acts of kindness every day – consistency counts.
Something as simple as a smile goes a long way.