Kindness is something that you cannot have too much of. In the workplace, it can create a happier environment, deeper bonds between staff, it can improve employee retention and can even improve work. However, it’s easy to see a workplace fall into unhappiness without a conscious effort being made to create a kind and welcoming workplace.
If you are looking for ways to foster a kinder working environment in your business, read on to discover our top three recommendations.
Leading by example is essential in business, whether it’s displaying the passion you have for the work you do or how you expect employees to treat one another. The first thing you should do when addressing issues of unkindness in the organisation is to look inward, and this doesn’t only mean yourself but other managers and even company policies.
By ensuring the company is lead with compassion, employees will not only know what is expected of them in terms of kindness but have no reason to feel upset with the place they currently are in. With a large business, it can get to a point where employees become numbers, however, making sure to remember that each person who makes up your business is an individual and should be treated fairly, is important.
For example, if an employee has a sick relative then allowing them the time off to deal with that, no questions asked, is much more likely to gain a good reaction. In this same situation, if your policies mean they are unable to take much-needed time off they may feel angry or upset and bring that energy into the workplace with them.
Kindness can be different from person to person, and, depending on someone’s personal circumstances, they may require more or less from those around them. This is one of the reasons why encouraging employees to learn more about one another can be a great way to foster a kinder workplace. When employees know more about each other and what’s going on in each other’s lives, they are more likely to be kinder by having more empathy for one another and understanding the hidden limitations or challenges someone may be facing.
This can be especially important if you have a remote team or a team that doesn’t often meet face-to-face. It’s a lot easier to forget about the other person when you spend all day looking at a screen and, for those who have offices spread far-and-wide some employees may not even feel they know others who they speak to every day. When this is the case, making a larger effort, whether, through team-building activities, social events or just encouraging video meetings lets your team see the person behind the screen.
With all the will in the world, there will be times when an employee’s good work may go unnoticed by upper-management or company leaders. This can lead to the employee not feeling as though they are valued in the company, or even worry that the work they did wasn’t good enough when that is far from the case. This is why it’s important to incentivise praise and recognition at all levels in your business.
Whether it’s creating an employee-of-the-month-scheme where everyone votes for someone they think deserves recognition, adopting a way to share praise company-wide or even providing a channel for those to share the work they are proud of, creating easy ways to recognise a job well done is a simple way to create a snowball effect where staff want to shine a light on one another’s talents and successes.
How to foster a culture of workplace kindness
These three things may seem simple to implement, and they are, however, the affect they can have is creating a kinder better office environment for all.
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This blog was written by Louise Johnston, Customer Success Manager at Phase 3.