The words business and kindness usually don’t exist within the same sentence or thought. The business climate today is more densely populated with words like “cutthroat” and “rivals”. The vision of the corporate world has become one of a bunch of suits working for a faceless company that has no regard or compassion for their well-being.
Look at huge companies like Amazon and their competitors who are grappling to stay competitive in the online retail market. It is a daily battle to stay ahead of your competitors and remain relevant in the world of business today. This often comes at the price of your workers.
To reach the pinnacle of the business world and make billions of dollars, sometimes kindness and compassion takes a backseat to capitalism. Often times, the working conditions become less than tolerable or even unsafe in order to reach certain levels of success.
If this is your vision of the corporate or business world, or even worse, if this is your reality, I am going to help you change your outlook by incorporating kindness into your workplace.
In case you haven’t noticed, the climate of the world is changing. Things are very different in many ways due to the pandemic. Many employees are working from home, thus getting to spend more time with their family. Some people, unfortunately, have become unemployed and are struggling to make it every day.
We have seen many businesses find creative ways to help employees cope and adapt to the changing environment that they are now faced with. The underlying concept behind this is kindness. Specifically, “corporate kindness”.
Businesses found that by implementing strategies that helped their employees continue to work, even if it was remotely, satisfied a need because the virus would not spread throughout the company and the business could continue. It also satisfied a want of the employee by putting their mind at ease and allowing them to work comfortably without fear of contagion.
If we take the pandemic out of the equation and look at how kindness should be incorporated on a daily basis, it involves employees at every level. Every single person makes spur-of-the-moment decisions about how to be kind to others around them. It is those choices that effectively influence the entire corporate behavior and attitude, either for the better or for the worse.
Let’s look at what kindness in your workplace actually involves. Kindness in your workplace involves considering, balancing and satisfying your own needs, your people’s needs and the needs of the wider organization in ways that foster group well-being, innovation potential and productivity.
Basically, what this boils down to is that you need to look at things from every angle and see what will benefit the organization as a whole.
If you are looking to incorporate kindness into your workplace, and hopefully making your organization kinder as a whole, it’s as easy as remembering the five ‘C’s.
Clarity is very important in the workplace. If a leader lacks clarity, employees will not know or understand what is expected or wanted from them in terms of responsibilities, objectives, goals, etc. There will be no basis as to whether they are performing well or not and this will cause confusion and frustration.
This is unkind to your employees because you are creating unnecessary insecurity and worry. You may also create inefficiency in the organization.
Provide clarity by explaining the standards, boundaries and expectations that you have for other people and hold them accountable when they fall short of them.
As human beings, we find a need to know what is going on at all times. If we don’t know what is going on, usually because people do not provide clarity, we tend to imagine scenarios that may never happen. This is why it is important to candid, direct and honest with people in your workplace, especially during times of change or when it is bad news.
When you fail to acknowledge that people have a number of personal and professional problems to deal with, you being unkind. It is bad on a both a human level and a business level. Many people are looking for co-workers and supervisors that will make an effort to understand and accommodate their individual circumstances and needs. If this is not done, there tends to be less workplace commitment and that will lead to less productivity.
Courage involves supporting others and giving them what they need, even if it is not what they actually want. It is offering advice that they may not want to hear, but they really need to hear at that particular time.
Consistency is exactly what it sounds like. Do these things and be kind on a regular basis. Walk the walk. Act in ways that are consistent with what you expect from others around you. Inconsistency would be unkind because it would cause confusion if you expected one thing from people but you always did the opposite.
Sounds easy, right? Well, I doubt you are going to show kindness every single time you communicate with someone in your workplace. It is something that takes time and practice. One thing you can try to do in situations where you are unsure is ask yourself who you are being kind to right now. If the answer is you, try something else.