When a firm actively fosters kindness in the workplace, the business benefits. Not only are workers more engaged and happy, the overall culture grows stronger.
In addition to being generous and caring, being kind involves how a leader shows up and takes a “positive, intentional action to create improved, sustainable and inclusive outcomes for all stakeholders,” according to Anna Sheppard of Bambuddha Group. Being kind in tough times is important—and that involves ensuring good outcomes for everyone, not just shareholders.
“Kindness is the key that enables organizations to be more human, reduce suffering, promote wellbeing and unlock extraordinary individual, team and organizational performance and success,” according to the article, which cited Sebastian Boo, a trainer and researcher at The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Kindness isn’t just about being nice and shouldn’t get in the way of efficient decision-making. In fact, according to Boo, kindness is about reducing suffering and actively promoting wellbeing. Doing both can help workers feel psychologically safe, which in turn helps facilitate a more productive workplace.
“Kindness will fuel creativity, trust, employee engagement and motivation, resiliency and wellbeing,” Boo notes, according to the article. “If you’re my leader and I perceive you genuinely want the best for me as a human being, you have my loyalty, because at a biological level my brain knows you’re good for me.”
To intentionally manifest kindness in the workplace, leaders must understand being kind isn’t about being soft. Being kind can involve giving direct and honest feedback, even if it is tough feedback as long as it comes from a good place.
Manifesting kindness involves adopting a commitment to the values of kindness and exhibiting behaviors that are kind while discouraging unkind behaviors, Boo notes. For team leaders, this means they should be strategic and plan to reduce suffering and promote wellbeing.
“How do we make it easier to play to the better angels of our human nature, as well as how we make it more difficult to be nasty or highly competitive?” Boo asks, according to the article. “Think about the things that promote that. Leaders set that example. It’s also about how to reward and celebrate kindness and the things sitting on top of that.”