Why is kindness in the workplace important?
A recent study shows that creating act of kindness can increase happiness within an individual person as well as promoting a positive feeling within a group. Kindness has also been proven to have health benefits such as reducing anxiety and helping to keep one calm, healthy and happy.
During a time where so many people are now working remotely, it would be easy for employees to feel isolated from colleagues or disengaged from their work. A real effort must now be made to challenge these potential issues head on, and create tangible solutions to overcome then.
National Kindness Days were created as an effort to promote exactly that. The idea was first brought about by The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, a non-profit organisation established in 1995 with the belief that kindness can connect people, and it’s a skill that can be learnt. They created educational materials to teach children and adults alike the social and emotional skills of being kind. Years later when the Random Acts of Kindness Day took off in New Zealand, their message of making kindness the norm had been received worldwide. The occasion is now observed in various countries.
So, what more can we do to practice kindness? Here, we explore some ideas from the perspectives of both the employer and the employee.
In recent years, employers have been placing more emphasis on the wellbeing of their employees as it has positive effects on the productivity among staff members. As an employer, what can you give back to your employees and make them feel appreciated?
Loosen up a bit – Research done by The University of Oxford found that happy employees are more productive at work. One of the best ways to cheer your staff members up is allowing them to loosen up from the normal work pattern from time to time. This can be having an early finish on a Friday so everyone can start their weekend with family a bit earlier. For some, changing work environments can boost productivity; why not let your employees take their laptops outside on a sunny afternoon or work in the relaxing vibe of a coffee shop? Even if you don’t make these a regular thing, the notion of having this flexibility occasionally is enough to get your employees motivated.
Create more ‘play’ – Organising fun activities for employees to take part in is a good idea as it not only allows them to destress from work but also enables teams to create a stronger bond. Even though some games and activities are better played in person, the internet is full of ideas for team building games that can be enjoyed online. Schedule a few of these fun sessions in, and employees will feel more motivated and rewarded as they have something to look forward to.
Little perks go a long way – Offering small snacks here and there may seem minor, but they can make a huge difference. We’ve seen companies sending employees care packs of coffee and cake prior to their quarterly conference, which had to take place virtually due to the pandemic; that didn’t mean they couldn’t still enjoy refreshments together. It’s the small gestures that put a smile on your employees’ faces. Is there an upcoming virtual meeting or conference you could send something to your team for?
Promote a healthy lifestyle – Why not encourage your employees to step away from the screen and get active? Here at Carrot Recruitment, we implement lots of different initiatives to keep our teams connected, while encouraging an element of competition. This is a great way to show your employees that you care about their wellbeing, while fortifying the bond between colleagues and teams.
Kindness among colleagues and teammates is probably even easier to achieve as it doesn’t involve a big group of people and various schedules. So, what ideas can we put into practice if we want to show each other some kindness?
Compliments – We all like compliments. And when life and work get stressful, it can be the easiest pick-me-up. Do you always admire a certain trait of your colleague's – commitment, work ethic, enthusiasm, professionalism, sociability – whatever it is, write it down and let them know you see it! Even when we are all working away in our own home, technology will make sure we stay connected when we need to send that little message of compliment across to a colleague that we’ve not seen for a while.
Ecards – With the help of numerous free apps out there, designing a personalised ecard is super easy. The recipient of the card will appreciate it like it’s a handmade card because it comes from your creativity and kind thoughts. Plus, they’re usually completely free to create!
Gifts are always welcome – If you’re willing to put in a bit of money, you could always order a small gift to be sent to your colleague. Be it a bouquet of flowers or a small item to the recipient’s liking, it will be extra special when you put in some thought and get them something they like.
A special message – Is there a piece of lyrics or poem that can boost your energy and lift your spirit? Why not share it so it can do the same for your teammates?
Offer a helping hand – If you know someone’s going through an exceptionally busy time at work, offering to take a little workload off their shoulders will do more magic than you may imagine. It doesn’t have to be a big task, but just something that will save them a few minutes will relieve them from the overwhelming stress. Even if they still have a million things to do, it’s still an uplifting experience and lets them know that others are thinking of them.
A culture that encourages kindness can be adopted everywhere, at any time. So, why not give it a try? A small gesture of kindness can make an immense difference to someone’s day, any time of the year.
Line Managers and Team Leaders may also find our guide to motivating employees useful when planning activities while working remotely.
For any further assistance with your recruitment needs over the coming months - or for advice on how to keep your employees motivated whilst working remotely - please contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to put you in touch with one of our specialist consultants
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