The power of kindness
“People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote boils down what really matters to me when I think about interpersonal relationships in the workplace. During the million-and-one-things that make up our daily interactions with others, it’s the feeling you are left with, the taste in your mouth that stays with you, that defines how you feel about your work (and yourself, to a large degree).
Over recent years, society has placed much more emphasis on kindness as a principle to live by - think of the Be Kind Movement (and the social media posts containing the hashtag #BeKind). In turn, business has - slowly - started to do the same. There is now a growing expectation that businesses will not only treat employees with kindness - think about the backlash against certain high profile companies due to their working conditions - but that they will conduct their affairs in a manner that demonstrates care and promotes good. Increasingly, customer loyalty depends on it.
For employees in the post-Covid era, the discussion about how people experience their work life has never seemed more topical. We’re still experimenting and negotiating new ways of working to find the right balance between remote and in-person. But one thing has become clear: remote forces us to work far more in silos. Spontaneous exchanges at the water cooler or going-for-a-coffee can’t be easily replicated online. We now have to make an extra effort to overcome this isolation.
And this is where kindness comes into play. Thinking about and reaching out to others is creating a feeling of connectedness: to see the other person as a fellow human being with all the battles they’re fighting. Being connected to others is what gives us purpose and meaning to our lives.
Why does kindness matter?
If a company displays kindness consistently, the benefits can be far reaching. Kindness can:
Encourage individual employee wellbeing
Create and maintain a positive spirit and togetherness between colleagues and teams
Foster a culture of honesty and transparency that allows for constructive, collaborative working
Improve productivity and creativity - a happy, valued team will strive to achieve more
Earn loyalty - both from employees and partners, investors and suppliers
Enhance the company’s brand and reputation
Attract and keep talent and maintain positive working relationships with partners and stakeholders
Help eliminate outdated toxic business practices and antiquated win-at-all-costs attitudes
What is kindness in an organisation?
Kindness is often mistaken just as a warm fluffy feeling that can’t be clearly defined and incorporated into a company’s culture. Yet at Caution Your Blast Ltd (CYB), we’ve written kindness into the fabric of the organisation and made a serious commitment to take it on as one of our leading principles.
Kindness can come in many shapes and forms. In the workplace, we see it as mostly informal acts woven into everyday activities: encouraging words before an important meeting, a ‘well done’ for a task successfully accomplished, a quick ‘thank you’ for a favour.
But for us at CYB, kindness is also part of our ethical compass. It helps us to navigate the type of projects we want to take on, the clients we want to work for, the people that we employ. Kindness is central to our aim of using digital as a force for good.
As an organisation we make a conscious effort to make kindness central to everything we do. At CYB, we:
create opportunities to celebrate success. We frequently share and celebrate achievements of our team members at company meetings; we also have a dedicated Slack channel for everyone to praise the small efforts and successes of others on the go
make time to listen and ask: “how can I help?”. Regularly setting time aside to give someone your full focus and attention creates an opportunity to talk in more depth and helps to break the isolation that comes with remote working
say ‘thank you’ – wholeheartedly. Taking the time to write a personal note of appreciation every now and then gives it a much deeper meaning that will go a long way for the receiver. For example, we introduced digital Christmas cards from each team member, which turned into sources of deep appreciation of each other
become a cheerleader of someone else’s ideas. Championing someone else with the input they give to your organisation will make them feel heard and valued and boost their confidence
show compassion and understanding towards everyone’s personal life. Everything from unlimited annual leave to flexible working hours put team members’ welfare at the centre of the company
give staff the chance to help shape the company’s values and direction, giving everyone a voice and ensuring people’s wishes and concerns are respected
care about the environment. With CYB’s focus on sustainability and our climate goals, we show kindness to the planet we all depend on
The beauty about kindness is that it works both ways. Several studies have shown that giving acts of kindness are just as rewarding as receiving them - if not more. And that doesn’t limit the giver to just reciprocal giving but passing kind acts forward to other people, creating a ripple effect throughout an organisation.
The list of acts of kindness is endless. They can be implemented easily in everyday work life, they come free and their effectiveness shows right away.
Embrace the power of kindness, because “Kind people are the best kind of people” (unknown).
Caution Your Blast is looking for passionate developers and designers to join its team at an incredibly exciting time for the company. If you think our organisation and the role matches your skills, experience, and interests, send your CV along with a few paragraphs outlining why you’d like to take on the role to firstname.lastname@example.org.