It’s a sentiment that is very prevalent at the moment, to be kind. Unfortunately, it seems to be a narrative that springs up following some form of tragedy and then quietly drops off into the oblivion as the world inevitably falls back into its day to day patter of unfiltered, careless and often cruel communications.
But the message is simple, be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some kind of battle that we know nothing about, and this is equally as important when it comes to the workplace.
Each day we are frequently faced with people who challenge our best intentions and ability to be kind, but instead of giving into the negativity (and thus adding to its multiplication) it is this reason why kindness is so very important.
On average we spend at least 5 working days per week interacting with a variety of different people that we work with, or wish to work with, some of whom may very well challenge us to keep a jolly little smile upon our faces. BUT, next time you feel your blood temperature starting to rise, and the need to unleash an outpouring of vitriol in someone else’s direction takes over, we would all do well to first consider the following:
– In Europe alone, an estimated 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues throughout their life.
– Approximately 38% people will be diagnosed with a serious health condition during their adult, working life.
– Around 25 million people throughout Europe, Australia and US are currently unemployed.
– The current divorce rate hovers somewhere around 30-50%
Yes, these are pretty sobering statistics to include in what is essentially a manifesto on why it is important to be kind, but it helps to drive home the point that you really do not know what someone else is having to deal with aside from their work. From the points raised above alone, that’s potentially a whole lot of friends, family and colleagues within our immediate circles that will be affected by similar things, whilst also trying to get through Monday to Friday with as little extra anguish and drama as possible.
Not only this, but random acts of kindness, especially within the working environment, can help to boost morale and help work to feel a little bit less like, y’know, hard work…
Another plus point is that being nice actually does make us feel good about ourselves and helps to equip our brains to better cope with our own struggles, as well as the struggles of others, which is a win-win really. And, if you’re still not sold on the benefits of being kinder at work? Research shows that the emotional state of a workface directly impacts effectiveness and productivity. This should seem like a fairly obvious statistic, but it is perhaps still worth highlighting for those who are a little harder of heart.
So, in the name of kindness, and because we’d really like to help make your office, and workforce, a nice place to be, here are few simple ways that you can help practise kindness at work.
1. Make an effort for team birthdays or work-iversaries, even if it’s just a tin of biscuits or some beaten-up daisies that you picked (with permission of course) from your neighbours garden, recognising someone’s birthday or anniversary is great way to show your appreciation for them as a real human being.
2. Relay positive feedback to people if they weren’t around to hear it. This is especially true in larger companies or an agency environment where complements can get lost between teams. Feedback that seems inconsequential to you personally could really make someone else’s day.
3. Post encouraging sticky-notes with messages like “You got this”, or something as equally as cheesy around the office. It might sound a bit lame, but seeing a random, affirmative message on your desk or a cupboard door that someone has taken the time to create does actually make you smile.
4. Tell people if you think they’re doing a great job, don’t just think it. Your praise or positive thoughts on a project or piece of work that someone else has created can have a much larger impact on someone’s mood and productivity levels than you think.
5. Double-check yourself before your criticise. If you really, really feel like you need to criticise someone then write it in an email to yourself first, wait a while, then re-read it. If it’s still important enough to communicate, then hopefully you’ll have found a kinder, more constructive way to relay that information before hitting send.
6. Re-share the love. Be sure to re-share, RT or repost any posts referencing or promoting a teammate’s work. It helps if you add your own comment for a bit of extra pizazz too.
7. Make as many hot drinks as you can for colleagues, you never know when someone might need the universally acknowledged gift of ultimate kindness, the humble cup of tea.
8. Smile. It works. Trust me.
Kindness is a never-ending cycle, as one kind action inevitably leads to another, and as a greater wordsmith than I once said:
“Kindness is the only language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
So, if you can be anything today, be kind. Be kind to your colleagues, be kind to your bosses, be kind to the people who serve you your food, be kind to the guy who flipped you the bird after tail-gating you on the motorway, be kind to the woman who sighed very loudly when you couldn’t find your bank card at the till, you can even be kind to the group of teenagers who laughed when you tripped up over your own feet, because being kind isn’t just about being kind, it’s leading by example.
If you fancy being kinder to your brand this year then get in touch with us today to discuss your next project, we’d love to chat with you…we might even make you a cup of tea ?