Kindness is an underrated quality at work, but it is this good leadership skill and creates a happier more productive workplace.
Most managers are nervous about sharing their personal feelings when they’re at work for fear it will open them up to judgment or criticism. Sharing stories can help colleagues to connect.
New research suggests that by changing the culture of an organisation to promote an ethic of compassion rather than a culture of stress, will result in a happier workplace and an improved bottom line. A lack of bonding within the workplace has been shown to increase psychological distress, while positive social interactions at work have been shown to boost employee health.
Here are some ways we can all practice kindness
- Slow down when you come into the office make a conscious effort to greet colleagues.
- Be considerate: when you make yourself a cup of tea ask others whether they’d like a cuppa too.
- Be more vocal in your praise: compliment colleagues and notice the effect it has on you and them.
- Engage your ears: when asking colleagues ‘how are you?’, stop and listen, be interested in how they really are.
- Help a colleague in need when you can: pay attention to those around you and try to notice if someone is stressed.
- Make time to write a personal thank you note/email/gesture to a colleague to show them that they are appreciated.
The Counselling Foundation can help employers work towards change and how they think and act about mental health in the workplace.