TORONTO – Is your workplace kind?
It seems like a silly question, but think about it.
Do your co-workers greet you every morning? Do you and your boss get along? How do you or others in your workplace settle conflicts?
Even though it seems obvious, kindness plays a critical role in the overall office culture.
That’s the message from Steffi Black, a life/career coach and kindness advocate based out of Toronto, who professionally advises individuals and businesses alike.
Black said that often in a workplace, kindness is overlooked. But this is a misstep, as she says that more workplaces need to embrace kindness in order to survive and thrive today.
Here are the top five reasons Black said kindness matters in the workplace.
#1. People want to work in a compassionate environment
If your workplace is kind, chances are, more people will want to work there. This bodes well if your office is looking to attract new talent, or is looking to reduce turnover.
“Milliennials today aren’t just interested in job titles and salaries,” Black said. “They’re actually interested in whether or not their company cares about them.”
Many recent studies have found that employees are happier working for a company that is kind to them, and particularly helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
One company Black pointed to as an example for was Starbucks. Former CEO Howard Schultz implemented a 100% tuition reimbursement program where workers could get a tuition-free college education and recently Starbucks announced a pay rise for all employees. Starbucks said these programs were directly implemented to make its employees happier and to improve morale across the board.
#2 Kindness makes us happier
On a biochemical level, says Black, doing a caring act for someone elevates the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroine.
“It’s called a helper’s high,” Black explained. “So when you do something for someone at work you get a high.”
Black admitted that most offices are good at celebrating birthdays and promotions, but that many offices need to show support during losses, too.
A sympathy card or giving an employee a mental health day can go a long way, Black said.
“Small gestures make employees feel happier and more connected to the workplace,” she added.
#3 Kindness is better for business
Employees are much more motivated by a caring and engaged culture, plus happy employees are great for business, Black said.
According to many studies, kindness makes employees happier and happier employees are healthier both physically and mentally, feel more creative, and are willing to work harder for their employer and teams.
“All of which are just good for any business,” Black said.
#4 Kindness fosters relationships
According to Black, scientists have proven that kindness reduces the distance between two people.
“You feel more connected to the people who are kind,” Black said. “So kindness in the workplace makes for better relationships. And today, studies show when we feel a connection, and have a relationship with even just one person at work, it makes you enjoy work more.”
#5 Kindness is contagious
If you start spreading kindness around your workplace, Black said, it’s likely that it will cause a ripple effect.
“There’s a domino effect that happens with kindness,” Black said. “When you’re kind, it inspires others to do the same.”
If you want to learn more about how you can spread kindness in your workplace, visit Steffi Black’s website, www.steffiblackcoaching.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.