Have you ever got stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work that created a domino effect of logging in late to missing an important meeting? Till your colleague comes over with a warm smile and a hot cup of coffee that instantly makes your terrible day better. That is the power of kindness, a component that companies generally overlook on the quest to find their unicorn to boost productivity rates.
According to Dr David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. While perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) reported by the Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science.
However, with these simple pleasures of interaction taken away from us, how can we leverage the power of kindness while companies continue to work from home?
1. Take Time Out For Kindness Rounds
Leaders can take time out of their busy weeks to schedule a round of kindness. While most people find it difficult to compliment others due to psychological barriers that make most people rethink before appreciating or complimenting someone, remote working has made that task a hundred times tougher. By doing this, employees will appreciate the good things their colleagues did during the week and will open them up to being more appreciative to their team members. A recent study observed that giving compliments can make us even happier than receiving them.
2. Mark Important Dates And Create A Kindness Calendar
As cliche as it sounds, it’s the thought that counts. Research finds that people appreciate small acts of kindness as much as large ones. Employers and leaders can mark special dates on their calendars so that the special moments in their employee’s lives don’t pass away without a celebration. This calendar can schedule reminders to all workplace employees to remind them of these special moments. These can then be celebrated with an automated e-card or even cakes and flowers delivered to their homes on birthdays or anniversary with a special zoom meeting to commemorate the occasion. Using special tools like Kudo Board can help with this.
3. Build A Habit Of Gratitude In The Workplace
Research at the University of Pennsylvania (UP) concluded that when leaders are grateful to their employees, they are 50% more successful. As a leader, you can start thanking your employees and lead by example. Make it a habit to thank everyone for the smallest task they perform. Wins are wins, and wins are good, no matter how big or small they may be.
4. Have A Happy Hour Or Cool Down Session Every Week
Brett Downes, the Founder of Haro Helpers, relates his idea of spreading kindness at the workplace. He said, “All our staff are working remotely. There are 11 of us, so I bought 4 full Netflix accounts so they could all be entertained during their off time. Each day, one of us picks a comedy series. We all sit down to watch it at the same time while messaging on Whatsapp groups on our phones. It costs me less than $50 a month, but it keeps all the staff in touch with each other and we muddle through this crisis together, keeping morale levels up.”
This is a great way to celebrate happy hour and relax with your employees with a fun round to keep everyone engaged. It also goes above and beyond to show your employees that you genuinely care about them beyond work. Such personal gestures are essential to make your team feel loved and heard.
The power of kindness can help us navigate effectively through the online social world. It has become the need of the hour to inculcate the practice into workplaces for healthier and happier teams. As Scott Adams, American Artist, said, “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”