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Kindness Matters

March 9, 2022

If there is one phrase that really irritates me in people management it is “soft skills”. Over the years it has served to lessen the importance of these skills as though someone who possesses them were somehow weaker for doing so. However, these skills are so important in business.

One such essential skill is kindness. Defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate, the impact of kindness on your business can be profound. It may not be clearly measurable but it can have a tangible impact on your team and the people around you (customers, colleagues and the general public).

Here at Cream HR we talk a lot about employee engagement, how to gain the trust, respect and loyalty of your teams so that they share in the organisation’s values and objectives. Whilst most of our clients now understand the importance of employee engagement, many of them still don’t quite know how to achieve. This is probably because there is no one straightforward action that can be taken to ‘switch it on’. There are many qualities required of a leader to gain engagement – and kindness is key.

Employers can show kindness through extravagant gestures – an awards ceremony, a day off or providing afternoon tea in the office. But it can also be demonstrated in small ways that are no less impactful or critical to the general well-being of your teams. Holding a door open when a colleague is struggling, noticing one of your employees has been assigned a huge amount of work and asking how you can help them, or suggesting an early finish for an employee to attend a midweek football match or see their child’s sports day.

These gestures will be remembered for a long time and their power is huge. Don’t wait for your colleagues to tell you they are struggling, see how you can help them first. Understand that they have personal lives too and that, no matter how hard we try, it is almost impossible to leave these at the door. And nor should we.

And the easiest of them all – say thank you. For a job well done, or a challenge overcome. For fantastic teamwork or an act of kindness shown.

And if you don’t believe us about the power of kindness, check out James Rhee’s Ted talk on the value of kindness at work. He made a business out of it.

Written by Katy Foster and Anthony Sutton

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