The importance of kindness and compassion can sometimes be overlooked in the hectic environment that is the modern workplace. Leaders, especially, need to pay attention to this.
Reo’s goal as a company is to elevate human potential. So when it comes to leadership development, we do everything we can to make sure our trainees have not only the macro skills, but the micro ones – like kindness – as well.
The value of kindness
The simple reason why kindness is valuable? Because it makes both sides of the equation happier. A meta-analysis from researchers at the University of Oxford found that the often-quoted link between being kind and happiness in oneself was solid. Over 400 published papers were analysed, with the authors finding a statistically significant effect of a boost in happiness to person being kind.
When employees and managers are happier, the whole workplace environment becomes a brighter place to exist in. Instead of the office being a place people dread coming to in the morning, it can be a place of positivity and support.
A business environment that has kindness flowing through its veins will be extremely resilient.
Authentic kindness is key
While kindness is incredibly important, it has to emanate from an authentic place to be of value. Putting some motivational posters on the wall is not enough.
Olivia “Mandy” O’Neill has studied the effects of compassionate love in the workplace. She told Insights by Stanford Business that kindness is not just something managers can tell their employees to exhibit and be done with it:
“A lot of the work finds that when people get burned out, they’re actually not feeling caring and compassion at all – the pressure to express these emotions is just another load on top of them. So managers can’t come in with a one-hour workshop that forces employees to act in ways that are inconsistent with their needs. It has to come from a place of authenticity, or at least cultural internalisation, not something employees are complying with because it’s what the boss wants.”
Kindness has to be a real part of your company culture, and the best way to cultivate an authentic ethic of kindness in the office is for those in positions of authority to embody it themselves. As O’Neill points out, “the research on emotional contagion shows that people are particularly likely to catch the emotions of their leaders.” While this means leaders must be cautious not to sour the workplace mood, it also speaks to their power to change it for the better.
We want to help all those we work with become better leaders. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you take the next step on your leadership journey, get in touch with a member of the team today.
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