“I often wonder why people do not make more of the marvelous power there is in kindness. It is the greatest lever to move the hearts of men that the world has ever known–greater by far than anything that mere ingenuity can devise or subtlety suggest. Kindness is the kingpin of success in life; it is the prime factor in overcoming friction and making the human machinery run smoothly”
I’ve been tracking the Gallup research on the state of the American workplace for more than ten tears now and the data continues to sadden me. Seventy percent of Americans consistently remain emotionally disconnected from their workplaces resulting in an estimated $450 billion loss in productivity. It’s not that we don’t know how to engage the hearts and minds of employees but the heart remains a frontier that too few organizations want to capture for some reason. Any thoughts on why? Alarmingly it appears that Millennials have the lowest employee engagement levels of any generation at work. What makes them unique do you think? Volumes have been written on the critical roles that managers play and that every interaction they have with an employee has the potential to positively influence engagement and inspire discretionary effort.
Colin Powell contributes: “Every person in an organization has value and wants that value recognized .Everyone needs appreciation and reinforcement. Taking care of employees is perhaps the best form of kindness.”
What are some practical ways that each of us can show kindness in our workplaces? At one of your staff meetings get this topic on the agenda and knock it around for a while. Draw out ideas from those who are too reserved to regularly contribute their ideas. Please add your thoughts to those that I’ve recorded below:
- Be intentional in encouraging and complimenting colleagues. Warm them with your smile.
- Send letters of recognition and appreciation. Resist email. Handwritten cards/letters are much more meaningful.
- Volunteer your time to lift the load for a struggling employee
- Be polite and courteous when emailing, as you would if you were speaking directly
- Perform an act of kindness for someone you don’t get along with
- Team-build while serving with colleagues in your community e.g. Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army
Thanks for reflecting with me. As a result may our light shine a wee bit brighter!!