As already mentioned in the previous blog, kindness is not always seen as a priority in the workplace. In fact, many times, kindness is considered a weakness. However, kindness is actually a show of strength. Only the strong can truly be kind (Urban, 2018). Furthermore, there are various benefits of being kind at work, for employees, for their colleagues and for the workplace itself.
So here are a few acts of kindness which will help us work in a better environment and make our working hours much more fruitful and enjoyable.
- Help a colleague in need
We all carry baggage in life and so every little support helps. In fact, when one feels supported by their peers, they can identify more with the group and feel more empowered.
- Give compliments
We all love compliments, especially on those days which are a bit tougher. However, always be tactful and respectful towards the other person.
- Bring some yummy treats to share
Giving not only benefits those who receive, but also instils a sense of purpose and self-worth in the person doing the deed (Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2017) … and after all, nobody can resist something yummy!
- Recognise your colleagues’ successes
Since work is usually a competitive environment, complimenting colleagues for their well achieved tasks is often not easy. However, after hard work, compliments are always greatly appreciated.
- Offer to make tea or coffee
Oooooohhhh who doesn’t like a warm cuppa, especially in Winter J Such a simple act of kindness, but may make someone’s day.
- Help prevent your colleague from making a mistake
Try to be that supportive colleague in a work culture which is usually considered very competitive. Many times preventing such mistakes is not only beneficial to the individual, but also to the whole organisation.
- Stop others from spreading rumours
Negativity breeds negativity, so let’s be the ones spreading joy and positivity rather than creating a more difficult environment. This has to start from us refraining from being judgemental and trying to see the positive in others.
- Use your ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’
Such things are common courtesy, so please remember to use them!
Feeling valued by other people is a fundamental human need. The individual is part of their community, so actions that focus only on the individual will not be as effective as those encouraging relationships with others (Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2017).
Genuine kindness is something that we do because we can, not because we should. And remember… kindness is contagious! By being kind, we bring out positive qualities in others (Urban, 2018). In fact, in research conducted in 2018 employees who were treated kindly at work repaid it by being 278% more generous to co-workers compared to their counterparts who were not (Chancellor et al, 2018).
If you would like more ideas of how to be more kind at work or in your everyday life, here is a link with possible small daily acts of kindness:
Chancellor J, Margolis S, Jacobs Bao K, Lyubomirsky S. (2018). Everyday Prosociality in the Workplace: The Reinforcing Benefits of Giving, Getting, and Glimpsing. Emotion.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (2017) Five Ways to Wellbeing: A Best Practice Guide https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/assets/Five-Ways-downloads/mentalhealth-5waysBP-web-single-2015.pdf
Uban E. (2018). The Remarkable Benefits of Kindness at Work retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/remarkable-benefits-kindness-work-erin-urban
Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.