Be Kind to Your Employees, They Will Thank You For It
Be Kind to Your Employees, They Will Thank You For It By Isabel Dimaranan
We all know how important it is to recruit the right talent for your company. Employees are our greatest asset. They’re the minds that run the corporate machine, and the best of them keep our company on top. So, once we have them in our nest, how do we ensure that they stay?
As one of our favorite CEOs, Richard Branson, says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Managers need to do their part in order to keep employees at their best, but it’s not always an easy feat. A large global survey of employee attitudes toward management suggests that a whopping 82% of people don’t trust their boss. Another staggering statistic is that over 50% of employees quit their jobs because of their managers. If treated improperly, even the best employees disengage and lose their potential. This in turn leads to higher turnover rates, which can cost us greatly.
How can you engage your employees and prove that you’re trustworthy as a leader? There are many ways, but let’s focus on one simple solution that’s often overlooked.
Kindness. It doesn’t cost a dime to be kind to your employees, and your company will benefit from it in more ways than imagined.
According to findings from The Energy Project and the Harvard Business Review, the three leadership actions that impacted employee performance the most were treating employees with respect, recognizing and appreciating them, and being positive and optimistic.
Exercising kindness can produce positive results in both our personal and work lives. It encourages people to see us as trustworthy and genuine individuals. When we instill kindness to motivate our employees, it can have an even greater reach. If you treat your employees with kindness and respect, your employees will feel valued, inspired, and are more likely to engage in open communication with their leaders. As a CEO, you reap the benefits of kindness by creating a more connected and reliable workforce, while setting up a legacy for a positive work culture.
If you’re not yet convinced, here are a few points on why kindness is key:
1) When you exercise kindness, it becomes second nature to praise people for a job well done. As a leader, it is your job to set an example for the rest. When you begin to deliberately treat your employees with kindness, you will be surprised how often your team will inspire you on an everyday basis. In the same study by The Energy Project, employees who felt recognized and appreciated by their leader reported 58% higher engagement and a 109% higher likelihood to stay with the organization. The next time your team reaches an important goal, try vocalizing how each member helped accomplish it.
2) We can learn to value our strengths when others acknowledge it. We often forget to be kind to ourselves. An accomplishment gone unnoticed might not look like an accomplishment at all. Additionally, if an employee is only being criticized for what they aren’t doing right, it can disparage them from seeing any room for improvement. Simply acknowledging that an employee did something right can boost morale and set your team members up well for future good work.
3) Have you heard of the phrase, Kindness is contagious? The saying suggests that one act of kindness can generate a ripple effect for others to do the same. At KIND, CEO Daniel Lubetzky encourages his employees to be kind to others by having his team carry around “Kindness cards,” so that they can reward others for their act of benevolence. When you perform an act of kindness, you are setting an example for an ongoing web of altruism. Instilling ways for employees to be kind to each other encourages collaboration and makes coming to work something to look forward to.
Now that you know the benefits of kindness, where do you start? Kindness doesn’t have to be shown in the form of extravagant work parties or bonuses for everyone. You can surprise your employees with simple acts of everyday kindness. Offering to help an employee when they are falling short on a project (or if you don’t have enough time, directing them to someone who can help) or stopping to ask how their day is going are both examples of kindness.