Kindness Matters, you hear and see that phrase every time you turn your head. Parents say it to their children, teachers say it to their students and clergy say it to their parishioners. How often do board members say it to the leaders of the organization? How often do executives say it to their managers? How often do managers say it to their front-line employees? And more importantly, how often do the leaders of an organization actually live by those words?
Tough decisions must be made in an organization every single day. And those decisions sometimes result in actions that cause stress, tension and even pain. Laying off employees for a workforce reduction or disciplining an employee or changing direction in the middle of a project – all those situations create stress. But every single action, every single conversation can be done with kindness and fairness. An employee can be laid off or even terminated with their dignity. Leaders can choose to be kind in tough situations.
Kindness matters shouldn’t just be a phrase but it should be a value that leaders emulates daily in their professional life. I believe that when a leader demonstrates kindness, they are also creating a more positive and happy work environment.
Be kind to your employees. Be kind to your employees on the good days, the great days and even the bad days. Be kind when your sales team exceeds their goals. Be kind when your sales team misses their goals. I’m not saying to not address poor performance. In fact, I believe strongly that poor performance needs addressed quickly and directly. With kindness.
Business is business. It’s not personal. Goals and objectives must be met. But no one ever said you can’t be kind while you are accomplishing your business goals. You might even find that kindness will help you achieve those goals!
In 2015, a Pew analysis of Labor Department data estimated that the average American works 1,811.16 hours per year. That is a lot of hours to show kindness to the people around you.