According to Ahmed’s research findings “organisations who put kindness ahead of profits have employees who are 120% more likely to feel a sense of meaning and purpose in their current job, and 89% more likely to have a strong desire to think of new and innovative ideas.”
Being nice will only get you so far in building a positive work culture. When you’re nice, you can come across as charming and affable. Kindness on the other hand, involves actual interest and work.
3 pillars of leading with kindness
Always opt for honesty over politeness
Here’s one of the biggest differences between kindness and niceness: the latter isn’t helpful. Telling a flailing employee they’re doing a good job when they aren’t or failing to give them the right guidance for improvement—isn’t kind, because it ultimately doesn’t address the underlying problems that need to be dealt with.
Kindness is being honest in an assertive, caring way.
Don’t just listen, find solutions
Kindness means being helpful, and that involves finding solutions. If an employee let you know that they are struggling with feeling engaged while working from home, you don’t merely hear them out and tell them not to worry about it. You better set them up with a personal mentor and make new work policies related to Zoom meetings so that all employees – whether remote or in person – feel more included.
Lead with empathy and compassion
Niceness will not lay the solid foundation you need to keep your organization intact.
“Leaders need to collect data on what employees really care about rather than assuming they already understand,” write Harvard Business Review contributors, Mark Mortensen and Heidi K. Gardner.
The challenge in front of us is to not get so caught up in running a tight ship that we forget the invaluable one-on-one time with individual team members. How else can we successfully lead if we’re not fostering connections? Or steadily building rapport?
By Lucy Ng, SBC Writer