Through the deprivation of meaningful interactions and face-to-face communication, many employees do not have the wherewithal to maintain the motivation and passion necessary for peak production. It can be quite the challenge to garner the encouragement necessary to work through new challenges while certain COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. The inconvenience behind scheduling social and business interactions is often exhausting, and the timing does not always work for everyone. However, despite the attacks on team chemistry, simple ‘check-ins’ and uplifting words can reassure transformed job performance.

Don’t underestimate the power kindness can have in the workplace. Prioritize kindness to establish a culture of gratitude that boosts productivity and facilitates success through these strategic outputs:

Employee Recognition

As a low-cost, high-impact strategy, publicly recognizing work anniversaries, birthdays and visually demonstrating appreciation for your team members plays a tremendous role in enhancing team morale, unity, and productivity. Our natural feelings of self-worth are always there deep down, but sometimes just need to be confirmed to reap the benefits. Providing recognition, whether in a leadership position or not, will allow your co-workers to feel more fulfilled and confident in their work. As with any action, showing your gratefulness sets the standard for employee interaction (even if remote) that will reciprocate to other team members and to you.

Random Acts of Kindness

Research from the Journal of Economic Psychology suggests that volunteering or buying a small, thoughtful gift for someone is tied to improved mental health and happiness. Whether it is through contributions of your time, money, or encouraging words, completing acts of kindness will shape how the world views you and, more importantly, how you view yourself. While the longstanding impact of friends and family’s support is unlikely comparable, the personalization between co-workers cannot be overlooked. You do not need to have a relationship with an individual for your kindness to benefit both of you. Even the subtlest of efforts in casual interactions, such as a friendly ‘hello’ or a genuine smile paired with a ‘how are you doing’ can positively impact our moods.

A recent study from Inc revealed that completing acts of kindness is linked to increased energy, calmness, optimism, lower blood pressures, and general well-being. When you exhibit unconditional kindness, you develop a critical strength in developing relationships through integrity.

Sincere Feedback

Thwarting the psychological barriers of providing honest observation, complementary or not, is an anxiety-inducing experience. As a result, we assume the recipient is encountering a similar discomfort, but that is rarely the case. When you see one of your team members is struggling, support them in finding a solution. By delivering constructive and positive feedback thoughtfully, you pave the way for improved performance and happy and loyal employees. Providing this feedback will:
 Clarify expectations
 Inspire reflection and learning
 Increase employee engagement
 Affirm successes
 Identify needs
 Build confidence
 Shape company culture
 Strengthen job performance
 Improve leaders’ effectiveness

How To Be Kind

Nothing is too small to make an impact. Appreciate and compliment kindness when you see it, and it will infuse into your culture. Be intentional in sharing kind words and recognize the importance of being responsive and invested in what others have to say. Showing kindness to others can be carried from as simple an action as opening a door for someone to assisting a co-worker with an approaching deadline. Here are a few other simple ways you can exhibit kindness today:
 Ask someone to coffee or lunch.
Share an entertaining link to someone it made you think of.
 Practice active listening.
 Bring in donuts or bagels for your team.

Are you operating on a solely remote basis? Take the time to send an email or text that acknowledges an employee’s contributions or give them a quick phone to ask how they are doing. 

Wrap Up

When your company facilitates and prioritizes kindness, you successfully establish a culture of teamwork and innovation, and best of all… It’s FREE! Kindness begets increased productivity, improved mental health, and reduced stress levels, but only when your knowledge accompanies action. Lead by example by showing gratitude, writing thank-you notes, recognizing hard work, and providing the occasional tangible token of appreciation. 

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