Kindness in the Workplace 101: How to Promote Kindness at Work

Promoting and practicing kindness in the workplace keeps employees engaged, reduces turnover rates, and improves the overall company culture. Employees who work in such environments are also more productive and experience lower stress and anxiety levels. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of creating a work environment that promotes kindness. We’ll also give you some practical ideas which you can use today to spread kindness at your workplace.

Why Kindness in the Workplace Matters

Fostering a culture of kindness at work is important for several reasons. Among other things, research suggests that happy employees are 13% more productive. In addition to performance benefits, a company culture that puts kindness at the forefront also boosts morale and minimizes negative side effects such as stress, anxiety, and burnout. 

Here are the five key benefits of cultivating kindness at work:

Boosts Productivity 

Kindness can energize your workforce. Employees often experience higher levels of energy after helping someone or simply by being kind to others. In return, higher energy levels can result in increased productivity which can directly impact the company’s bottom line. 

Lightens the Mood

A recent study shows that engaging in acts of kindness in the workplace boosts happiness. Happy employees are more engaged, focused, and less likely to quit. Kindness is also one of the best ways to prevent or reverse the effects of burnout

Reduces Stress & Anxiety

If you’re looking for ways to alleviate stress and anxiety at work, make an effort to help your employees be more kind toward one another. Kindness forms social support systems at work, which are critical to stress reduction. Even when stressors are present, employees’ reactions to them are diminished as a result of these positive workplace relationships.

It Spreads Quickly

Much like a chain reaction, when one person does something kind, more will follow. One experiment showed that when people observe acts of kindness, they are more likely to imitate them and spread the same positive energy to other colleagues or their family and friends. Those who spread and receive kindness also report feeling happier and more satisfied in life. 

Forges Stronger Team Relationships

Kindness brings people together and builds stronger teams capable of overcoming obstacles faster and easier. Actively promoting kindness at work builds trust and facilitates positive connections, which leads to the development of stronger personal bonds among employees.  

6 Ways of Showing Kindness in the Workplace

Showing kindness doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. You can spread kindness with a simple gesture like a big smile or being more positive in your interactions with others.

Here are six examples of kindness in the workplace you can start encouraging today:

1. Put on a Smile

The truth is, work isn’t always a walk in the park. This is especially true if you work in an industry that is highly competitive and stressful. One of the easiest ways to spread kindness in the office is by smiling more. Smiling releases molecules that ward off stress and leave everyone feeling better than they did before.

2. Show Gratitude

Showing appreciation is a wonderful way to bring kindness into the workplace while boosting employees’ morale. Showing you’re grateful involves more than throwing a pizza party or handing out swag bags. Telling your staff you appreciate their hard work and dedication makes them feel worthy on a personal level which can boost loyalty and productivity.

3. Foster Meaningful Conversations

Teamwork is a cornerstone of any successful business. It’s important to remember that kindness builds the strong relationships necessary for effective teamwork. Fostering meaningful conversations by listening to your workforce and minding your words and tone goes a long way. Even when constructive criticism is necessary, consider doing it in a thoughtful way taking care not to make the other person feel insecure.

4. Prioritize Positivity

Having a positive outlook in stressful or negative situations is an effective way to champion kindness in the workplace. When workloads get heavy or hours feel long, making an effort to find a positive angle can help your team cope better in difficult times. Consequently, finding ways to inject positivity into your daily functions is paramount. For example, you could send a daily email with a positive message to the whole company. 

5. Check Your Vibe

If you’re in a leadership role, you set the mood. How you feel and act will spill over onto your team instantly. It’s also important to acknowledge and prepare for employees to struggle with their kindness mindset from time to time. Reinforce kindness at work by offering resources to those who may be struggling. This might include paid therapy sessions or offering a quiet, calming space in the office where employees can go to decompress.

6. Learn Everyone’s Name

Calling employees by their first name can increase satisfaction in the workplace. Using a person’s name shows them that you’re invested in your relationship with them. It also makes employees feel like people, rather than just a number on your production report. 

Examples of Random Acts of Kindness at Work 

Your efforts to create a more positive work environment by spreading kindness don’t have to cost you a cent. Studies show that random and spontaneous acts of kindness create a domino effect. That means that one simple gesture can resonate throughout your workforce. 

Consider these ideas when thinking of how to spontaneously promote kindness at work:

  • Writing a letter of encouragement
  • Bringing treats to share with your colleagues
  • Taking your team out for lunch
  • Writing encouraging messages on sticky notes
  • Handing out care packages
  • Remembering and acknowledging employees’ birthdays
  • Putting your phone away when speaking to employees
  • Making a fresh pot of coffee

Take the Next Step

Whether you want to boost morale, foster better productivity, or reduce turnover rates, kindness has to be at the center of everything you do. Though large gestures like hosting employee luncheons or giving out bonuses count as kindness, there are more subtle and less expensive ways to show your employees that you value kindness. 

Organizing team building events that are designed to encourage your team to spread kindness at work and in the community is a great start. TeamBonding offers highly engaging and dynamic events that are all about positivity and forging stronger bonds between employees.

Check out our diverse portfolio of team building events to find the one that best fits your team dynamic. You can’t go wrong because at the center of each one of our events is positivity, love, and kindness.

Anna Webber

Team Contributor


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