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The Importance of Employer Kindness

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on September 24, 2020 at 12:22 PM

When was the last time you did something kind?

We’re not talking about something you needed to do out of obligation. We’re talking about something you did simply because it’s a considerate thing to do for someone else. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to go to work and feel respected, whether they’re an intern on their first day or a VP going on their 10-year anniversary with a company.

Employer kindness makes a difference in your workplace, no matter how small. Here’s why.

The Power of Simple Gestures

They say it’s the little things. When it comes to workplace kindness, though, the small things really do make the world of difference.

One study focusing on bus drivers in China examined how workers’ wellbeing was affected by receiving a piece of fresh fruit in their lunches. Bus driving is a physically and emotionally draining job, and while employers typically distribute lunches, they don’t include fresh fruit.

Surveys of participants found that depression was significantly down by the conclusion of the experiment, while the participants’ sense of self-efficacy and confidence in completing certain tasks went up.

And this from a simple gesture: an apple or banana in a worker’s lunch each day, costing the employer no more than 73 cents extra per meal.

Kindness and Work-Related Stress

Why does kindness matter so much at work?

Well, for one thing, kindness has a significant impact on work-related stress.

Stress is now a chronic workplace plague for many workers, whether it’s due to their boss, disliking their job, feeling like they have to work longer and harder just to maintain their current income, or even just a sense of powerlessness.

Kindness won’t necessarily make someone fall in love with their job or make up for long work hours, but it does help to counter some of the work-related stress by showing workers that they are valued.

Building a Culture of Respect

In fact, workplace kindness goes hand-in-hand with building a culture of respect.

All workers want to be treated with respect. They want to feel like their opinions, rights, wishes, and concerns are valued by colleagues and superiors. More importantly, workers do a better job when they know that they are valued by those around them.

Taking the time to do something kind for employees, even a small gesture like offering fresh fruit regularly, shows your employees that you’re thinking about them outside of pure productivity. You’re thinking about them as people, which means you’re also thinking about how to treat them properly.

Does kindness replace a promotion or a raise? No. But it does help your employees feel connected to their office and their work, and it makes them more inclined to stay at a job.

After all, it’s hard to find a workplace that genuinely shows that it cares about its employees. So when you find one, you’re probably going to hold onto it.

Promoting Kindness at Work

At the end of the day, kindness at work doesn’t have to be about grand gestures. It’s about deciding to treat everyone in your workplace with dignity and doing what you can to make their day a little brighter.

So if you need somewhere to start, start with respect. Your workplace will be stronger for it.

Want more tips on how to make your workplace better than ever? Make sure to check out our blog for more great posts like this one.

Topics: Safety Culture, Human Resources, Professional Development

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