As a kindness coach in schools, I go into elementary rooms and share with children why kindness truly matters. We present a 45- minute workshop and then leave behind a monthly curriculum addition with an emphasis on 3 kind acts a week for a month as studies demonstrate these actions makes a difference in the pro-social values of a classroom.
But, does it matter for corporations? You bet your bottom dollar it does! Happier employees are great for business - studies show they have better health, feel more creative and are willing to work harder for their employers and teams. On a personal level, we all know being kind makes us feel good and on a biochemical level, here's what kindness can also do according to author and scientist David R. Hamilton: “It is believed that the good feeling we get when we are kind or helpful to another person is due to elevated levels of the brain's natural versions of morphine and heroin, which are known as endogenous opoids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, so we get a natural high, often referred to as "Helper's High."
As well, his research proves that acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth, which produces the hormone oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. Oxytocin helps reduce blood pressure, which in turn protects the heart, so, therefore, kindness can be said to be cardio-protective.
And, most importantly, for a corporate environment, kindness makes for better relationships. Showing kindness or doing a kind act for someone reduces the emotional distance between people. It's a bonding experience and it just makes a workplace a nicer place. We all enjoy working with people who seem to care about us and enjoy our company.
Emphasizing kindness and compassion in the workplace is a win-win for shareholders - happier people work harder, and, in turn increase productivity; for employees - caring companies usually mean employees enjoy going to work more, and isn't that important when most people spend more than 40 hours a week at their jobs.
To me, a corporate vision and mission should include a place for Kindness. In today's fast-paced, industrialized society where stress and anxiety levels are higher than ever, couldn’t we all use a little more compassion in our daily co-worker exchanges? And, that can happen when it’s emphasized from the leadership as a company's core value.
The international movement Random Acts of Kindness Week is taking place from February 10th to the 16th and it's a great way for businesses to look at emphasizing kind acts and boosting morale in the workplace.
I truly believe it actually makes good business sense to include this character trait in the office. If you’d like to ‘spread the kindness’ in your company during this week or any other time, please visit my site at: http:www.steffiblackcoaching.com/kindness-in-the-workplace.html