The Secret to Improving Workplace Culture: Kindness

Over the years, I have been amazed to see the difference workplace culture can have on a person’s ability to succeed. An environment that fosters fear and incivility, versus one that is based on kindness and respect, will never result in a positive culture.

There are numerous books, workshops and speakers on the subject of management: how to increase the bottom line, improve workplace climate, create better customer service, etc. Yet, promoting a kind workplace as opposed to one of fear gets over looked. According to an article published in April 2015 in Work and Career, fear-based work cultures produce significant levels of stress in their employees and have 46 percent higher health care expenditures than similar organizations that are not fear based.

52% percent of employees who worked in fear-based, stress-induced cultures report the workplace led them to look for a new job and/or decline a promotion. So not only do these business owners have less healthy—and happy—employees and a lower bottom-line, they could end up losing the talent of valuable employees, and spending more on healthcare, hiring and training.

Seriously? Why is this happening when kindness has been proven to be effective?

For example, let’s say you have worked really hard on a proposal or project for days, given it a lot of thought and presented it to your boss. Your boss says “This is not acceptable. Where did you get your degree? I thought you could do better than this!”

Now suppose your boss responds with, “Great job! I can tell you worked really hard on this. I like some of the points you made; do you mind if I make a few suggestions?”

Which response is going to motivate you to be excited about redoing the proposal and presenting it again?

A message to supervisors...take the kind road.

Employees...speak up and don’t allow fear tactics and incivility to win over kindness and respect.