When we consider serious business and thriving entrepreneurs, traditionally, Kindness is not the first trait that comes to mind. Corporate language is often depicted as aggressive and cutthroat – television and movies show us that the biggest, baddest, most relentless bulldozer types climb their way to the top. This archetype is difficult to move past as a culture, but recent science in happiness, kindness, and even business efficiency have found that incorporating a purposeful culture of kindness is not only beneficial for brand perception and marketing, but also employee retention, loyalty, and overall business success.
Many of us will have heard what happened at Better – leaving everyone to wonder why they didn’t do better. Local businesses in different areas of Canada banded together to create a “Not Amazon” campaign as a support structure and a positivity-infused-micro-protest against the massive company’s success during the pandemic, while many small businesses were shuttered. News from the gaming world seeped into mainstream media when the floodgates opened on the negative culture and rampant misconduct that was ignored and perpetuated from the very top. These stories are not unique, but in today’s world, consumers are demanding more of the brands they engage with.
Things are changing – consumer expectations regarding the alignment of values are more critical than ever for business success.
We may never want to hear the word “Zoom” again but during the pandemic, recognizing the need for more than 40-minutes of video meeting time, Zoom suspended the limits for their free services for students. Many businesses boosted spending on employee mental health, and we saw incredible wellness companies grow out of necessity, with more people than ever seeking support in various ways for their own wellbeing.
We see the same pattern of the increasing importance of kindness reflected internally in businesses. Throughout the pandemic, the importance of cultivating a kind work environment was quickly and loudly brought to our attention as companies that succeeded in this realm found significantly increased employee and customer loyalty. Companies that struggled to incorporate kindness saw a tangible negative impact on employee retention and their bottom line.
Our conclusion: for growing business success, kindness is not a luxury. Use every business interaction as an opportunity for cultivating kindness and watch as the effects roll in!
- Take coffee to someone.
- Open the door and give an enthusiastic “thank you” when someone does the same for you.
- Vocalize your appreciation for others’ contributions in a meeting or on a project.
- Spontaneously help a stressed co-worker with their deadline.
- Give your time as freely as you are able.
- Be willing to listen first and ask, “how can I help?”