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Is kindness the key to employee engagement?

April 23, 2020 Employee rewards  |   Rewards strategy

Kindness is always fashionable and always welcome.

“Kindness is a behaviour marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others. It is considered a virtue and is recognised as a value in many cultures and religions.” Thank you Wikipedia, but did you know that kindness is seldom included as part of an organisation’s mission or values?

Kindness is an essential ingredient, not only in life, but also in the world of work. Kindness goes a long way to producing dedicated and engaged employees, which is good news for your bottom line because an engaged employee is a productive one. By analysing the responses garnered from thousands of employee engagement surveys, thought leaders in the field of human resources have re-examined conventional thinking and come to the following conclusions about the importance of kindness:

“Kindness is not always seen as a priority in the workplace, especially as it can contrast with the traditional image of a successful entrepreneur. Haven't we been told that nice people finish last?"
- Dr Pragya Agarwal; Making kindness a priority in the workplace.

We’ve all heard that one and conventional thinking would have us believe that if you throw enough human misery at something, you can accomplish anything. After all, the pyramids were built by slaves, weren’t they? (Spoiler alert!) They weren’t.

Recently, there has been a shift in attitude. Employees are no longer seen as drones or automatons, but as living, breathing human beings with desires and aspirations, and above all … feelings.

“There has been a flood of new studies on employee experience, all of which have common takeaways: People want meaningful jobs, fair pay, transparency, growth and, most of all, kindness.”
– Josh Bersin; Kindness – What’s missing in a great employee experience.

On top of this, contemporary science demonstrates that kindness has both physical and mental benefits. It can reduce stress, lower anxiety and increase energy. Some studies even suggest that it can extend your lifespan - Christine Carter of UC Berkeley found that people aged 55 years or more, who volunteered for at least two organisations, were 44% less likely to die early.

Practice kindness every day 

Kindness is catchy, too. It’s one of those situations where it is just as good to give as it is to receive. Based on the above, we can see that kindness truly is an indispensable ingredient in building corporate cultures. A positive culture creates the bedrock that produces engaged employees who will consistently deliver top performance.

When it comes to building on the foundations of an engaged workforce, you can get a lot further with a kind word and a reward, than just a kind word. Showing kindness is a way of recognising the humanity in others and by adding a reward, you amplify that recognition.

Find out how to use rewards to reinforce company values in Rewards and company values: a match made in heaven

Rewards = Kindness manifested

The right rewards are the ideal way to show just how important your customers, channel partners and employees are to your brand and your business. Rewards increase growth, help retain customers and improve brand reputation. For employers, rewards are key to creating a quality culture. You can read more about the neuroscience of rewards, it’s a fascinating subject, but suffice it to say that putting the right reward in the right hands at exactly the right time is what you need to be doing.

Make kindness a habit

By making kindness a mission and including it in your organisation’s values, you will be creating an environment that not only motivates your employees to perform and keep striving for new heights, but also fosters professional development, loyalty and retains your top talent. Customers in turn will greatly appreciate the acknowledgement of their humanity and will cherish the rewards they receive for their loyalty. Keep kindness top-of-mind and remember that one of the easiest ways to demonstrate kindness is with rewards.

At GET Rewards, our team of strategists, product specialists, logistics experts and support staff work to ensure your rewards experience is skilful and seamless – everything you need to demonstrate kindness and create a better world for all.

 

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