The Ripple Effect of Kindness at work
The Ripple Effect Of Kindness
What effect do your line managers have on your teams?
A lot has been written about the effect of “bad managers” at work.
We’re not gonna in to that.
What happens if we instead give the spotlights to those line managers who WANT positive things at work?
Those who are starting to become more open to change, and those who continuously are trying to improve for their team members.
What would happen if you spent a lot more time on those?
Would it create a ripple effect at work, and in your company culture?
What is a ripple effect you might ask?
It’s simply the continuing and spreading results of an event or action.
So it’s a situation in which an event or action has an effect on something, which then has an effect on something else, as the Oxford dictionary defines it.
If we focus on positive ripple effects at work, it’s situations like where a line manager publicly gives praise for a job well done at the daily shift meeting.
Or any random kindness at work that hits home.
Because it feels GOOD when someone tells you you’ve done a great job, right?
Or when your line manager knows that this week your wife suddenly got pulled in to do night shifts and CARES enough to ask how you and your family are, a few days later.
Is there anything I can do? Can we help?
Chances are the manager can’t do much.
But just the fact that he or she is asking creates a nice feeling. They care enough to ask.
How can your line managers make someone’s workday better?
Kindness is a skill that we can learn over time, Robert Puff wrote over at Psychology Today.
How can you make someone’s workday better?
A little act of kindness doesn’t necessarily come with a price tag.
It costs so little to take a moment to stop and ask someone how they’re doing lately.
When it comes to employee surveys, improving employee morale, etc, many managers focus on big ambitious projects.
And they’re so busy asking for more feedback and preparing future plans, that meanwhile, they forget about the person in front of them. There’s just more planning. And no action.
Meanwhile, frustration grows among your teams.
How about starting to just ‘dig where you stand’?
- Related: How to be a better leader
Kindness at work: 7 ideas when it doesn’t come naturally
Challenge your line managers to do ONE of these 7 Acts of Kindness before the end of next week.
Ask them to tell you which they chose.
Set the bar low so they don’t feel too pressured.
(Chances are everybody will NOT do this either way. Change takes time.)
Here we go, let’s start that ripple effect of kindness:
1. Ask someone how their day is going
Ask anyone! It doesn’t mean you have to stop and chat for ages or become their best friend. Ask it like you mean it. Perhaps you’ll learn something new?
What do you have to lose? Don’t worry about doing it the “wrong” way. And it doesn’t make you “soft”, that attitude only shows you’re stuck in the ’90s hehe.
2. Find a new employee
Ask how they’re getting settled, and introduce yourself. And perhaps offer your help?
3. Java time
Buy a random coworker a coffee and have a mini conversation. Non-work topics are better, the goal is to get to know more people where you work.
Lucky enough to have free coffee at work? Hand out a few sweet treats. (YES indeed, it’s trendy to be healthy at work but hey, fruit and coffee just don’t mix.)
4. Who’s birthday is coming up this week?
Say congrats! It could also be a work-related birthday, someone who’s been working with your company for 5 years, etc.
5. Smile at someone in the corridor
(Just not in a creepy way, yeah?)
6. Catch someone doing something right
…and say thanks, or give them praise. We tend to focus on cathing coworkers doing something negative, or wrong.
What about Jorge who just filled up the coffee machine? That’s not part of his job description but hey, he did it either way. Or give public praise to someone who nails your company’s safety measures at work, day after day.
7. Help someone
OK yes, it could be just to open the door for someone. But try to take it one step further.
Perhaps someone is a bit behind in their schedule at work? Or stuck with a particular problem at one of your machines?
Ask how you can help.
The Random Act Of Kindness foundation also has more ideas and examples.
Compassion for our fellow colleagues is what binds us all together at work.
When you’re kind to someone at work, that person is much more likely to be kinder to someone else at work.
This is how the ripple effect of kindness kicks off.
The more you practice being kind, the better you get.
And it also feels good to be kind!
What comes to mind when you see the image below?
Oh yes, it’s happening!
In a workplace study, the research showed that receivers paid their acts of kindness forward with 278%.
The Ripple Effect of Kindness at work
Positivity is contagious.
Employees who feel good about themselves, and feel good about work, are more likely to bring that feeling home to their family and friends.
Healthy employees increase your company’s bottom line through higher productivity and efficiency.
And with today’s scenario with COVID still causing stress, burnout, and mental health issues, we could all do with some more ripple effect of kindness in our lives.
PS. November 13th is World Kindness Day.
Got something planned?
What’s the impact of your leadership actions?
Hej! I’m Rebecca, cofounder at Celpax. We manufacture simple tech tools to improve workplaces. And build a better society while at it. Let’s talk more ideas for ripple effects at work on Linkedin?