What is kindness at work?

We have seen unlimited kindness from our communities in recent times. 

photo @chriscurry92 via unsplash

“If you can be anything, be kind”

“If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all”

“Work hard, be kind”

The internet is littered with posts and pictures about #kindness which is a wonderful thing. I want more of it. Lately though, as we creep towards buildings reopening and employers beginning to ask staff to come back to work, I have been asking myself, what does kindness in the work place really look like and what steps do organisational leaders need to put in place to foster a culture of kindness? 

As so many of us return to work, either at home, in our workplace or a combination of the two, or maybe we never left the work place, kindness is an underrated quality I think many of us would like to know was a priority at work,  along with other values like honesty and fairness – but what does this actually look like?  

My colleagues are gloriously kind – I REALLY LUCKED OUT – they welcomed me into the team with a mug with a “D” on it that matched theirs. We have tea breaks together, we smile and laugh and I think we are pretty honest with each other and do a lot of listening.

My question really is what does kindness look like across a whole organisation? Is it pockets of people being nice to each other, is it the leadership of an organisation walking the floor, reading the room, giving everyone the afternoon off because its been a really busy week? Is it changing all the new all staff coffee break on Zoom to a kindness break where we can chat about things that have made us smile that week?

What is kindness at work and how do we bring the kindness we have shown our communities with us into our workplaces?

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