The Power of Kindness in the Workplace: Are there any downsides to Kindness in the Workplace?

Nov 07, 2023

Kindness is a fundamental human quality that can transform the way we interact with one another, both in our personal lives and at work. In the workplace, kindness has the potential to create a positive and productive environment, benefiting employees and businesses alike.

Kindness is so important, that there is actually a World Kindness Day, the origins are outlined the article World Kindness Day

However, like any virtue, there are times when excessive kindness can lead to unintended consequences. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of kindness in the workplace, discuss potential drawbacks, and provide examples of how kindness can impact business owners.
Benefits of Kindness in the Workplace

1. Enhanced Employee Well-being: When kindness is fostered in the workplace, employees often experience improved well-being. Simple acts of kindness, such as expressing gratitude, offering support, or showing empathy, can reduce stress and boost morale. This positive atmosphere can lead to lower turnover rates and increased job satisfaction.

2. Improved Collaboration: Kindness encourages teamwork and collaboration. Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to engage in open communication, share ideas, and work together effectively. As a result, projects tend to be more successful and innovative.

3. Increased Employee Engagement: Kindness can ignite a sense of purpose in employees. When they feel their work is valued and that their managers genuinely care about their success, they become more engaged, which can boost overall productivity and creativity.

4. Positive Company Culture: Kindness is contagious. When kindness is a part of the company culture, it tends to spread throughout the organization. This positive atmosphere can attract top talent and enhance the reputation of the business, which can have a long-lasting impact on its success.

5. Enhanced Customer Relations: A kind and considerate team can provide excellent customer service. Customers are more likely to be satisfied and loyal when they interact with employees who genuinely care about their needs.

Negative Consequences of Excessive Kindness

1. Difficulty with Decision-Making: Being excessively kind might make it challenging to make tough decisions, such as firing underperforming employees or reprimanding those who consistently violate company policies. Managers may hesitate due to a fear of hurting others' feelings.

2. Lack of Accountability: Overly kind leaders may tolerate poor performance or mistakes, which can lead to a decline in productivity and the overall quality of work. When there are no consequences for actions, employees may not take their responsibilities seriously.

3. Inefficiency and Missed Deadlines: Constantly accommodating employees' requests and being overly flexible can disrupt processes and hinder meeting deadlines. While flexibility is essential, excessive leniency may hinder task completion.

4. Unequal Treatment: When excessive kindness is shown to one employee but not to others, it can create resentment and conflict among the team. Employees may perceive favoritism, leading to a toxic work environment.

Examples of Kindness in the Workplace

1. Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work hours or remote work options to accommodate employees' personal needs can demonstrate kindness and improve work-life balance.

2. Mental Health Support: Providing resources and support for mental health, such as counseling services or flexible time off, shows a commitment to employee well-being.

3. Recognition and Appreciation: Recognizing and appreciating employees' efforts through regular feedback, bonuses, or public acknowledgments can foster a culture of kindness.

4. Conflict Resolution: Handling workplace conflicts with empathy and fairness can create a more harmonious and cooperative environment.

For business owners, kindness is a valuable asset when managed effectively. It can create a harmonious workplace, improve employee satisfaction, and ultimately lead to better business results. However, business owners should also be cautious about excessive kindness. They should find a balance between being compassionate and ensuring accountability to maintain a productive work environment.

Kindness in the workplace can bring numerous benefits, including enhanced employee well-being, improved collaboration, and a positive company culture. However, it's essential to strike a balance between being kind and maintaining accountability to prevent potential drawbacks. Business owners should foster kindness while also making tough decisions when necessary to achieve long-term success.

How Kindness was shown to me in the Workplace:

Many years ago I was the Director of Recruitment for a large company.  I had goals to meet, staff to manage and fires to put out.  Unfortunately, I was also going through a divorce with an infant at home.  To say I was stressed was just the tip of the iceberg.

At first I tried to hide and power through my feelings, but finally it got the best of me, and my work began to suffer.  I was tired and worn out and just didn't have the same energy to do my job.

Luckily my employer provided a great benefit that I still believe is so important to today - an Employee Assistance Program.  I was able to get the support I needed both at home and at work, and I was so grateful to have people helping me literally deal with my day to day struggles.

It is important for employers - big or small to show kindness to their employees.  The trick is to know when kindness is warranted, and is it helping the employee while at the same time balancing the needs to the business.

In today's world we could all use just a bit more kindness, understanding and empathy for our fellow people, it generally doesn't cost anything to smile, offer a word of support and be in the here and now when someone is struggling in the workplace.

If you would like more information about how you can be kind in the workplace, while still meeting your business needs, schedule a call with me and let's find your balance of just enough kindness, by clicking here!