4 Ways to Practice Kindness at Work: Small Gestures to Transform Your Day

By Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified

Sometimes, we think that kindness at work is soft. We are more likely to reflect on “how to be more productive” rather than “how to be kinder” at work. We often feel greater pressure to achieve more – performance targets and tangible outcomes – rather than the meaningful connection and relationships required to meet those targets as a team.

Compassion in the Complexity and Chaos

It’s not that we’re bad people! With one of the most complex business environments of our lifetime – AI, wearable technology, inflation, workforce shortages, supply chain issues, political changes, global unrest – it seems like a pipedream to focus on the people rather than the products, output, and agility required to keep going.

But who wants to keep going in a state of lack, strain, and not being enough?

If the world is more complex than ever, and work feels more daunting every day, let’s drill down what success, accomplishment, confidence and connection can look like in the simplest, easiest and most efficient ways possible.

Making Kindness, Recognition and Compassion Simple, Satisfying and Sustainable

Here are a few tips I’ve shared with my audiences and online friends lately, and in case you missed it, here are the highlights. These are ways to reflect on kindness, recognition and compassion and put them into practice in simple, satisfying and sustainable ways.

Recognition of Self

You know how they say you cannot give what you don’t have? I recently challenged childcare professionals to create a greatness business card, writing down 5 things that are you at your best, because recognition starts with you. By having this card to pull out any time you feel self-doubt, critical or unsure, you not only ground yourself in your greatness, but the practice over time will also help you to combat burnout and hack away at perfectionism. Every hard-working professional deserves to see their greatness rather than only seeing where they are ‘not enough.’

Recognition of Others

Every one of us can make someone’s day in seconds. How? A simple text. I challenged a group of healthcare leaders to do the text compliment challenge. Some responses were sweet, “You don’t know how much I needed to hear this right now,” and some were funny, “Okay…what do you want?” (from the spouses LOL!) Others were grateful, “I think you’re great too.” Send a text right now and see the impact you can make in 10 seconds or less.

Recognition of Heroes

A scrumptious group of call management leaders were 100% game when I asked them if they’d help me give a huge shout-out for Respiratory therapists. Without me even having to finish my sentence, they were a ‘heck yes’ to jumping up with a group cheer and appreciation message. When I sent that to RTs, and then the CSRT (Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists) shared it with their members for RT Week, I heard that our amazing, dedicated, passionate RTs across Canada had warm fuzzy feelings all over.

Recognition of Complainers

If the text challenge wasn’t enough, this same group of scrumptious long-term care leaders were asked to consider that the two most engaged groups of people in their teams were those who complain and those who cheerlead. The next time someone complains, ask a question (maybe even with a smile), “What might better look like?”. It honours the fact they are engaged, and you want them to stay that way. They clearly trust you enough to be honest, so be curious about the greatness behind the complaint. One question of curiosity makes you less triggered by the negativity and reminds them you care about what they have to say. You can be neutral with negativity, which allows you to be curious rather than defensive.

Recognition as a KPI

We all acknowledge that we see a lack of kindness all around us—on social media, in grocery stores, during meetings, in schools, and in the media—so what if we could make kindness a KPI? We all know what gets appreciated gets repeated, so what if kindness could amplify performance and potential? Kindness is the new KPI in a multitude of powerful ways.

The New KPI Key Performance Indicators Revisited Kind People Include Kind People Intervene Kind People Inspire Kind People Inform Kind People Influence Kind People Interact Kind People Improve Kind People Involve

Click the image to download your copy.


Kindness Is The Best “To Do” on the List

With an already huge to-do list, it might seem like you don’t need yet another thing to add. However, I hope you’ve seen how this doesn’t take time; rather, it gives you energy, enthusiasm, and a deeper connection (to self and others!).

It’s so easy to make someone’s day, and who among us doesn’t want to? Yet, we might not know where to start. I hope this has given you a few ideas of how you can start and amplify acts of kindness. Imagine what 5 minutes a day of kindness would do for your and others’ mental and physical health, quality of relationships, and collaboration at work.

Can we bring the power of recognition to your association, staff, leadership team, or community? We’re all in. Drop us a line by commenting below or contact us HERE.

Kind on, friends!

Here are a few more kindness appetizers for you to snack on. Let us know which you found the most tasty:

Disclaimer/Humble Brag Moment: 100% of this content was human-generated (by us folks here at Greatness Magnified). We are committed to authorship integrity and will inform you what percent, if any, is AI-generated.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

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Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

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