Creating a culture of compassion in the workplace is where many successful companies are placing their attention today, and rightfully so. Researchers have cited studies that point to the power of a kinder workplace as having profound effects on morale, productivity, and, ultimately, the financial bottom line.
Compassion involves an authentic desire to help others and having a positive effect on others elicits a positive emotional response. When we treat ourselves and others compassionately, we tend to come together in a contributory manner that raises the group to greater heights. With this, bonds are formed, trust is established, and a willingness to collaborate on projects and shared visions becomes the driving force behind our intentions.
When people come together in a supportive environment, and they feel safe from competition, there is less fear of failure, which results in more remarkable fortitude. These are helpful qualities to have in any work environment.
Help bring more compassion to your workplace with these 5 tips.
1. Be an example of a compassionate leader
The best leaders are those who lead from the heart, those who can inspire others through kindness, flexibility, support, and empowerment. When you treat people with compassion, they never forget, and, as a result, you develop people who want to work for you because you care.
2. Check the motivation behind your decisions, your words, and your behavior
Always check in with your thoughts before they become words or actions to be sure your motivation is pure. If you catch yourself about to say or do something that isn't coming from a place of integrity, or if it's untrue, unkind, or unnecessary, think before you act. Every word and action generate a reaction. Be sure your ripple effect is positive and one that promotes a culture of compassion.
3. Organize team-building activities
Take the lead or ask for a volunteer to set up monthly or quarterly team-building activities for employees. It can be anything from putting together softball teams to organizing a community clean-up or volunteering with an organization to feed the homeless. Ask employees to submit ideas and suggestions for creative and fun team-building exercises to make everyone feel included.
4. Encourage employees to practice conscious communication
Foster an atmosphere of conscious communication among employees and encourage people to engage in an open dialogue with one another. Co-workers who openly talk and share their thoughts and feelings with each other through truthful and heartfelt expression are more likely to work through challenges together. Teach employees how to give feedback in a way that inspires motivation for improvement rather than making someone feel wrong. Guide people to ask sincere questions and listen to one another with interest.
5. Design a compassion challenge to inspire daily acts of kindness
Make kindness fun. Create an in-office compassion challenge (e.g. "30 Days of Kindness") and get your team pumped up to do all of the above (and more) on a daily basis. Have a board or chart where everyone can see and feel the progress being made and consider awarding a grand prize to the person who performed the highest.
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." —Aesop