Why Showing Kindness To Employees Is Not A Sign Of Weakness
“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” – Pubilius Syrus
In the fast-paced business world, the stereotypical leader is often seen as the one who hires and fires, who displays a lack of compassion, and rules the coop with an iron first.
Leaders aren’t typically seen as easily approachable because many of them, perhaps subconsciously, believe that it will somehow weaken their status.
But here’s why being kind is proving just the opposite.
Kind leaders genuinely care about the welfare of others
When looking at the definition of kind, we see that it means to show a friendly, generous, and considerate nature. Qualities you would surely want to associate with your friends and family, and so why not yourself, your employees, and your managers too?
A survey of 500 U.S. employees published in the book ‘What People Want’ by Terry Bacon reveals what matters most to employees - honesty, fairness and trust were the top three most desirable qualities cited.
When employees are working in an environment that promotes positive relationships with their leaders, they’re more likely to show the same characteristics towards their teams and customers, boosting positive relationships and working environments all around.
Kind leaders are authentic
Authentic in the way that they are transparent, approachable and trustworthy. Characteristics that all employees would wish to see in their leaders. To be kept abreast of what’s happening and have clear communication lines that they can take at face value, instilling a sense of trust that should be present in all workplaces.
Kind leaders are more flexible
They take into account the needs of others, whether it be their teams, clients, or suppliers. Being flexible and adapting to various situations allows your team to face rapidly changing environments with confidence. According to a study by leading flexible workspace provider IWG, in the past ten years, 83 percent of U.S. businesses have introduced a flexible workspace policy, or are planning to adopt one
Teams that are ready to take challenges head-on are valuable to all employers, as they can be relied on to make the right decisions and manage tasks no matter how difficult they may be.
Kindness causes a ripple effect
Being kind is an intentional act. It’s often not easy and requires determination to be consistently courteous and fairs. Employees that see the value in their leaders being considerate are more likely to act in the same manner. A study in the journal Emotion shows how kindness creates a positive ripple that affects the whole workplace culture.
Kind leaders will still need to set healthy boundaries to ensure lines aren’t crossed. Being a kind leader doesn’t mean that you won’t have to make tough decisions, fire people, or make employees redundant. Its strength lies in the fact that you consider your employees as human beings when delivering the outcomes, earning higher respect and loyalty in the workplace.
“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt