Small acts of kindness, generosity, and spontaneity can be powerful motivators for further action. A single act of humanity can snowball: the beneficiary performs two or three acts, and then each recipient performs another two or three acts of kindness. Quickly, you have exponential growth and a happier world. Now apply that to productivity in the workplace.
In closed systems like a workplace, the altruism of being kind and treating people with humanity creates a circular economy that feeds back into itself and can have powerful effects on productivity and culture. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
As a manager, leader, or entrepreneur, your knowledge and experience are valuable commodities for your colleagues. Mentorship used to be the norm in many professional settings - but it is increasingly rare to find formalized networks. Mentorship opportunities provide the classic benefits of stronger relationships across traditional hierarchies, and shared knowledge enables synergistic performance throughout the organization.
In this guise, mentorship need not be a formal relationship. Instead, it can be found in creating learning moments amongst your staff. Work towards a corporate culture that transfers knowledge willingly and organically.
In many organizations, cliques and groups form quite naturally. These can be based on formal responsibilities, the time within the company, or outside interests. These groups' formation and continuation often occur quite unconsciously, and their persistence relies on passive acceptance of the status quo.
A simple, powerful act of humanity can be to include someone who has found themself as an outsider. This can involve inviting them to extracurricular events [even a simple Friday night drink] or folding them into a project where they might have a creative new angle. As with mentorship, inclusivity can begin to permeate the fabric of your organization.
In any fast-paced business environment, taking our colleagues' output for granted becomes easy. We become quick to criticize but slower to acknowledge when good work has been done and reluctant to admit when our expectations have been exceeded.
One way to show kindness is to pause and acknowledge the work being done around us. Take the time to express sincere gratitude or vocalize how someone influences you to do better - and watch as this single act ripples across your office to inspire a more thoughtful and appreciative workplace.
It is up to leaders to build a solid corporate culture, and no building block is too small to play a role. From branding with the help of a naming agency to the daily interactions with staff, this is the collaborative work of generating culture.
Making work more human is about altruism. While doing so, you'll see productivity increase but also can expect a growing culture that prioritizes employee well-being. That means happier staff are likely to work harder and remain in the role longer.