Building a Culture of Kindness

Posted December 14, 2017 in Latest News & Insights

The holidays can bring on an increased spirit of kindness and generosity, but wouldn’t it be nice if kindness had this much presence all year long? And, wouldn’t it be nice if we could bring more caring and kindness into our work environments? After all, for many of us, this is a place where we spend the majority of our waking hours each week.

Recently we asked two of our Roundtable members to share their perspective on how to build a caring and kind culture. Agatha De Santis, VP Human Resources at Indigo Books and Music and Shana McEachren, Executive Coach shared these tips:

Share Your Vision

The benefits of embracing a culture of kindness and generosity may seem obvious to you, but sharing the benefits you hope to get from this new approach may be helpful to inspire other members of your team.

Set Clear Expectations

In a workplace setting, kindness and generosity can mean a lot of different things to different people. Establish what kindness and generosity in the workplace mean to you, and provide some examples of what that looks like.

Anticipate Potential Barriers

Despite your best intentions, other factors may work against the culture you want to create. All organizations have a larger culture, along with both formal and informal structures that influence culture. Consider how formal elements of the organization, including the organization’s values and what people are rewarded and compensated for doing (or not doing) influence behaviour.

Share who you are and build real relationships. Each person needs to see who you really are, so authentically share about your personal life. If you want a caring and generous team, you have to be open and honest, starting with yourself.

Be consistent in how you live it every day. As a leader, you set an example for your team. They will look to you and your words, actions, and behaviours to set the tone for the team. And, being who you are, building relationships and partnering with others is not something that you do at the beginning and drop when things get busy.

Partner in the work. To create a caring and generous culture in the team, how we partner among ourselves and others is critical. Encourage your team to work collaboratively with each other, and to role model that throughout the organization. Asking for others’ opinions and ideas contributes to creating a generous and kind culture. And, it goes beyond just ‘feeling good.’ It makes the solution more robust and integrated with the needs and realities of the business.

Encourage and Support

Some members of your team may embrace the change with enthusiasm, while others may be skeptical and wonder if this is “too good, to be true”. Consider how can you support members of your team who aren’t comfortable with the new culture.

Recognize and Celebrate

As you see your team demonstrating the behaviours you want to see in the new culture, it’s important to recognize and celebrate those behaviours. Affirming desired behaviours is one of the best ways to reinforce the thoughts and actions you want to see people do more.

What will you do to build a kinder culture in your organization?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *