High performing teams intrinsically have a spark that allows them to work in an effective and efficient manner. It is what leaders all around the world spend years chasing by galvanising their teams through various strategies but always come up short. Prizes and incentives, inspirational speeches and personality quizzes are great but having these in place are often not enough to create the synergy and motivation that all high performing teams have.
What is the missing piece you ask? Kindness.
What is corporate kindness?
Corporate kindness, simply put, is business putting consideration on their impact and choosing to operate with a conscience. Kind businesses evaluate all their options and deliberately take actions that are more mindful of people and culture, employees, the environment and customers. Adopting a kind perspective should be fundamentally aligned to the businesses core values so all actions are more authentic and impactful.
CSR Specialist, Founder and CEO of Bambuddha Group, Anna Sheppard has helped usher in the new wave of businesses championing kindness. She has helped thousands of businesses guiding their decision making processes and business relationships to centre around kindness, leading businesses to see returns not only in creating higher performing teams, but also through staff retention and engagement.
Cisco utilised one of Bambuddha Group’s Kindness training courses and left saying, “'We have worked with Bambuddha on a number of occasions, they always leave our people feeling engaged and inspired.”.
How to operate kind
Lead with purpose
By leading with purpose, businesses will find themselves creating teams that are united in striving towards achieving greatness. Teams who are guided by an impactful vision and values generally produce more socially aware co-workers. These team members not only come together and lead people's movements but are your brand's greatest advocates, living and breathing your purpose as theirs too. This gives employees a genuine reason to continue to innovate and progress to drive the business to evolve and lead industries ultimately, build stronger and more effective teams.
Nurture genuine and kind business relationships
According to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, 2020 is the most stressful year in recorded history. The research indicates that up to 70% of the global workforce have reported increased levels of stress and depression. In turn, this has impacted their work and home lives – notably reducing their well-being and productivity levels.
More than ever, leaders need to nurture kind business relationships. Simple things such as active listening, saying thank you and helping out with menial tasks are all ways to show kindness in the workplace. But what builds relationships is showing humanity to one another, being understanding of others situations, hardships and offering genuine support. Research has shown that kindness is contagious and can spread throughout a team rapidly, making people more comfortable with one another inducing better teamwork.
Give incremental kind feedback
Businesses and leaders all know the importance of feedback. However, many businesses give feedback in ways that are counterproductive and create tension within teams. This is why it’s important for businesses to understand the concept and framework of incremental kind feedback.
From the foundation of kind business relationships, leaders should be able to navigate how to best engage with their employees when giving feedback. For many this would involve casual private discussions or brief mentorship teaching actionable strategies. What makes this framework so effective is the amount and timeliness of feedback. Rather than a once a month feedback sessions where information is dumped on employees, giving feedback in bite size amounts that are relevant to the task at hand are more productive within the team structure. Doing this strengthens the dynamics within the team as they grow and improve together, not become frustrated or resentful of others shortfallings.
Celebrate each other’s success
It is a given that employees appreciate when their successes are acknowledged and valued within a business. It is important for leaders to utilise how this acknowledgement permeates throughout the entire team. It inspires others to strive to be better and also accomplish great things. Public celebration of success opens the doors for active communication and learning of how the group or individuals were able to achieve such a milestone.
One way we can spread kindness is through acknowledging and praising leaders and businesses who champion kindness and foster ethical and sustainable change. Through Bambuddha’s 2021 Corporate Kindness Awards and Conference, people are encouraged to get involved and nominate those in the community who are making waves of positive, impactful changes.
About Anna Sheppard:
Anna Sheppard is an inspirational keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of Bambuddha Group. Bambuddha is a network for dedicated learners who want to make an exceptional impact through leadership in business. Bambuddha is hosting the 2021 Corporate Kindness Awards and Conference celebrating businesses and leaders fostering ethical change and sustainability.