In this online course we are going to try to examine our assumptions about:
- kindness and our relationship to it
- work and our relationship to it
- the workplace attitude to kindness
Understanding these assumptions will help us to unravel the habits we are dealing with and look at how to work with the ones that need to change.
We will take this slowly, step-by-step as the course unfolds.
To start us off here is a short video clip, a few science pointers and some workplace facts and figures.
Linda Cohen is consultant for businesses. In this video clip she explains how Reputation, Recruitment and Retention are all affected by a culture of kindness - or a lack of it.
She is talking about businesses, rather than schools, or care-based work situations but the same principles can apply.
Watch the video:
We will go into this in more depth through the course but to get us started, research has shown that:
- being kind improves our mood
- it can be good for our health
- it improves relationships
- It has the effect of improving our lives
A kind workplace makes good practical sense
It used to be thought that kindness at work was an airy-fairy idea that had little to do with good work practice and results.
We now know that kindness at work helps to:
- lower the costs of stress-related illnesses and absenteeism
- increases the likelihood of the workforce being loyal and engaged
This is particularly important because:
- More than 50% of employees feel unfulfilled in their jobs
- 1 in 4 people in the USA and Europe will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives
How we feel about being kind at work
Just as management may feel that kindness is not a vital factor in the workplace, we may have our own reservations about showing kindness.
We don't want to appear to be a 'soft touch', or weak and easy to fool.
Often we separate ourselves into different aspects depending on what we are doing—so we may feel that kindness is essential in our private lives but not in the workplace.
This is an important theme in this online course. We will pick up on it several times as we go through the course.
Do you think kindness is valued in your workplace?