One could argue that a truly healthy company requires a culture that includes kindness as a key ingredient. Corporate kindness matters a great deal. Corporate kindness is the act of employees being friendly, generous, and considerate to one another. It is actually one of the necessary elements for scalable success.
A healthy culture exists when all levels of the organization are working together positively to reach the vision set forth by the CEO. Once knowing the vision, employees need to be inspired to achieve that vision. Employees are inspired when they believe in that vision AND when they care enough to work together to achieve it. Work is hard. Employees must be inspired to work hard. That must come from a place of consideration because it requires all employees to be generous of their time and for that, they must think about not letting each other down.
Employees wanting to succeed because they are inspired and wanting to work hard because they don’t want to let each other down eventually brings the vision to life and also interlocks the processes and systems so that they work.
Example: If Department A only thinks of themselves and Department B is the same and C is too, then the processes will fail between A, B, and C. Think of it like a relay race. If the baton is not correctly passed by being connected specifically, then the baton falls and the team loses. It’s the same in a company. Employees have to care enough to consider how A affects B and B affects C and C affects A… and how A, B, and C all affect the client or customer.
Can kindness be mandated? Can it be instilled in a culture? It cannot be mandated but it can be instilled. Here are four requirements that allow for corporate kindness to shine through:
HAVE A VISION: Have a deeper vision beyond MONEY or MORE. Leaders must share a vision that is beyond financial rewards. A healthy culture requires the majority of the employees to believe in each other and the greater goal or vision that the entire team is working to achieve.
HAVE THE CEO ON BOARD. The CEO must exhibit kindness. If the CEO exhibits and values kindness, then his executive staff will behave with kindness because they want to please their boss. And when the executives behave with kindness, their divisional leaders will as well, and then the #2’s will, and then the employees will. And if the majority of people are communicating with kindness, and that is consistent, they will kick out others that don’t conform.
OPERATE WITH GOOD PROCESSES. Your processes must be good processes. Most business leaders think they have created great processes and just hired poor performers to follow those processes. However, this is usually not true, at least 60% of the time. If business leaders have been unsuccessful in establishing sound and user-friendly processes and systems sans loopholes and gaps, no matter how kind and thoughtful people are to one another, the outcome will be discourse and infighting. Why? Because people innately want to do a good job. People want to do well and be rewarded and liked by peers and supervisors. They try to do well until they realize that trying will get them nowhere because the system is what is broken. If that happens, they realize their efforts are fruitless and then they, rightfully so, stop trying.
EXHIBIT CONSISTENCY: Things must be consistent. When leaders fail at consistency, there is usually a reason. They may think conflict is bad (or) they are trying to make sure no one person is getting the complete picture (or) they operate under the premise of exchanging favors (or) all of the above depending on varying factors. Basically, they lead via inconsistency. They play politics. The result is that employees get confused. They don’t know the procedures because it changes everyday. Eventually they give up.
To summarize: It’s simple but not easy to have a healthy culture rooted in kindness!
- Have a vision. Make sure your vision is about more than making money.
- Communicate the vision differently to different people so they can personalize it.
- Understand that achieving the vision requires everyone to work together.
- Make sure your processes and systems allow people to work together with a successful outcome.
- Realize if there are consistent issues, it’s the process and not the employees.
- Start with the CEO being kind and valuing kindness and make sure this is supported throughout the organization.
- Be consistent.
- In order to be consistent, management must not play games with each other. Instead, be authentic.
Originally published on May 29, 2019 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau