The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) is asking businesses to start the New Year with a resolution to build a workplace culture of kindness, pointing to the Australian Business Consulting & Solutions’ guide for putting kindness into practice.
“The New Year is the chance for a fresh start, and we’re asking businesses in the Illawarra to think about incorporating kindness into their corporate DNA in 2016,” Illawarra Business Chamber Chief Executive Debra Murphy said.
“Research from Australian Business Consulting & Solutions shows that ‘kind’ organisations are more productive; suggesting that a kinder approach when dealing with employees, customers, suppliers and the environment can be good for morale as well as business.
The 2015 WorkplaceInfo Business Kindness Index: An HR Professional’s Guide to Making Australian Workplaces More Productive
involved more than 150 human resources professionals, and found that while kindness in the workplace is highly valued, only a third of respondents believed levels of kindness had improved over the past three years.
“Immediate managers rated well as kind individuals with 41% described as kind and 25% as very kind. Work colleagues of a similar level fared even better with 58% of respondents describing their peers as kind and 21% very kind,” Ms Murphy said.
Ms Murphy pointed to some insightful suggestions from respondents for improving kindness in the workplace, including:
- Make the “how” as important as the “what” to develop culture.
- Make kindness part of company culture – include it as a value and include in performance management processes. Have the CEO and managers demonstrate kindness.
- Hold people accountable for their behaviour and drive positive culture from the top down.
- Understand that process systems revolve around people, not people around processes and their parts, so therefore businesses need to genuinely listen to their people.
- Understand the differences in people’s abilities.
“A focus on kindness in the workplace will support employees as they aim for high performance, however as many of our survey respondents recognised, to be successful, cultural change must be driven from the top of the organisation,” Ms Murphy concluded.