“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat people – your family, friends and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.” – Barbara Bush, Former First Lady of the U.S.A.
Do you display kindness to your coworkers? Before you answer this take a moment to think about it. How often do you ask them personal questions before jumping into a request? When was the last time you spoke with the person you’re sitting next to about anything besides work? This month, focus on cultivating stronger, more authentic relationships with your colleagues through kindness.
Building strong relationships with your coworkers creates more than just a friendly office environment. A study conducted by the University of Warwick found that happiness at work leads to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers prove to be 10% less productive. As the research puts, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.” Happiness also leads to job satisfaction, which many individuals rank more important to them than salary.
Camaraderie is more than just having fun together. It is also about creating a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it-together, which builds a strong team environment. Below are 5 ways to build camaraderie through kindness, according to The Muse:
- Share a funny link:When you stumble upon something online that makes you laugh, you never question sending it over to a friend. The next time you come across an article that makes you giggle, send it to a coworker who you think will appreciate it. Found a hilarious GIF or funny meme that sums up the office? Brighten a coworker’s day with it or share it with the whole group.
- Ask someone how their night was:Taking time to start a conversation about a coworker’s personal life is a simple way to show kindness. You don’t have to go too in-depth to engage in a meaningful conversation. By starting out with, “How did the event go last night?” or “Did you enjoy having your family in town this weekend?” is an easy way to show you care (and that you were listening to what they said they were doing yesterday).
- Invite someone to grab lunch with you:When you eat lunch at your desk, you limit your conversations to the individuals who you sit in close proximity to. Invite a coworker you don’t know very well to grab a bite to eat with you outside the office. Talk about your favorite music, movies, upcoming summer plans and other topics that don’t all revolve around work. You may be surprised by how much someone opens up to you by just removing themselves from their work environment. While your coworker may be busy, he or she will appreciate being thought of and included.
- Pick up an extra coffee:Very rarely will you come across a coworker who refuses a caffeine fix. Whether it’s on your way into the office in the morning or during a quick work break, pick up an extra drink for someone. Not only will this brighten the person’s day, but he or she may pay it forward and start a chain of positivity in the office.
- Give someone a compliment:One reason many individuals leave their jobs is that they feel underappreciated. Challenge yourself to pay compliments to your coworkers regularly. Maybe someone did a great job on the latest project proposal or landed an incredible sale. Maybe they achieved a personal goal or milestone in their life. Whatever the case may be, always look for a way to share your appreciation and spread positivity around the office.
Spreading kindness around your office is a great way to create an enjoyable and more productive work environment. While reaping the benefits of greater job satisfaction and success, you also build strong relationships and camaraderie with your coworkers. Looking for more ideas or information on how to display kindness in the workplace or to resolve conflict with your coworkers, contact the EFR EAP benefit today!