We can all agree that 2020 has challenged us in ways we never thought imaginable at home and in the workplace. The effects of the global pandemic have pushed us out of our comfort zones and altered many of our self-imposed assumptions on how we should work and live. As we navigate these difficult times in a predominantly virtual world, how can you emphasize kindness in the workplace?
1. Be Empathetic
We are all guilty of getting caught up in deadlines and the day-to-day pressures, but we need to be cognizant of being empathetic. For many, situations have changed both personally and professionally. Working parents have been thrust into balancing their regular work responsibilities along with facilitating their child’s virtual schooling. Other employees may be consumed with worry over a sick family member or friend. No matter the situation, it’s important to lend an ear and show your support.
2. Acknowledge Accomplishments and Contributions
It can be all too easy to focus on the negative when something goes wrong and forget to acknowledge a job well done when everything goes right. Across the global community, we have seen many heroes emerge – some visible and many unseen and unsung who are going above and beyond their typical responsibilities. The best acknowledgment and reward that we can share in the workplace is a timely and sincere appreciation to a colleague. Taking a moment to make that acknowledgment can go a long way.
3. Embrace a New Meaning of Engagement
How we define and enable employee engagement as we know it in the traditional sense is evolving in front of us. Employee engagement no longer means that there must be a formal activity in-person to facilitate this trust and bond. Connections are happening in different ways, such as checking in on a colleague or involving families in activities by including them in health and wellness programs. Embracing this new way of fostering informal interactions will help employees stay connected despite being physically apart.
4. Extend Kindness Around You
While kindness is important in the workplace, it’s equally important to extend those acts of kindness in the community. It can be as easy as taking time to say thank you. Thank family members, thank friends, and thank people who have continued to deliver exceptional service to you even through these difficult times – your mail carrier or maybe the food delivery driver.
Kindness is powerful and even the smallest of gestures can have big results. At Ness, we take great pride in our employees and firmly believe trust and empowerment are often reciprocated by greater commitment and passion. This Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank all our employees, their family members, and customers for their ongoing support. Be kind and stay safe!
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Author – Narayanan Nair, Chief People Officer