Hire good people, treat them with kindness and steer them to success. That is a simple formula for increasing productivity and sustaining engaged, productive employees.
Whether you are a director of a department or a leader of internal teams, the things you say, the way you respond and the actions you take will impact the way employees and colleagues react. It’s no surprise that positive interactions in the workplace create a pleasant and engaged staff, ultimately creating a more sustainable organization. Creating a caring and supportive company culture begins with kind leaders who treat others with empathy.
Kind leaders are trustworthy, exude positive energy and lead by listening. They care as much about their colleagues as they do about business and facilitating communication comes naturally to them.
Here are seven things kind leaders say:
#1. “You are doing an excellent job.”
Kind leaders are positive. They motivate employees with reassuring words and challenge them to do their best. One way you can instill purpose in your team is by commending them for a job well done, including tasks that are outside of their job scope or are “mundane.” Simple, everyday gestures of appreciation in the workplace bring teams together and boost morale. Everyone wants to feel like their work matters. If you are sincere and timely with your positive praise, you will boost productivity and loyalty. Your team will also be more eager to go above and beyond to support company-wide initiatives.
#2. “What’s your take on this?”
Strive to learn from your team, not just teach them. Using this phrase helps to boost your team’s confidence and helps you as a leader gain insight from their valuable feedback. Encourage others to work as part of the larger team to achieve organizational goals. When you ask for input or help strategizing, that shows that you value and appreciate your colleagues, empowering them to speak up and contribute their ideas.
#3. “How are you doing…really?”
People are often skeptical of those in power. In addition to asking colleagues questions that show you care about their well-being, they also want to know you as a person, not just as a “boss.” Consider team-building activities outside of the office. FEW provides countless community outreach opportunities on the chapter level to spark fellowship among members. Opening up to colleagues and asking questions about their life outside of the office—hobbies, family or interests—will show that you are a “real” person who they can relate to. Taking an interest in your employees shows that you value them and are curious about what motivates them. The stronger your relationship is with them, the more they’ll trust you. Acknowledge your employees’ life outside of the office and encourage them to use their personal days to fully disconnect from work. Make it known that work/life balance is a priority. FEW provides countless community outreach opportunities on the chapter level to spark fellowship among members.
#4. “Where do you want to be in five years?”
Mentoring is a powerful tool. When employees see a clear future and feel supported in their professional endeavors, they are more likely to want to stay with a company for the long term. FEW works toward advancing people in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight, advocating for the advancement of its employees as future leaders of the organization. Ask your colleagues what their goals are and mentor them toward their personal and professional aspirations. Acting as your team’s biggest supporter is an essential part of being a strong leader. This will result in improvements to the organizational structure. It’s no surprise that mentored employees feel more connected to their place of work. That’s why FEW offers mentoring opportunities throughout the year to advance professional development and leadership skills. FEW offers various member benefits ranging from a job bank, legal consultations, a newsletter and discounts on training.
#5. “Mistakes happen.”
As much as you want day-to-day operations and projects to run smoothly, mistakes are bound to happen. Whether it’s a minor miscommunication or a major mistake, handle them with kindness and don’t let your emotions overtake the situation. Instead, think about how you will address the mistake and what you want the outcome to be. That will foster open lines of communication. You may consider using the error as an opportunity to help train or coach your employee. The way you handle a mistake is ultimately a measure of your leadership ability. Remember, no one makes a mistake on purpose. Your colleagues have good intentions and likely feel terrible about messing up.
#6. “How can I help you?”
This question produces a sense of security for your team members, helping them realize that you care and are willing to step in to help them solve problems. Make the office a place where employees want to be. When you listen to what your employees need and offer solutions, they’ll feel encouraged and supported.
#7. “Let’s celebrate!”
Provide praise and recognition often. Whether it’s a big win or something small, it is important to recognize colleagues for hard work and successes, congratulating them for professional and personal achievements. The happier your employees are, the more successful your organization will be.
Being kind isn’t difficult. Remember, a smile and cheerful tone go a long way. Smiling says you care and are approachable. It is an easy way to improve loyalty and retention in the workplace, boosting connection to long term organizational goals.
In fact, a new gauge of successful teams is how connected and energized employees feel by their work. By treating one another kindly, the workplace will be a place employees look forward to returning to—day after day. Commit to positivity and communicate authentically to build high functioning teams.
But most importantly, remember to lead with both your head and your heart.
FEW develops strategies to identify and eliminate barriers and increase diversity by examining the demographics of the workforce, including socioeconomic status, communication, leadership and thinking styles and family composition.
For more information, visit few.org.