Don’t Underestimate the Power of Kindness at Work

by Nov 14, 2023

Last Monday, November 13th was World Kindness Day. As an organization that is focused on building positive and healthy work environments, being kind doesn’t just make us feel warm and fuzzy; it actually helps us achieve awesome results, especially as we’re growing.

Think about it: a simple “thank you,” “please,” or “you’re welcome” creates a big impact in communication. And guess what? Science backs this up! Being kind isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s like a secret weapon for making everyone—ourselves included—happier and more successful. 


Power of Kindness at Work

A survey of 1,365 employees from six well established companies was conducted by with Beekman 1802 showed a direct link between kindness and overall employee happiness and job satisfaction. Here are the main things they discovered:

  1. Being kind to your boss predicts workplace happiness.
  2. Being kind at work matters more for happiness than how much money you make.
  3. One of the biggest contributors to workplace happiness is feeling valued.
  4. Doing work that feels meaningful is directly linked to levels of happiness at work.


Acts of Kindness You can Do Today

While it is easy to say that acting kind is a no-brainer, this is often an overlooked element that can have a significant impact on both individual well-being and the overall workplace culture. Here’s a list of simple yet impactful acts of kindness that you can incorporate into your daily routine at work:


Express Gratitude

Acknowledge specific achievements or efforts that you are grateful for, as this shows genuine appreciation. Consider writing a personalized note or mentioning their accomplishments during team meetings. Cultivating a culture of gratitude fosters a positive and supportive work environment, enhancing team morale and collaboration.


Listen Actively

Show genuine interest in your team’s ideas, concerns, or achievements by actively listening. You can do this by creating a space where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves by maintaining eye contact and nodding in acknowledgment. This not only strengthens relationships but also promotes effective communication.


Bring in Treats to Share

Surprise your colleagues with these small gestures! Consider bringing in a variety of treats to cater to different preferences, ensuring inclusivity in your gestures of kindness. Whether it’s homemade goodies, healthy snacks, or a selection of beverages, offering a diverse array of treats demonstrates thoughtfulness. Take the opportunity to gather and share these treats during a break!


Share Knowledge

If you come across useful information, resources, or tips, don’t hesitate to share them with your team. Get conversations going to tap into the diverse skills of your colleagues, making a lively setting where everyone plays a part in the team’s success. A collaborative and knowledge-sharing culture benefits everyone.



Extend your check-ins beyond work-related matters by expressing genuine interest in their personal lives. Inquire about their interests, hobbies, or any recent events, creating a more meaningful connection. 

Regularly checking in not only strengthens professional relationships but also contributes to a positive and inclusive workplace culture, where everyone feels valued and understood.


Applaud Efforts 

Celebrate the journey as much as the destination by publicly acknowledging individual and collective contributions! Emphasize the learning opportunities and the growth that comes from facing challenges and building a culture that appreciates effort and resilience. Encourage a mindset that views setbacks as stepping stones to success, fostering a positive work environment where team members feel motivated to continuously strive for improvement.


Ripple Effects of Kindness at Work

Kindness might seem small, but it’s a powerful thing that can spread through any workplace like ripples in water. Let’s talk about some awesome things that happen when kindness is part of the job.


Boosts Morale and Employee Well-being: 

Kindness is a potent morale booster. A kind gesture, a word of encouragement, or a supportive action can go a long way in brightening someone’s day. In the workplace, where stress and pressure can be overwhelming, a culture of kindness provides a buffer against burnout and fosters a sense of camaraderie.

When employees feel seen, heard, and appreciated, their overall well-being improves. This not only reduces absenteeism and turnover but also enhances individual and collective performance. In a world where the lines between work and personal life often blur, acknowledging and nurturing the human side of colleagues can make the workplace a more compassionate and fulfilling space.


Creating a Positive Feedback Loop

Kindness begets kindness. When individuals experience positive interactions at work, they are more likely to pay it forward. This creates a positive feedback loop where acts of kindness become ingrained in the organizational culture. 

Whether it’s a manager recognizing a job well done, a team member offering support during a challenging project, or a simple gesture of appreciation, these actions contribute to a workplace culture that thrives on collaboration and mutual respect.


Building Stronger Teams

Kindness is a cornerstone of effective teamwork. When team members genuinely care about each other, they are more likely to share ideas, communicate openly, and collaborate seamlessly. In turn, this leads to the development of stronger, more resilient teams capable of overcoming obstacles and achieving collective success.

As leaders, you hold the compass that guides the culture of your workplace. I may sound like a broken record, but remember, the smallest acts of kindness can have a profound impact, not only on the well-being of your team members but also on the overall success and resilience of your organization. 

Let kindness be the cornerstone upon which we build a culture that inspires, uplifts, and propels both individuals and the collective toward greater heights of achievement and fulfillment.

Let us know how we can help your organization drive a positive work culture. If you’re curious to know some of the work we have done, check out our case studies here. 


Join our FREE EVENT on “When Intersectionality and Toxic Behavior Intersect: Managing Toxic Behavior as it Relates to Race, Sex, and Gender” on November 29th, 10am PST. We’ve gathered a great set of panelists to discuss this crucial topic and we’ve got more seats for you and your colleagues to come join us!

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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