19th September 2021

Kudos for KINDNESS

Whilst on holiday earlier in the summer I bought a mug with an image of a bright orange crab surrounded by love hearts on it, and it says “claways be kind”. I’m drinking my morning coffee out of it right now. It’s a mantra to live our lives by. But it’s made me reflect on whether I see kindness at the forefront in the workplace. Are our senior leadership teams, our managers, our CEOs recognising kindness as a quality to promote, reward or be proud of? 

If the answer is ‘yes’ in your organisation, then you’re one of the lucky ones. If it’s a more negative response, then we should think about what change you can bring about. 

Simply thanking your work colleagues is an easy place to start. Let me share a couple of my recent experiences - My boss sent me a ‘Thank you’ card to mark my two-year work anniversary, my colleague thanked me for helping her with an Excel problem, and a client thanked me for a quick turnaround on an urgent request that was sent through. In turn, I thanked one of our trainers for spending time discussing a workshop change we wanted to implement, I thanked our IT support team for resolving an MS Teams issue well within the allotted support agreement time, and I was appreciative of a social chat with a client. I’ve ‘paid back’ my “thank yous” with more “thank yous”. We’ve created a culture of gratitude.

Recognising the small successes and achievements is often more gratifying than celebrating the big projects and strategic actions.  It’s the small, perhaps unnoticed tasks, the mundane day-to-day efforts that keep the business running that should once in a while get a highlight and a high-five. And, whilst we are at it, let’s not wait for the 360° feedback and OD led projects to provide feedback and positive comments to our colleagues.  “It was great when you did x the other day, it really helped me, and I really appreciate it." Praise should always be prompt and specific, don’t hold onto it.

Whilst recording the thank you in an email keeps it for posterity and tagging a colleague in a social media post offers public praise, why not say thank you in person quietly? And let’s follow it up with a coffee, a sweet treat (or a healthy one), initiate a lunch-date, or suggest a walk outside. The act of spending time with your colleagues and really getting to know them allows you to better understand their needs. And then, when the time comes, you are better able to support them when you see them in need, and you can empathise with them as you know what makes them tick.

The simple act of listening displays kindness. That’s actively listening - pay attention to what your colleagues are actually saying. Allow the time and space to talk. Really try and understand their point of view and have kindness at the forefront of any response you are going to deliver. You’ll be contributing to a positive support network that will spread and gain credibility.

So have a think about how you can share a little kindness in your workplace and see if it’s reciprocated. And, whilst you are at it, get the senior management team to share in your culture of kindness.

And if you’d like to do something ‘kind’ right now, why not spend a few minutes completing the University of Sussex/BBC Radio 4 Kindness test.


You’ll be contributing to their research project and helping us all better understand how people’s experiences of kindness relate to their health and wellbeing.

Kudos for KINDNESS

Share to: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Video Views is the name of our WATCH & GO® video blog

See the country’s leading video producer in action and discover practical tips for engaging learners with video. Access our latest research and feedback from customers too.

Other Recent Posts

Six Steps for Encouraging a Successful Learning Culture

Posted: Oct. 12, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

How should L&D professionals, OD representatives and HR practitioners support successful learning cultures in their organisations? In this month’s blog we share our thoughts on how to develop positive practices and processes.

The expectations and acceptances that go hand in hand with virtual meetings

Posted: Aug. 31, 2021, 8:22 a.m.

How do we continue to make virtual meetings productive and effective? It seems like the online meeting is here to stay, so let's embrace the screen and put ourselves at ease.

The Happiness One

Posted: July 9, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

It goes without saying that people who are happier at work are more engaged, more motivated, and more productive. But how can you find a happy state at work if you feel under pressure, overworked and overwhelmed? And, as a manager or leader, how can you create a happiness culture that isn’t forced and contrived.

Respect is at the heart of hybrid working

Posted: June 18, 2021, 11:26 a.m.

Hybrid working is a hot discussion topic. But how are organisations approaching discussions on a blended, flexible approach to their teams being both home and office based?

Positive thinking for L&D and HR professionals

Posted: June 3, 2021, 5:31 p.m.

Practical positive thinking is about taking a step back and asking yourself what you can do, and what is possible. And it isn’t half energising! In this short article, Scott Bradbury Managing Director Catherine de Salvo applies some practical positive thinking to typical situations in Learning & Development.