Over recent decades, there has been a root and branch transformation in the relationship between employers and employees. It’s no longer the case that staff are expected to be satisfied with a job and rewarded with just a pay check. A number of factors have forced employers to reassess this and invest a great deal of time, energy, and money in employee well-being.
The two main drivers behind this change are market conditions and a better understanding of what well-being really means. We now live in the short-term employment era and companies need to be creative and competitive with their benefit offers in order to retain staff for longer. Moreover, a greater understanding of the extreme costs of employee absenteeism has helped companies focus more on health, happiness, and overall well-being among staff.
Businesses spend a lot of money on some very effective wellness initiatives and some that seem to be more of temporary fad than a real paradigm shift – smoothie Friday, anyone?
However, one area that is actionable, cost-effective, and good for business is also quite neglected. Companies can benefit greatly from nurturing an in-house Culture of Kindness . What’s more, the benefits are proven to be long-term and even quite contagious!
Kindness – the best cure?
Small acts of kindness in everyday life have a measurable effect for both the person receiving the kindness and the one who commits the act. It influences both happiness and health. Committing even small acts of kindness has been shown to release oxytocin which, in turn, dilates blood vessels and leads to lower blood pressure. People who are consistently kind to others have also been shown to have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population.
Now, we are not claiming that using Bookado to do the little kindness to your co-workers of freeing up meeting rooms is going to make us all live longer and have lower blood pressure; however, there is a lot to be said for nurturing a Culture of Kindness in the firm where it becomes normal to think of your colleagues and constantly consider how you can make their lives a little easier.
A controlled study by the University of California, carried out at the Coca Cola HQ in Spain, tested workplace kindness for a month-long period. They found that those who had either been the givers of recipients of even small, regular acts of kindness felt that it had a positive impact on the workplace and stated that they noticed an increased camaraderie among colleagues. There were also significant knock-on benefits outside of the workplace; people reporting a greater work-life satisfaction and fewer symptoms of depression.
Build your company culture on being thoughtful
These seemingly small acts of kindness are opportunities that are not taken in firms with an average culture on a daily basis. But in companies with a positive Culture of Kindness, they become second nature. Removing the dirty cups from the sideboard in the kitchen. Putting a bar of chocolate on a colleague’s desk. Holding the door for someone who has their hands full. All of these are teachable acts and they are actually contagious. When we see someone committing an act of kindness, science has proven that we are much more likely to then commit a similar act ourselves and “pay it forward”.
Bookado is the kind of app that makes it easier for people to do the right thing in the workplace, and becomes part of a wider culture of caring for your colleagues. If you can engender a culture in which colleagues actively look to do something nice for others, then you all those small acts will build up to create a stronger, healthier team with a shared vision. However, the key getting such initiatives started is making the first step easy. It may sound fanciful at first, but the easy-of-use of Bookado is a great entry point. It takes just a single click to unbook a meeting room that is no longer needed, and that small moment of thoughtfulness can start a genuine ripple effect.