The next time you feel inspired to do something nice for someone, consider directing that impulse toward your employees - it will make them better workers, according to a recent study.
Employees at a Spanish company were randomly assigned the roles of Giver, Receiver, or Control. Givers were provided with a personalized list of Receivers and a mission: practice five random acts of kindness over the next month.
The benefits were striking. In the short-term both Givers and Receivers actually became more effective at their jobs, rating higher on weekly measures of competence and autonomy. Over the long-term Givers said they felt more satisfied with their lives and jobs, and Receivers reported feeling happier overall. Even better? Receivers were nearly three times more likely to "pay it forward" by performing acts of kindness toward others both at work and at home.
I've written about this before, but given the sheer amount time and energy we spend at work it seems there is no downside - and quite a significant upside - to bringing our best selves to our jobs and the people we encounter there, be they employees, partners, customers, or clients.
How do you rate the importance of kindness and generosity of spirit in the workplace when there are so many more concrete and quantifiable measures of a healthy business? Is there anything you do on a regular basis to improve "quality of life" at work?
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There were many of my friend’s (yoga teachers) doing this at our local Starbucks. Buying a coffee for the next guest! It works. What a great way to make people smile. Nice article, Emily!
@lynda, I love that!
I have to admit I was super-excited to run across this study, since pay-it-forward is kinda my thing. Last year my communty Facebook group raised $250 in a GoFundMe campaign just to hand over the cash at the drive-thu window of a local Dunkin Donuts. Small stuff like that can absolutely make someone's day, and it makes sense to try to bring some of that goodness into the workplace.
@lynda that is so very true. I'm actually reminded of a recent thread in which we discussed strategies for remembering/being remembered by new contacts you might meet at a networking event. That's a very simple way to achieve both objectives, I think: Look in a person's eyes when you greet them, smile, and BE PRESENT.