"An NBC News State of Kindness Poll found that 70 percent of survey respondents would forego a 10 percent raise for a kinder boss."
Considering that business demands and global competition are on the rise and that kindness is steadily declining, how can you use kindness to increase internal and customer engagment in your university or business for free?
I'm finding as I get older that the answers to the biggest problems in our lives tend to be awfully simple, and the same is true with enagegment. These three methods have helped me to build and repair work relationships, and I hope you can put them to use as well.
In my family there is an unwritten rule - speak when you walk into a room. If there are elders in the room not only do you speak, but you give a personal greeting to every person in the room. As a teenager I thought some of these tasks were meaningless, but as I get older I continue to see the importance of these simple manners that my mother and father instlled in me.
I'm realizing that greeting someone is not just a greeting, it's an acknowledgement.
How often do you walk up to the members of your team to ask for work before saying a simple "Good Morning"? How many people in your company do you walk past in silence? Waiting until you need something from a person to talk to them comes across as rude and impersonal. Honestly, it is rude and impersonal.
Learning to be engaged the moment you walk in the door through a simple gesture can show that you don't just care about the worker, but that you also care about the person. Remember that you can't run the business by yourself, and that your people are a resource worth investing a simple "Hello" into.
Say Thank You
I cannot count the amount of times I have really come through for a supervisor in a high pressure situation, only to hear the next crisis instead of a thank you. At a minimum, when you ask for something at the last minute or outside of the day-to-day activities you need to say thank you.
As a manager, I understand that you may see it as another person doing their job - I've been there. However, saying thank you for the little things serves as a motivator for your team to want to do more for you and with you.
It shows that you see them as a valuable part of the team and appreciate their efforts.
Smiling has a multitude of benefits from stress relief to lower blood pressure, so I consider this as a bonus that will not only help your business but will help you personally. According to research, smiling is contagious and releases endorphins in the brain that make us happier.
Smiling at someone is a quick way of saying, "I'm happy to see you". It can help break tension between you and the team member that don't always see eye-to-eye. It can help your team to feel relieved knowing that their leader is in good spirits. After all, when you look worried they worry. Let your presence come with a smile as often as possible so that your team is happy when they see you, not worried about what you'll criticize them for next.
I challenge you to overuse these three techniques all week long and see how differently your team members look at you. Keep in mind that no matter how much money you throw at your employee engagement problem, that score is a reflection of you. Be engaged with your team, and in return you will find that they will be glad to engage with you.
Gabriella Payne builds teams and communities through inspiration and strategic confidence development. She works with universities, athletic groups, and corporations to help students and recent graduates transform their mental thought patterns by teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for healthy relationships and teaches a series called "See It Coming".