Workplaces Are Lacking A Culture of Kindness

4  min read

The other day, there was an unusual post on LinkedIn.  An individual was upset that a person in his network clicked the button to congratulate him on a work anniversary 5 times, assuming, over 5 years. What followed was a written diatribe about being insincere on the internet. Who knew that congratulating someone’s work anniversary would attract this reaction? As you can guess, this garnered thousands of comments ranging from sympathy for the person who sent the congratulations to people laughing it off. There was one very interesting comment—sadly, this is probably a marketing tool.

Whether it is or is not, let’s take one huge thing into consideration. The workplace is lacking a culture of kindness.

Often, your workplace becomes a second home. You spend at least 40 hours a week around co-workers. You sit side by side one other and, oftentimes, you hang out after work. It’s because of all this togetherness that we get fed up with one another. Tempers fly, we partake in gossip, or get stressed and hurt others’ feelings. 

Or maybe it isn’t the agitation from too much togetherness, but your company culture just sucks. People wake up on the wrong side of the bed and bring that to work with them every morning.  Your boss might have a tendency to yell, use slanderous words (either at you or others), or you have the feeling that nobody cares. I’ve been in that type of environment; unfortunately, we all have.

But what if we all took a step back? What if we tried to be more understanding, to be considerate of each other, and exercise more patience? In one small word, let’s be kind.

Instead of seeing things from our own perspective, let’s take a moment to see it from someone else’s. Instead of getting upset because an e-mail sounds brusque, respond by asking for clarity not by reading into someone’s tone which can cause confusion. If bosses had more patience with their employees and colleagues didn’t use negative words, then how much better would interoffice relations be? My guess, loads.

So, what can we do? Right this moment, let’s decide to operate on a premise of kindness. If we were committed to injecting kindness in our work atmosphere, so many companies and organizations would have a more conducive work culture and more productivity. Less people would be sick, stressed, or depressed; our personal lives would be better too. 

Start small.

One day at Trader Joe’s, a man in front of me was short a penny for his purchase. So, I reached into my wallet and pulled out a penny to give to him. He and the cashier were beyond grateful; they thanked me profusely. In my mind, it was just a penny. However, I realized it wasn’t the denomination that mattered but the gesture. From their words, kindness is hard to come by nowadays, which is true when you look at all that is happening in the world, but there is always kindness left in our hearts if we choose to give it to one another. It only takes a second to be kind.