Sharing my ‘reflections’ on #KindnessMatters as part of Mental Health Awareness week. What it means, how it can add ‘Value’ to you, your staff, customers, operations, supply chain, and your business.
We all say it, but do we mean it? ‘Staff are our most important resource’. Some ‘good’ coming out of the horrors of Covid-19 as a legacy, has been to force us all to slow down, pause, and reflect. We are now one ‘united planet’ and ‘human race’ affected by the same cause. The roads have been quieter, the skies clearer, less dust and noise pollution and our business correspondence have been more personable, (‘Hi, hope you are well… stay safe!’).
I don’t know about you, but, despite being redundant it’s has made me feel good about myself. Energising me to want to be even kinder to others in a time of national need. One of the reasons I volunteered for #CornwallCare.
This crisis has made us all think and reflect. Businesses have had to adapt and change, we have had to endure so much over the last few months.
For some, this is a difficult and all too much. Let’s seize on this moment in our lives, focus and harness on the good kind spirited people. Let us now transform further as a business embracing ‘Kindness’ in our culture.
Embrace the positives coming out of Covid and memorialise all those who have passed. Creating a legacy their family and friends who have suffered can be proud of. Our memories when we look back will be that good came out of the sadness. We can say Covid made us ‘stop, think, change’ improving the wellbeing of our people and saving the planet.
Be Kind to your Staff and the Environment by;
1. ‘Empowering’, ‘listening’, ‘engaging’, ‘investing and ‘training’ (not just competency based) staff. Introduce strategies, tangible ‘initiatives’ to improve their wellness and wellbeing. Introduce better working conditions, agile working, a crèche, relaxed work attire, counselling. Revitalise your culture and encourage staff to #speakyourmind and be flexible. Include them on your management board.
Being ‘kind’ to staff and making changes will create value throughout your business. From the cleaner to the credit controller, they will pass this ‘value’ on to your customers. Staff who understand where they fit, have good wellbeing and will make a difference. How? By being kind, internalise branding and marketing with staff, improving the customer experience. As well as the wider society and environment.
2. Reviewing your supply chain, be kind to them and their staff, get them to align with your values. They are as important to your business as your staff. They can affect your quality of goods and services, making or breaking your company.
3. Now is the time to ‘review your operations’ What can you take from your Covid experiences to effect permanent change? E.g. working from home = less car journeys, change your working hours or shift patterns. Talk to your staff and customers. Take them on this journey with you, engage and involve them. Their working/buying habits and expectations are changing too!
Be kind to them and they will be kind to you! #Kindnessmatters
4. Look at your supply chain and resource sustainability. Can you introduce the principle of ‘Circular Economy’ throughout your business? This will be kind to the environment.
5. Look at your end to end processes. What can you change, simplify, digitise? Challenge everything, engage your staff and involve them. Taking them on this ‘transformational journey’ with you, will improve their wellbeing! From the cleaner, to the maintenance engineers, everyone has an important part to play. Value them and be kind #dosomethingdifferent.
6. Finally, I want to challenge you to think about your Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR. it’s not a ‘Greenwashing’ gimmick, to make your business look good for bids and tenders. This is your opportunity to give back a thank you and to be kind to society and the environment. Engage and involve staff, your suppliers, customers, stakeholders charities and councils. Ask them, what can you do to #makeadifference as #kindnessmatters.
We live in a changing world, with changing habits, digitisation, social media and AI. We cannot stop the pace of change, so we need to embrace it. We are still vulnerable to disease, disaster and mental health issues, no matter how strong we are, be kind.
We need to ‘Belong and love’, according to Maslow. We can apply his ‘Hierarchy of Needs‘(1943), theory of ‘Human Motivation‘ to the workplace. As we make people safe from Covid, they need to work to provide for their ‘Physiological’ needs, water, food. By being kind, we make them feel loved and we are attending to their ‘physiological‘ needs.
If staff are happy in the workplace and proud of the employer they work for, you will fulfil their ‘Eteem’ needs. By being kind to your employees, your supply chain and all stake holders, they will be kind back to you. By being kind, we can all achieve Masolw’s highest goal of ‘self actualisation‘.
Changing values, organisational culture, operational processes, you will create value for your customers. Being kind, ethical and sustainable, you will improve the customer touch point experience. Customers will be loyal and return for repeat business.
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