Does Kindness Pay?

Nice girls don’t finish last – and neither do nice companies. In fact, companies that promote a culture of corporate kindness (those that engage in meaningful philanthropy, foster a positive environment and give employees a sense of higher purpose in their work) report 35 to 45 percent higher stock returns than those that don’t – and 9 out of 10 employees are more productive when around nice people.

That’s according to Kristin Tillquist, author of Capitalizing on Kindness: Why 21st Century Professionals Need to be Nice. “People increasingly want to work with people they like, especially during a recessionary economy when people are more vulnerable.” Plus, you get what you give. “When you’re kind, you’re met with cooperation and kindness. When you’re confrontational and aggressive, that’s what you get.” Some simple ways to show your Pollyanna side: offer to write a reference letter, sincerely thank employees (January is National Thank You Month), cut someone a break and stay upbeat.

Take Tillquist’s Kindness Challenge to find out how sunny your company’s disposition is.

While leaders (especially women) often fear that being nice gives the impression of weakness, the reverse is true, according to Psychology Today.

Showing co-workers some love gets allies in your court – and keeps work more cheerful. and suggest strategies – like bringing flowers to the office and leaving extra change at the vending machine.

Minute Mentor: Be kind to yourself. In this TV segment, Karen Boykin-Towns, Pfizer’s chief diversity officer, says it’s OK to be imperfect.

“One can pay back the loan of gold, but ones dies forever in debt to
those who are kind.”Malayan Proverb

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