Business ownership has a reputation that is often associated with being shrewd, ruthless, or comprised of owners who are motivated by money and power. “It’s not personal, it’s just business” is often used to justify cut-throat behavior and inconsiderate decisions. Sadly, some people start businesses only for the money that can be made and the prestige that can come with it. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. While the business world can be challenging to navigate, being unkind doesn’t have to be your GPS. In fact, kindness is a strength, not a weakness, and can be a successful business strategy. Every business owner wants to succeed — kindness is essential to achieving that goal.
In 1988, a coalition of nations’ non-governmental organizations (NGOs) started the World Kindness Movement. The group of “like-minded kindness organizations” introduced World Kindness Day on November 13, 1988, to highlight good deeds, celebrate, and promote kindness worldwide. This year, World Kindness Day falls on a Monday, providing an excellent opportunity for individuals and businesses to participate in spreading kindness and being kinder.
World Kindness Day is observed in many countries, including the United States and Canada. The United Kingdom, where Credico also operates, celebrates Kindness Day UK on the same day. As businesses participate in World Kindness Day, it is an opportunity to consider what kindness in business really means and how organizations can become kinder. We have compiled a list of ways every business can become kinder, not just on World Kindness Day but every day.
#1. Look in the mirror
It is generally advised for people to reflect on themselves and assess their character. However, businesses should also take a step back and evaluate how others perceive them. Imagine your business is a person – what kind of person would it be? How would others describe it? Would they use words like considerate, friendly, and kind? Businesses must always consider the perception of their brand. World Kindness Day is an excellent opportunity for businesses to assess the energy and persona their brand exudes. It is never too late to pivot and adopt a kinder approach.
Helping others is the ultimate act of kindness, the price we all pay to live on Earth. Volunteering in the community where you work and serve is doing good business the right way. While money is valuable, volunteering your time can be just as good or even better. There are some things that money cannot buy, such as reading to elementary school students, cleaning up trash at a local park, helping an animal shelter, or serving food at a soup kitchen. Businesses that volunteer their time are demonstrating selflessness, humanity, and kindness.
#3. Be Kind
Being kind doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) be a random act. Businesses should be kind every day. Kind to their customers, employees, clients/partners, and communities alike. Businesses should strive to be kind every day and exceed their previous acts of kindness. Acts of kindness, such as good deeds, kind gestures, empathy, understanding, and cooperation, should be an integral part of a business’s culture.
Giving your time is valuable, but donating money is also a meaningful way to be responsible with your earnings. Owning a business has the potential to earn a significant amount of money, which can then be used to contribute to charitable causes for the betterment of society. When businesses share their wealth, it is both an act of kindness and good stewardship. Additionally, providing fair wages to employees and fair prices to customers is another way businesses can demonstrate kindness.
Being fair, honest, cooperative, and easy to work with is how it should be in business. Being in business does not have to be dog-eat-dog. It can be can be harmonious. We can make business personal again and be kinder to each other. After all, kindness is not a weakness; it’s the most humane way to behave, especially in business.