The Benefits of Kindness in the Workplace

 

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The Benefits of Kindness in the Workplace
In life, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your coworkers. Because you decide to be with those in your friendship circle, it’s easier to be compassionate towards them. When you’re with colleagues, you have little control over their personalities and quirks, and you may not gel with them as easily. However, no matter how compatible you are, the remarkable benefits of kindness in the workplace are worth a little extra effort.

Active generosity toward others in your workplace is tied to emotional well-being and improved physical health. According to a 2017 study in the National Library of Medicine, coworkers who were treated kindly paid the generosity forward by 278%, while collated research by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation indicates that kindness increases serotonin and energy levels as well as boosts positive perspectives and a sense of well-being.

Historically, kindness in the business world was equated with weakness. The notion that “nice guys finish last” often drove people to use fear, intimidation, and mind games to ascend the corporate ladder. But thanks to shifting perspectives and a global movement towards kinder workplace practices, kindness is now a symbol of strength in leadership, reducing sick rates and stress levels in the process.

So how can you go about making your workplace a little kinder? Start with small and simple acts that will have positive ripple effects. For example, pay a compliment when you notice a coworker go the extra mile or let them know when they’ve taught you something new. When you give feedback, give it from the heart, and when you ask someone how they’re doing, listen intently to their response. You could also surprise your team by throwing a virtual party featuring a DJ or virtual entertainer!

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The Basics of Developing New Products and Services
New year, new goals, new opportunities for growth, and new challenges. Here are the basics of how to intelligently approach expanding your business’s offerings:

Discovery and ideation. Tap your knowledge base through market, customer, and internal research. Generate lists of ideas and then seek out those on the list that address challenges customers face that the market does not yet address.

Evaluate. Why are you creating a new product? The risk involved in “new” is obviously higher than in “tried and true.” First, look for other areas and ways to increase margins, decrease overhead, and improve your bottom line. And then make sure that you are top-to-bottom ready to release “new” into the market.

Target. With your list of ideas, narrow down development to target the correct customers. Consider which ideas will have the greatest appeal to your target audience, which solve the most widespread customer challenges, and the cost to develop the new product versus your current efficiencies. Overall, determine which idea will be the lowest risk possible.

Beta phase. Ask a small group of your most loyal customers to test the prototype and provide feedback as you continue to develop and adjust the final product. This is also an opportunity to make your customers feel valued and heard. Remember, they don’t expect perfection; they are excited to experience a solution.

Release. Product launches require various degrees of consumer education and a fully equipped team to accomplish. Depending on the novelty of your solution, different degrees of marketing efforts are required, so be sure to tie in your marketing staff early on in the development process.

New products are new to both the marketplace and your internal staff. On launch day, among a few core items, you’ll need to have the following prepared: core product messaging, updated brochures and collateral, additions to your website, and training and support materials for customer service and sales teams.

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5 Fun Ways to Boost Your Entrepreneurial Creativity
January is International Creativity Month, a time to unleash the power of and capitalize on the creative drivers of success. Creativity is the bridge between problems and solutions and often makes the difference between organizations that simply survive and those that thrive. Here are five ways to harness your creative power so that 2021 will be a year of “the best is yet to come.”

Set the scene. While bright lights help with focus, dimming down the lights has been proven to foster creativity. Furthermore, science has shown that gentle ambient noise and an optimal room temperature (77°F or 25°C) promotes the abstract thinking creativity requires.

Change the scene. Being in the same structured environment can bring about the same structured thinking. Science has proven that a change in physical environment can significantly
increase creative thought processes.

Unplug. Staring endlessly at a problem usually proves futile. If no creative ideas or progress come, walk away from it for a while. Taking a break can allow us to see things with fresh eyes. With a rested and recharged brain, you’ll likely see the solution from a new, creative perspective.

Movement. Researchers have found that movement helps to foster creative thinking. Put the paperwork and whiteboard aside, get up and go take a workday walk or have a spontaneous dance party. You just might find your “Eureka!” moment.

Diversity. Invite ideas and feedback from people with different backgrounds, skill sets, and talents. Creative abundance springs forth from a diverse group united behind a common goal. One great resource to tap: your customer base.

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This is the time to prepare and plan for this year’s successes. From the macro to the micro, this template tool kit will help launch you confidently into 2021.

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Create an Amazing Onboarding Experience
for Your New Hires
The onboarding process sets the entire tone for the rest of a new hire’s tenure. In fact, a well-planned, memorable onboarding process has been shown to produce an 82% better retention rate and a 70% increased productivity rate among new employees. Let’s discover how to keep this process effective while also adding a little branded flair. Here’s how to keep it both fun and engaging.

Structure. Provide some order in the chaos of entering an entirely new organization and culture. Uniformity of experience provides some certainty, confidence, and overall enthusiasm that new hires will get up to speed quickly to join your team’s efforts.

Gamify. Turn that structure into achievement levels for tangible motivational progress. Create a scavenger hunt or treasure map designed to introduce new hires gently into your environment. Plus, gamification of learning material has been shown to reduce the time required for new employees to become productive contributors, thus improving your bottom line.

Swag. Milestones are important for the brain’s reward system. Providing increasingly rewarded levels of corporate-branded merchandise is just one way that you can gamify the onboarding process and gift your new hires their own badges of pride and honor.

“Keep it 100.” Another neat idea: celebrate 100 days of an employee’s journey. This is often the transition period from new hire to a productive, dedicated, and loyal employee. Make this a milestone that deserves to be honored.

Handbooks. Take a second look at your employee handbook. Do you feel inspired reading it? How can it be better harmonized to express your company culture? Some companies have even turned their guides into comic books to better align with their brands. What will you creatively come up with?

The welcome mat. Help new employees get to know the team before their first day. Using the “buddy system,” assign someone to look after the new hire and be a direct connection to help integrate and answer any questions.

Year of new (hires). Turn each person’s employment into a celebration filled with positive energy. Decorate their desk with welcome notes and encouragement from the team to start them off on the right foot.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.

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