The goal of every small business is to generate a return on investment (ROI). This means that if a dollar is put into the company, the owners hope to get $3 or even $100 from it.
While this is still a required long term measurement, a new undervalued metric that will help businesses grow daily is to establish a “Return on Kindness” (ROK). While there continues to be much divisiveness and conflict in the world, every company can serve as a refuge for their employees who need to work toward a common goal. Achieving this will always lead to long-term loyalty and increased positive motivation.
Gabriella van Rij, a speaker, author, and activist for kindness says that “derogatory remarks, flippant comebacks, a lack of cultural sensitivity, and a disregard for the feelings of others create a negative working environment that hinders a business’ performance.” She says that when communicating, too many people give judgments rather than opinions which puts everyone on the defensive. Gabriella believes that no one strikes back if the original person is coming from a kind and positive place. It also allows communication to remain open which is required in fast-growing companies.
For a business owner in a power position, kindness does not mean weakness. Jill Lublin, author of “The Profit of Kindness” believes there are many pathways that will build a more productive and profitable company:
Connection: Kindness contains the word “kin” which means a relationship between people or a connected group. In business, Jill believes that there can’t be kindness without connection. People are more loyal to those they feel connected with inside companies. It encourages them to know that they are part of something bigger in achieving a common purpose.
Gratitude: To succeed in business, employees, customers, and vendors must feel appreciated. Jill emphasizes that everyone wants to hear that their work means something to a greater group of people or as part of a team effort.
Patience: Jill thinks that patience is what keeps a “sturdy bridge between people”. While this has become increasingly difficult in a 24/7 multitasking world, patience is that much more appreciated by people when it is shown.
Generosity: For even the most mundane thing, Jill says to be generous with “thanking, compliments, and praising” of everyone in the business. People do notice when the owner or manager takes time out of their schedule to acknowledge them.
Compassion: Care and compassion cannot be faked. Jill believes that leaders must want to be authentic in connecting with people to build onto their mission, business, and company culture.
How are you getting a “Return on Kindness” (ROK) in your company?
Barry Moltz helps small businesses get unstuck. He applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change.
Barry has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 20 years. He is a small business speaker, radio host and author of four books. As a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, he has spoken to audiences of up to 20,000 people. He is a regular guest on business radio and cable TV programming.