Leading with kindness – the best employee retention strategy you can deploy in 2021
The Sector is pleased to reshare the following piece, written by Adrian Grundy of Murdoch Education, in which he discusses the way that his core value of Lead With Kindness is embedded in his daily leadership practice.
Lead With Kindness is a personal value that I live and breathe every moment of every day and I have worked tirelessly and purposely to infuse this concept into my business DNA.
In our business, this concept/value is our North Star that guides us on stormy days and dictates our decision-making process, how we engage with each other, our candidates, our clients, our community and our sector.
We do not pick and choose who or how we implement this value as this is my peoples natural direction because it is ingrained deeply into our business DNA.
We don’t expect them to be reciprocal because genuine values expect no reciprocation (Even though being decent and kind should be implied).
Being kind does not mean we don’t address the hard issues directly and we certainly do not have a working environment that is all rainbows and kittens, in fact our work environment is high stress but from the outside you would not know this.
We believe “true leadership” takes place under conditions of real stress. Real stress is often a point where our values truly shine especially “Lead With Kindness” because in stressful situations people become reactionary and emotive leading them to act in ways that move away from kindness.
This takes form in areas like speaking aggressively on phone calls, writing emails and cc’ing in others to make examples of the person on the receiving end and not acknowledging people when they arrive at work because you are upset just to name a few.
When your people see you treating others internally, externally or personally like they are less than or disposable and that human decency is not how you engage others or come natural, it does not matter how nice you treat them because the way you acted will always stay as the primary thought.
As humans we retain the thoughts that have high impact or surprise and shock us and you will always lose those employees you value because those actions are not actions they will want to surround themselves with.
At work, anxiety and stress are at all-time highs. I talk with HR leaders about this almost every day, and most are bending over backward to understand, redesign and improve the employee experience a genuine values-driven culture is becoming the normal conversation with themes of kindness being at the top because the ripple effect has a direct correlation to productivity.
I will leave you with this parting advice.
Research shows that even employees who haven’t been dubbed as ‘high potential’ employees by management will work harder in an environment where good things happen to those who deserve it.
Putting it in simple terms reward and recognition for good behaviour = kindness. Even the recognition of mentioning a high achievers name in a company email boosts morale and lowers retention rates.
I believe that if we stay true to this value at all times we will be assured success because humility, kindness and respect will always prevail.