There’s more to being nice in business than just being nice. Fostering a positive environment and kindness in the workplace can lead to several business benefits.
“You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I never truly appreciated the truth behind the phrase until I entered the business world and realized the full power that being nice can have in the workplace.
In business, yes, your job is about accomplishing the tasks at hand, meeting deadlines, and exceeding expectations, but a larger part of the nine-to-five is interacting with people, especially in any consumer-facing position or relationship-driven industry like public relations.
Hiring nice people and running a nice business is more than just…well, nice. It can also have a dramatic effect on the overall success of your company:
• Recruiting top talent. When faced with multiple job offers, applicants often evaluate the company culture and “overall feel” of the organization as a determining factor. They take into consideration their interactions with their potential boss and colleagues, and determine if the organization is a good fit for them and their career. Applicants are attracted to positions where they will be treated with kindness and respect, as opposed to working under hostile conditions.
• Increased Productivity. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, employees’ disengagement in their job positions costs the country about $300 billion in lost productivity annually. Yes, that’s billion with a B. Why? Because when workers don’t care about their jobs or their employers, it leads to increased absenteeism, lower quality of work, and lower productivity. While employee disengagement can be attributed to a variety of reasons, a contributing factor to employees’ workplace happiness is having a supportive, positive environment. In “"Do Happier People Work Harder":http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/do-happier-people-work-harder.html?_r=1&” by the New York Times, the writers state: “Workers’ well-being depends, in large part, on managers’ ability and willingness to facilitate workers’ accomplishments — by removing obstacles, providing help and acknowledging strong effort.”
• Reduced Costs. Increased productivity and reduced costs go hand in hand. When your employees care about their positions and feel appreciated, they spend more time on their job tasks and less time procrastinating, socializing or goofing-off during work hours. A positive work environment also reduces employee turnover, which experts estimate cost almost twice the amount of an employee’s salary to find and train the replacement, according to Wall Street Journal’s “"How to Reduce Employee Turnover":http://guides.wsj.com/management/recruiting-hiring-and-firing/how-to-reduce-employee-turnover/.”
• Business Growth. What’s the best get-rich-quick tip? Treat your employees with compassion! In Dr. Noelle Nelson’s book “"Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy":http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml,” Dr. Nelson found in her research that “companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity and assets more than triple that experienced by firms that don’t.” Dr. Nelson also refutes that its just money that makes employees happy; it’s keeping your promises and showing compassion to employees that drives the bottom line.
• Positive Public Image. More than ever, consumers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when making purchasing decisions. In a survey from 360PR MomSquad, about 77 percent of all moms surveyed said their most trusted sources on purchasing decisions are recommendations and testimonials from their circle of friends. The effect of public image and word-of-mouth is so powerful that some have created the “word-of-mouth equity” metric to measure how effective a brand’s messages influence the purchasing decisions of consumers. Treating customers well by having nice employees leads to a great consumer experience, generating positive public image and word-of-mouth reputation.
Being nice is business certainly has its perks of leading to an overall more pleasant professional life, but it can also chalk up some positive karma points to help your business in the long run.