A recent Harvard Business School (HBS) article underscored a key leadership strategy easily overlooked due to the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic – kindness. As the world continues to adjust to this new way of living that includes online schooling, remote work and social distancing guidelines, many feel as if their stress, confusion and anxiety over such drastic changes are being pushed to the side.

Specifically, a recent Gallup survey found that less than half of employees, roughly 45 percent, feel strongly that their employer cares about their well-being. This is most likely due to the many challenges leaders face during a crisis – causing a shift in focus to the business line rather than employee well-being. However, integrating kindness into the day-to-day business model has proven extremely beneficial for employees and employers alike.

The Mayo Clinic states, “It is important to remember that kindness is contagious as well as calming. And it is healing," further urging us to "intentionally set a goal to be kinder to others” and “express sincerely felt kindness to a co-worker."

The HBS article also referenced leaders from the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times and MIT Sloan Management Review on how they have addressed employee stress during COVID-19. Their answers focused on how their employees are coping and adjusting to the current challenges, and how they work to be there for their team members.

"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." - Henry James

These principles are a priority for Kindred as leaders and teams across the country continue to exemplify our Core Six Values throughout COVID-19 and beyond. “Be Kinder Than Expected” is one Kindred Core Value that stands out as especially crucial in employee-employer relations as communication methods have shifted and stress has risen – the value of kindness becomes more important than ever.

Kindred Acute Rehabilitation continuously promotes the implementation of these Core Values, as they have shown advantages in employee satisfaction, retention and relationship building.

“Along with empathy and emotional intelligence, kindness is one of the most essential soft skills for good leadership. But in these times, it might be the most crucial one.”

Click here to read the full article and learn several questions leaders can ask that demonstrate straightforward, effective ways to practice kindness as a matter of course.

By Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services