Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Creating a Culture of Compassion

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dalai Lama

As we approach Valentine’s Day, we at NextGen are continuing our tradition of celebrating in our office with random acts of kindness, throughout the month of February.  It is simple and fun and contagious.  We are also taking a silent vote this month for the employee who portrays the most passion for their work and who puts their heart into every endeavor.    It may result in a tie, however, as our current NextGen staffers are seriously dedicated to the team.  So, as we celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day at work, we can spend some time thinking about what we love about our job and use the month as an opportunity for giving and sharing of our time, gifts and talents to simply make the workplace, a better place. 

Recently, I had been reading about the importance of having compassion in all aspects of one’s life.  Compassion as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a “sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”  

To me, compassion is the prompt which inspires and motivates one into action.  In my own personal fashion, I began thinking about how this whole idea of compassion could be applied in an office setting.  

I began doing more research and I discovered that many successful companies strive for a culture of compassion.  The power that emerges from such a kinder workplace, includes better morale and happier people for a more productive and purposeful environment.  A productive and more purposeful environment   helps create a healthier bottom line.  
In an article entitled The Rise of Compassionate Management(Finally) by Bronwyn Fryer, published in the Harvard Business review, Fryer states, “Don’t look now, but all of a sudden the topic of compassionate management is becoming trendy…a growing number of business conferences are focusing in on the topic of compassion at work. “   In support of this, a simple Google search for compassionate workforce gave me 480,000 results!  As I continued my searches on the topic, the same key points seemed to emerge. 

A compassionate workplace helps retain employees and there is less absenteeism, less stress, thus creating an overall healthier office community.  A culture of compassion creates interpersonal bonding and team building.  For our work at NextGen, we are in the “people” business where our work and success is built on trust and long standing relationships.  Compassion is so important, because when we talk about providing people with great career opportunities, we are really talking about their livelihood, which affects their own personal goals, family life, where they live and more. 

I don’t believe this idea of a compassionate workplace is just a trend, but rather direction businesses throughout the country are taking toward their employees.  It just makes good business sense.  I would like to share with you one such article which describes the importance of creating a more compassionate workplace and another which provides a few practical tips and simple ways to practice compassion in the in an office environment. 

At NextGen we are always looking for new ways to help make the workforce and the workplace… better.  I hope you too; can find inspiration in doing the same. 

Lori Eaton

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