ROI – return on investment – is a common term in business circles. Now, ROK – return on kindness – is making its way into the lexicon. Author Jill Lublin, who wrote The Profit of Kindness, claims it’s a “new currency”.
On an individual level, the American Management Association points out that kindness is just one personality trait often tied to good leaders. Being kind is different than being likable or a pushover, the AMA asserts. And when used as part of strong leadership, it can add value to a company.
The Harvard Business Review in early 2017 published on how rudeness can negatively impact a workplace. Without those feelings in a team environment of trust, respect and safety, people take fewer risks. What could otherwise be their best work is diminished by the negativity. Even small things can stymie people’s performance and hence affect collaboration, the article purports.
As far as businesses go, the success of companies perceived as ideals-based has only enhanced the consideration of kindness as a value for a number of businesses. And many companies are taking notice. Pret a Manger in 2016 put special sleeves on 120,000 coffee cups that recipients could pass on to friends, coworkers or strangers to redeem for free drinks.
Meanwhile, London-based retailer Browns announced plans to decorate its windows with positive messages. The week-long art project, which came ahead of London’s 2017 Fashion Week, kicked-off a year-long campaign for the company around kindness.
The true return on kindness is yet to be seen, but it seems that employees and customers alike will benefit from big business’ interest in linking profit t positivity.