7 Ideas To Create An Environment Of Kindness At Work
Daily habits focused on positivity are how nurses can contribute to a better working environment. But especially during a pandemic, keeping a positive attitude is challenging. As a nurse, you’re busy and stressed out. How do you find the time and energy to contribute to happiness at work?
The key is kindness. Small, sustainable, daily acts of kindness can have a big impact and shouldn’t require much time or energy. With a little consistency, thoughtful acts can snowball into a more positive, happier workplace. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
#1: Greet Your Coworkers Every Day
Saying hello to a coworker by name at the beginning of each shift can make them feel valued — and everyone wants to feel seen. Take a couple of seconds for a genuine smile and say hi to your coworkers throughout the day. Greet them by name. You’ll find these greetings add up to benefit you, too.
#2: Recognize Someone’s Effort With a Compliment
You know how it feels when someone acknowledges your hard work. To cultivate an environment of kindness at work, start a trend. Offer someone a compliment that comes from the heart at least once each shift. It only takes a moment, and you never know the lasting effect it could have on their self-esteem.
#3: Take Advantage of Available Workplace Wellness Activities
If your workplace offers activities, events, or benefits that improve your mental and physical wellness, check them out. Encourage your coworkers to join you. For example, ask a coworker to come with you to the weekly spin class provided by your employer, or the peer support group offered for nurses.
#4: Avoid Venting Sessions
While occasional venting might help you feel closer to your colleagues and cope with stressful work situations, constant complaining turns any environment into a negative one. Be mindful of how these conversations affect your morale and consider avoiding or removing yourself from such discussions.
#5: Have Your Coworkers’ Backs
Helping others boosts happiness hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, says Psychology Today. Whether you defend someone who’s being bullied, back up a coworker in a difficult situation, or help a colleague with an arduous task, you’re making someone else — and yourself — feel good. And if you have their backs, they’re more likely to have yours in times of need.
#6: Participate in Team Events
We know you don’t have extra time on your hands. If opportunities to boost team morale come up, participate when you can. Nurse managers should consider arranging for backfill to help encourage participation. Morale is crucial not just for nurse well-being, but for the success of the entire unit. Celebrate wins as a team when you can!
#7: Pay It Forward
You can set an example for other nurses by bringing kindness to the workplace each day. Leave an appreciation note on a coworker’s car or a thank-you sticky note at their workstation. One simple act of kindness like this can create a chain reaction, spreading through the workplace.
Above all, your goal is to do no harm — that includes your interactions with colleagues in the workplace. Demonstrate respect and a professional demeanor by:
- Using clear language (verbally, nonverbally, and in written communications)
- Treating others with kindness and dignity
- Avoiding gossip and spreading rumors
- Relying on facts, not speculations
- Taking responsibility for your actions
- Encouraging, supporting, and mentoring others (including new nurses)
You only have so much time and energy, and you already give so much of it to your patients. But you deserve to have a workplace filled with happiness. Setting an example with small acts of kindness contributes to making that transformation.
Do you need more ideas for generating happiness? Read our blog on 7 Ways To Improve The Way You See Yourself And Be Happier.
Not a member of Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) yet? Join us today!