A Kinder, Gentler Organization?
There’s an article in Workforce Management that discusses the (debatable) positive impact that a “kinder” workforce culture can have on organizational performance. Honestly, the article doesn’t make a particularly convincing case one way or another. There is an interesting example of a company that cleaned up a contaminated nuclear site SIXTY years ahead of schedule and $30 billion under budget (!), and they think work they had done on “positive organizational scholarship” helped, but there wasn’t any researched cause-effect connection.
And then there are quotes from others who are skeptical and point to other successful companies that don’t have a “kind” culture.
I think it’s wrong to frame the issue as “kindness.” A workplace where people are engaged and excited about the work gets more done. Honestly, I don’t care if you have the research to back that up or not. I’m going to go ahead and push for that outcome anyway. People don’t necessarily need “kindness” to reach that state, but I am skeptical that traditional command and control will get you there. Most of the “kind” approaches in the article were really about changing the command and control model, if you ask me.