Have you thought about growing through kindness? This, in the context of business and entrepreneurship, might be thought of as inappropriate and as “ a weakness”.

However, research and the voice of humanity appear to contradict this conclusion.  This brief article on kindness in business, on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation website, reinforces this thought:-

The Business Case for Kindness

There are many ways in which initiatives in kindness and compassion provide a competitive edge, including:

  • Fosters trust within an organisation – PwC’s 2016 CEO Survey finds that kindness increases employee commitment to the organisation, eliminates communication barriers, minimizes negative competition among staff, and strengthens relationships with other business partners and investors.
  • Assists in talent recruitment – A study from researchers at the University of Delaware demonstrates that having a culture of kindness at work may attract employees to a company, allow them to do their work with more compassion, and lead to lower recruiting, hiring, training costs, and higher productivity.
  • Heightens employee engagement and commitment – Gallup research has shown that in the past twenty years, employee engagement has become a significant predictor of an organization’s profitability and productivity. Kindness enhances engagement of both employees and customersResearch also indicates that loyalty increases when employees have opportunities to demonstrate kindness in the workplace.
  • Fuels learning and innovation – Empathy and kindness is crucial in learning from failure and fostering innovation because it increases what researchers from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor call ‘psychological safety‘ in sharing information. Because innovation rests on learning from failure, kindness is an important aspect of creating new ideas.
  • Promotes high-quality service and brand loyalty – Research from Gallup shows that genuine expressions of kindness in service interactions create brand loyalty, drive customer engagement with a service or experience provider, and forge lasting bonds with customers.
  • Improves business performance – A Deloitte University study show an 80% improvement in business performance when levels of diversity and inclusion were high.

In recent events…

This past weekend saw 2 of the world’s top tennis players – a multibillionaire and an award-winning comedian group together for fun and impact.

Here’s what one site said about the event:-  CAPE TOWN – Not only did the ‘Match in Africa’ exceed its target of raising $1 million for the Roger Federer Foundation by a whopping $3.5 million… it also set a new Guinness World Record by congregating 51,954 souls in attendance at a single tennis match.

The venue: the iconic Cape Town Stadium – host of the annual Cape Town Rugby Sevens – though this time on a blustery, ‘Cape Doctor’ wind-swept Friday night.

Sure, “looks at de scoreboard” a now famous, unnamed Afrikaans rugby commentator once said… in this case Federer beat his friend and rival-on-the-night Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-3 in an entertaining three-set extravaganza.

But on the night, tennis and more importantly, South Africa… amid these local dark, economic and politically volatile days, was the ultimate winner. (IOL)

The reason I include this great event in today’s blog is simply to show how these gents participated in an event where many others benefitted from their kindness.

I begin my tenth year in incubation this year, and in interacting with entrepreneurs and small businesses in that time, I am more persuaded than ever in the value of intentionally including kindness as a core offering. I myself have been the recipient of kindness on many an occasion.  And at the time, it made all the difference! Here’s to building businesses that constantly add value………and make a difference.

– Steve