We often here moans from managers about how ungrateful team members can be. It’s sad but it’s not limited to Early Years. All too often people don’t think about the feelings of others and we lack what we describe as a culture of kindness.
Whilst it’s alarming to note the decrease in kindness shown by colleagues towards one another and towards their management.
However, it’s never too late to pivot and strive to develop a culture of kindness in our settings. This is not merely to improve the working environment but, more critically, for the young poeple who are influenced by the behaviour they observe daily.
Why does kindness matter?
- Role Modelling: Children are like sponges, absorbing behaviours, words, and actions from their surroundings. When the adults around them consistently model kindness, children naturally learn to emulate those behaviours, creating a foundation for positive interpersonal skills.
- Harmonious Environment: A culture of kindness fosters an environment where disputes are minimal, collaboration is high, and there’s an overall sense of peace—essential for children’s growth and safety.
- Improved Job Satisfaction: When employees feel valued and respected, they often find more joy in their jobs, reducing turnover and ensuring children receive consistent, high-quality care.
- Emotional and Social Development: Children in environments marked by kindness and compassion tend to have better emotional regulation and social skills, as they’re exposed to healthy ways of managing emotions and building relationships.
Steps to Foster Kindness:
- Training and Workshops: Invest in training sessions that emphasise the importance of kindness, empathy, and effective communication. Role-playing exercises can be particularly effective in this context.
- Recognition and Rewards: Implement a system to recognise and reward acts of kindness. Whether through monthly awards or simple shout-outs in team meetings, acknowledgement can motivate staff.
- Open Lines of Communication: Ensure that all team members, regardless of their position, feel heard and understood. When employees feel that their concerns and suggestions matter, they are more likely to reciprocate with kindness.
- Lead by Example: The leadership team must be the torchbearers of kindness. When senior members and managers consistently demonstrate kind behaviour, it sets a clear precedent for the rest of the team.
- Team Building Activities: Organise regular team-building sessions, fostering trust and understanding amongst colleagues. Activities can range from team lunches to trust-building exercises.
To conclude, fostering a culture of kindness is not just necessary for a harmonious workplace, but it’s also imperative for moulding the next generation. As the adage goes, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Let’s ensure our children not only see and hear it but experience it too.
If you are expering difficulties because of a lack of a culture of kindness, give us a call on 01527 909436.