Branding is defined as selling an emotional experience, when you create economic capital with Kindness, you are giving a simple promise.

kindness message

This is what we are giving you, this is what you are buying from us. What does implementing kindness have to do with branding? It’s the experience that your business is providing to your employees, customers, vendors and associates.

Why would you consider using Kindness to brand your business? Rather, than ask why? Why not? Kindness is a self-generated product or service you won’t get the benefit until you use it.

If you look at the Customer Service or the People Departments of companies, one would think that using kind words, sympathetic listening, compassion, showing regard, being respectful, goodwill, controlling one’s temper, not yelling at the customer or employee would figure into the equation of kindness.

A Kindness in Business Initiative

Was created and pioneered by Olivia McIvor who was a HR Professional www.inspirationalhr.com and worked at Canada Trust, her plan was to put the ‘human’ back into human resources. CT dealing with large volumes of robberies and critical accidents each year she saw that it was imperative that the HR team was well trained. A comprehensive anti-violence campaign not only met, but also far exceeded the WCB requirements.

In October Canada Trust Canada Trust celebrated their first ‘Kindness to Kolleague Week.’ Her first step was to become very clear about her values and the outcome and where she wanted to see the organization in 2-5 years. Her vision was to see an organization where heart and soul is infused throughout the organization. That there would be is a sense that our corporate soul has been awakened. Her challenges to overcome, like using the word ‘Kindness’ in the business environment. Kindness takes respect and integrity to the next level- into action. It is a paradigm shift. She approached her PR Manager, the Sr. Regional VP and their Retail Marketing Manager; they were all responsive and positive. In light with the up coming merger with TD – Toronto Dominion they needed to pull everyone together as a team. Kindness is a very tangible and actionable way to bring people together.

She also wrote to every Branch Manager and received a 99% buy-in from them. We found ways to link kindness with existing initiatives, like the Black Diamond Awards (The Black Diamond Awards was just for upper management, they opened the awards to all employees.)

* A Gallup Opinion Poll and our Community service initiatives. The support of the Senior Managers helped Professionalize the program and the Managers helped executed the initiatives.

*Canada ranked 4th out of 32 countries world-wide for workplace violence. Stress is the biggest cause. International Labour Organization performed a study on workplace violence, it was completed in 1998. and 1990, the same results showed up. The USA was at 2nd place.

Olivia commenced immediately to work on rolling the initiative out with 72 branches and approximately 20,000 employees. Her handbook is the result of the successes and learning that resulted over five months that it took to implement the program. You can find this handbook at KindActs.net The Kindness to Kolleagues concept was a comprehensive retention tool that effectively was communicated and was reinforced with employees, that Canada Trust was a great place to work.

In 2001, TD Trust Toronto Dominion and Canada Trust merged together received the Marketer of the year award. I just wonder if the Kindness program helped them to win the award? No, doubt in my mind.

Are you Profiting from Rudeness and Bad Manners?

“Rudeness is increasingly common in our workplace and it’s taking a toll on employee happiness, customer satisfaction and even the bottom line.. We have come more competent in dealing with software and we have lost ground in dealing with human-ware. It’s about treating co-workers, subordinates and customers with respect and consideration” Giovinella Gonthier a co-author of Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace.

Did you know that companies can now cash in on Kindness and earn up to 15% in profits and employee retention.

“Organizations in which employees perceive higher levels of virtuousness have significantly higher profit margins. Not only in revenue, also in profits, employees are more productive, morale is higher, employee turnover is lower and customers are more loyal. Companies can now cash in on Kindness and earn up to a 15% return. It’s amazing companies that invest in human capital are creating economic capital.”

Cameron and his research colleagues, David Bright of Case Western Reserve University and Arran Caza of the University of Michigan, first did case studies of companies with national reputations for being kinder and gentler, including Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn. And CH2M Hill a Denver-based engineering and construction firm currently rated by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for. They made it tough, as they sought out organizations that had experienced downsizing in the past 5 years. Richard Morin of the Washington Post -October 2003

What kind of legacy do you want to create for your business to leave behind? A better world or even a better company?

Mari-Lyn Harris