Workplace culture affects employees and their performance, which impacts a business’s bottom line.
Kelly Allison, CEO at brand experience agency, KVA, insists that by leading with kindness, employees soar and the business benefits – results she’s seen in her own business. Her company’s campaign, #CorporateKindness, was created to enable global businesses to strengthen compassion within their company and to show that they are proud to lead with kindness.
We sat down with this inspirational CEO to look at how businesses can better their bottoms lines through impactful acts of kindness.
Tell us about your experience with corporate life and what led you to start Corporate Kindness.
Corporate life showed me that the quality of kindness isn’t traditionally seen as a great business virtue. I remember being told I wouldn’t be successful in business because I was too kind and concerned with other people’s feelings. Before I started my own business, I experienced a fair share of the tough working environment that lies in many agencies. These agencies are often filled with pressure at all levels within the structural hierarchy and it can be very easy to allow a hostile working environment to form.
I knew that when I would launch my own business, I wanted to enhance the lives of both the individuals we employ and the businesses we add value to. Many corporates have a defined set of core values that aren’t always seen, believed and adopted. We want to change this and through our campaign for #corporatekindness, we challenge as many businesses as possible to sign up and show they’re proud to lead with kindness.
I’ve always been a strong believer in leading with kindness but I wanted look at how this can positively influence businesses because I believe that by strengthening your culture, you’re able to build loyal brand ambassadors within your team, who work hard and are motivated to get results for customers.
How has kindness in business bettered your company’s bottom line?
A company culture that is driven by kindness puts people before profits and really cares about helping the company’s employees achieve their full potential. Achieving this, employees are given a sense of purpose, self-esteem and value, which helps productivity to soar.
My team has given more than their time: they care about and also form friendships with our clients. They genuinely care as much about the client’s businesses as they do about KVA. This kind of dedication keeps the business alive and is usually only seen in a company owner. I feel privileged that my team value KVA’s vision much as I do.
What can MDs and C-suite executives do to show more kindness in business?
Kindness in business creates an environment that inspires your employees to come to work. Studies have proven that kindness improves productivity, retains employees, and lowers training costs.
A few things you can do within your business could involve assigning a happiness officer, or at least someone whose responsibility it is to keep morale high internally. Showing appreciation speaks volumes and when people feel appreciated, they go the extra mile. On a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to have your heads immersed in campaign strategy and product development, however just sitting for 10 minutes as a team to recognise your achievements is priceless.
Think about what you can offer your employees that’s different and makes them want to be a loyal ambassador of your brand. Another thing you can do, which may seem obvious, is to share positive news, like a new business win. Any positive news story is inspirational and affects our mood and performance. We really don’t hear enough good news on a daily basis.
About Kelly Allison
Kelly Allison is the founder of KVA, a digital comms and brand experience agency working with brands to change lives. She has worked in digital communications for over 20 years and was named as a Top 10 UK Entrepreneur in 2019 by Entrepreneur Magazine. At KVA, Kelly uses behaviour data to explore trends and gain a deeper insight into customer actions, enabling smart decisions to be made that impact on consumer experiences.