Kindness is key when it comes to business growth, according to a new study.
Research conducted by consulting firm Great Place to Work has found that the greatest driver of above-average revenue growth in smaller businesses was a “caring” workplace community, which surveyed employees ranked higher than a clear business strategy, innovation activities and competent leadership.
Researchers analyzed several hundred small- and medium- sized companies, along with more than 52,000 employee surveys, in search of the strongest drivers of revenue outperformance. They examined the relative impact of the 58 questions from the Great Place to Work’s Trust Index Employee Survey, and found that “People care about each other” and “Management hires people who fit in well here” came out on top.
Employees working within a trusting and caring environment are 44 percent more likely to be working for a company with above-average revenue growth, reported the researchers.
It should be noted that all of the companies included in the study were Great Place to Work-Certified, meaning seven out of 10 of each companies’ employees gave them positive scores on the Trust Index. This suggests that employees at these businesses have a solid level of trust in management, camaraderie amongst each other and pride in their work.
While this may also indicate that companies with low trust in management wouldn’t see stronger sales growth from a caring environment, this new research is supported by past studies that have linked a caring community and a company's success.
A recent Google study found that psychological safety - which loosely translates to employees feeling comfortable sharing new and opposing with each other - is the main influence on high performance in workplace teams.
An earlier study by Roy Baumeister of Florida State University found that a feeling of belonging is essential to team productivity, and that those who feel rejected by their peers can act out with aggression or a reluctance to contribute.
The takeaway from all this? Fostering a culture in your workplace where employees feel respected, valuable and happy could prove truly priceless; who'd a thunk?