Kindness at work one way to boost staff engagement

December 17, 2013

A RECENT Gallup survey on employee engagement found that three out of four workers in Singapore feel unmotivated and are “sleepwalking” through their work day, without being emotionally invested in their companies (“S’pore staff ‘not engaged’ at work”; Dec 6).

Many organisations are aware that long-term engagement with their employees is vital. After all, what makes a company more successful than another is not its products, services or strategies – all of which can be copied over time – but the people who execute these with personal commitment and passion.

One thing we have not thought or talked about much is kindness and graciousness in the workplace. These values are often seen as “soft” and not measurable.

Kindness is simple to practise, yet it is extraordinarily powerful and key in inspiring people to bond, engage and excel.

The [email protected] programme, an initiative of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), encourages staff to practise kindness to oneself, one’s colleagues and the community.

It can be implemented through a series of workshops, where participants are encouraged to do self-reflection through discussion and questions in a workbook. Practical kindness activities are also suggested to reinforce ideas in the workshops.

The SKM team has started taking the [email protected] programme to various organisations, and is hoping that more leaders and companies will consider this seriously, in the same way that wellness and healthy lifestyle programmes have become de rigueur in human resource management practice. More information on [email protected] can be found on or by calling the SKM Secretariat.

When we exercise kindness at work and recognise acts of kindness, we can generate a happier, more gracious workplace environment, where staff are emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organisations.

Koh Poh Tiong
Singapore Kindness Movement

First published in The Straits Times – December 17, 2013

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