Kindness. Does it Work in the Workplace?

Morons like you peddling cheap stuff like this so as to get contacts for Business Development.

— Asskicker

Wow! This guy just couldn’t wait to get his hands on 22 Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Engagement. The missing link was possibly right there in front of him. One more keystroke, and he’ll know exactly how to get his employees and coworkers to give him the dedication and respect he deserves. He clicks on “Download” and…

Yikes! There are more hoops to jump through. Whoever created this dumb webpage is now asking for his job title, his biggest challenge at work, and other such nonsense. “What’s my job title? I am an ass-kicker. I kick ass, you nitwit. What’s my biggest challenge right now? You are!”

Well, that’s interesting. I actually thought I was more of a blessing. The e-book is not that cheap. It cost me around $15K to research and present the topic. Another couple of grand to code and write copy for the landing pages. Not to mention all the time I put into this project. I am still working hard collecting data from the readers. Because I want to see if the e-book is doing its job—helping people address their most pressing problems at work.

If I were this guy’s employee, I would feel pretty bad about myself. I just spent all this time doing something I thought he’d like and appreciate. And he won’t give me five minutes of his time to tell me how I am doing. Geez, I think I might disengage for a few days. I might go talk to other employees about my feelings. And, if he keeps this up, I might even give up all hope of pleasing him and just fake it until I retire or something…

Okay, you get the point. People are their own problems. At home. At work. And anywhere else they happen to be. When I started researching employee engagement—or the lack thereof—I was hoping to find evidence that “peddling” Axero’s intranet software technology (which, by the way, is cheap—$150 a month for full access) would solve this problem for most companies.

What I found out was that the problem was mostly human. Yes, the momentous shift to “social” we are experiencing today comes with excitement and ease, just like the “digital revolution” of a couple decades ago. But technology won’t save your company. Kindness will.

Do you want a competitive edge that lasts? An engagement scheme that works with people? Try kindness. It’s a perfect strategy. Easy to understand. Hard to master. Impossible to imitate. Kindness is easy because everyone already knows what it looks like. You care. You give. You put others first. Yet it’s also hard because it goes against our instincts. It’s a trade secret that keeps itself, no matter how many times you tell it.

When I started working on 22 Surefire Ways, I was hoping it would help me sell more software. I didn’t expect it to change the way I think about my company and run my business. In retrospect, I am so glad it did. It happened just as we turned the corner from survival to rapid growth. More and more customers rely on Axero to stay connected. And more and more employees rely on us for their livelihood and personal fulfillment. Do I really want it to be all about selling software, or…?


If you are human you might like my book, because it’s all about being a better human at work. It’s also a #1 Amazon Hot New Release.

Written by

Tim Eisenhauer is a co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.


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