Being a great business leader or team member takes a lot of traits and abilities--grit, curiosity, intelligence, patience, for example. But kindness is the glue that makes people stick around you. It's what allows people to let down their guard to trust and connect with you for both better work and higher quality of life. That's what makes committing to compassion one of the most meaningful resolutions you can make.

You can show kindness to those around you if you

  1. Bring them a coffee or treat.
  2. Extend a deadline if possible when stress escalates.
  3. Check in regularly just to see how their doing, rather than for a project update.
  4. Share an inspiring book or quote.
  5. Offer genuine praise or thanks, especially when it's not expected.
  6. Ask what they need.
  7. Introduce them to someone who can help.
  8. Leave your phone off or out of reach when you're with them.
  9. Keep communal spaces clean.
  10. Donate your raise toward employee training, bonuses, or pay increases, or reevaluate your benefits package to better meet immediate needs.
  11. Be realistic about quotas and the circumstances workers try to reach them in; set the bar  high, but don't let numbers give a false impression of the employee experience or ability.
  12. Hold open doors.
  13. Give them a few fidgets to keep at their desk.
  14. Tell a brief story that demonstrates empathy.
  15. Cater a lunch or let everyone have a potluck.
  16. Be honest about your own mistakes so they know it's OK to make them, too.
  17. Ask them about the good that happened in their day.
  18. Be more generous and flexible with breaks.
  19. Donate some vacation time.
  20. Shut down gossip or ask for facts/sources.
  21. Offer easy access to music they like and encourage them to listen.
  22. Let them know before supplies run out.
  23. Help for a few minutes on one of their projects (especially if they have to stay late).
  24. Invite them to take a walk, grab lunch or do another activity with you.
  25. Pay for a leisure membership, conference, tank of gas or trip.
  26. Make it easier to work remotely, especially in emergencies.
  27. Mentor or give unsolicited support, no strings attached.
  28. Leave private notes of encouragement on their desk.
  29. Let them know as soon as you can if there's a different, better position within the company they'd thrive in.
  30. Reply to correspondence quickly.
  31. Be a listening ear in moments of anxiety or depression.
  32. Share rewards programs you know about within the community or online.
  33. Put fun activities and games in the break room.
  34. Take care of yourself--unhealthy, sleepy bosses usually are grumpy bosses!
  35. Apologize as soon as possible if you're wrong and change your behavior to prove you're sincere.
  36. Make sure the office has tools to make others more comfortable, such as a few extra cushions, personal fans or weighted lap blankets.
  37. Make sure they get training.
  38. Send them home early or surprise them with a random call to take the day off.
  39. Share positive feedback with their direct manager if it isn't you, ideally in writing.
  40. Give their desk plants a drink.
  41. Ask for their insights so they know you value their opinions and expertise.
  42. Hold the elevator.
  43. Make sure they get away from their desk for lunch.
  44. Tape money to the vending machine.
  45. Keep a bowl of healthy snacks or fruit in busy office areas.
  46. Let them go ahead of you in the cafeteria, on the stairs, etc.
  47. Talk about what they do for you, not what their title is.
  48. Let them completely finish what they are saying, even if you have a good idea of what their message will be, disagree or are in a hurry.
  49. Lend out an extra umbrella.
  50. Promote their side hustle to those in your network.
  51. Give the benefit of the doubt; instead of assuming someone is unintelligent because they don't automatically know what you know, assume they can learn and improve.
  52. Go out of your way to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate.
  53. Offer a ride home, especially in bad weather.
  54. Arrive on time.
  55. Volunteer to help with non-work jobs that can pile up and eat free time, like grabbing their dry cleaning if it's on your way to the office, unpacking after a move, etc.
  56. Leave coupons on the main bulletin board.
  57. Bring in a therapy animal (consider allegories) or other stress relief entertainment.
  58. Provide a way for them to catch a catnap without judgment.
  59. Tweak your language to use more inclusive phrases and pronouns.
  60. Alert them to fun after-work activities.
  61. Keep your word.
  62. Arrange one-on-one time where they can voice concerns and share ideas.
  63. Celebrate milestones.
  64. Cut to the chase and stick to the agenda.
  65. Tell it like it is right away instead of sugarcoating.
  66. Clarify how their efforts help you or make an impact and say thank you.

This might look like a big list, but the reality is that it only scratches the surface of all the ways you can show your team a little grace. Adopting even some of these strategies might kill stress, lower absenteeism, improve morale and spike productivity. If you have additional, unique ways you show you care, leave them in the comments below to inspire others!

Published on: Dec 14, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.