Ways to Promote Kindness at Work

The best thing about kindness is that it spreads. This is why kindness is foundational in creating a workplace environment that welcomes people and invites joy. For the majority of us, the standard 40-hour work week is a lot to contend with. The last thing anyone needs is the added dread, stress, and anxiety of an unhappy workplace. In fact, The Muse reports that happy employees are 12 per cent more productive than unhappy employees. Clearly, there’s profit in treating your employees and co-workers right—and it starts with a just a little bit of kindness. Here are some ways to promote kindness at work.

Greet Each Other With Intention

It’s easy to dive right into the work and get lost in your to-do list. That’s why you’re there, of course. But taking a moment to greet the people on your team or in your office fosters connection and makes people feel valued. The key, however, is to do it with intention. Look the other person in the eye, smile warmly at them and offer a greeting that is genuine and fully present. 

Have Meaningful Conversations

Having meaningful conversations with someone is a great way to make them feel seen, heard, and valued. After all, every workplace is really a collective of people with individual lives and stories—stories that don’t often get a chance to be told. Meaningful conversations open up emotional and intellectual channels of communication that help us truly see each other. The more people get to know each other, the more people begin to feel like a team.

Celebrate One Another

Everyone deserves to be recognized for their work. Celebrating wins, both big and small, makes people feel good about themselves and the work they’re doing. Not only that, celebrating each other’s achievements and efforts helps combat the jealousy, disdain, and resentment that often pervade super competitive workplace environments. 

Practise Gratitude

The truth is that nobody at the workplace accomplishes anything all on their own. The way that gears and cogs in a machine work in tandem to keep things running is the same way lots of individuals in a company work together toward the same goals. Gratitude, which is apparent in small favours such as offering to take the burden of tasks off of someone else in the team, shows that you are appreciative of the people around you. Kindness has a contagious effect—your kind acts might inspire the receiver of your kindness to be kind to someone else—and it could all circle back to you.

Engage in Small Acts Of Kindness

Kind words may be a basic solution, but words are powerful tools. A compliment, a cute message on a post-it, a kindness board—all examples of breathing kindness into the workplace—are small actions that can go the longest way. Not only are words memorable, they can also inspire people to believe in the work they’re doing. Spreading messages of kindness is a great way to make people feel good about themselves and the workplace they’re in.

Jericho Tadeo | Contributing Writer

Millennials 101: How to Keep Them in the Workplace

According to Pew Research Center, the millennial generation encompasses anyone born between 1981 and 1996. From an analysis of UN population data, ManpowerGroup predicted that millennials would have made up a third of the global workforce in 2020. Employers cannot ignore the demands and requirements for millennials in the workplace.

Falsely portrayed as entitled, lazy, uncommitted, and disloyal, millennials are, in truth, highly committed workers who happen to be picky about the work that gives them true fulfillment and finding ideal workplace culture and environments. 

Stats show that 43 per cent of millennials would leave their present job in a period of two years, and 28 per cent would not consider staying at their present job for more than five years. Here are some recommendations to keep them in the workplace.

Competitive Pay and Comprehensive Benefits Structure

For sure, pay matters to everyone, and living without benefits means making hefty cuts on your take-home salaries when any medical needs or emergencies come up. Millennials are mostly content if their salary is comparable to market averages and if the benefit structure is fairly comprehensive. Pay is not enough to keep them in a job; it must be coupled with the following measures.


Feedback in bi-annual performance evaluations is severely lacking for millennials, so management must provide more frequent and timely assessments of the millennial employees’ work. Task-based review and feedback are required to keep millennials engaged and confident that their work contributes to the bigger picture. Recognition of their achievements through compliments, or other rewards, is also a necessity.

Learning and Development-Oriented Culture

87 per cent of millennials attribute their professional development to their employers. Companies need to formalize their learning and development programs to fulfill their learning needs, providing frequent in-person or virtual training programs for on-the-job skills or access to virtual training. Furthermore, millennials also seek mentors at work who can guide them in their professional choices and conduct. Given that millennial employees wish to see chances for career progression, it is essential to offer them higher-level skills that can help them advance into managerial positions.

Approachability to the Management

Once a new hire arrives, make them aware that they can reach out to their manager, or even managers above their direct managers, without following a protocol. An open-door communication policy signals that any suggestions, complaints, or tips for improvement are welcome.

Inclusive Hiring and Social Responsibility Programs

This socially conscious generation wants affirmation that their employer respects inclusivity and diversity in its hiring practices, pays heed to giving back to the community, and stays protective of the environment. To attract and keep millennials, it is important to communicate the company’s community efforts and corporate social responsibility programs and its commitments to things like carbon footprint reduction.

Flexible Work Schedules and Arrangements

With the pandemic, millennials who have become accustomed to work-from-home arrangements now demand greater flexibility from their employers. So, if the kind of work allows for such flexibility, it is advisable to accommodate variable schedules and work arrangements to keep millennial employees motivated.

Arslan Ahmed | Staff Writer

The Top 10 Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts of Business Emails

For most of us, we are habitually in a rush to accomplish as much as possible while we are working. A strong work ethic is imperative. But do you use an equally thorough approach to reviewing your emails before clicking “send”? The following is a list of the top 10 do’s and don’ts of business emailing:

  1. Always proofread. Improper grammar and punctuation are not only unprofessional, but it can prove to be quite unappealing aesthetically. Be sure to review your email by being meticulous.
  1. Do not include humour in your email. Business emails are intended to be on-point and devoid of wit. The reader is most likely as busy as you are. Therefore, remaining on-topic is imperative.
  1. Do reply to your emails in an expeditious manner. If you find that you are engrossed in a project that requires your time and attention, you may opt to mark an email as “unread.” This will serve as a reminder to you that the content of the email has not yet been dealt with.
  1. Do not hit “reply all.”  Does the finance department really need to know that you have made a request for vacation time? Of course not. Take the time to make sure that you are responding to only the sender when appropriate.
  1. Do see to it that the documents that you wish to include have been attached. Neglecting to include attachments can cause extreme embarrassment. You may opt to attach them to your email before you begin to include your text.
  1. Do ensure that your email is consistent with your subject line. If there are a multitude of issues that must be addressed with a co-worker, create a thread for each one. This approach is much easier on the eyes and can help avoid the possibility of creating confusion for both of you.
  1. Do not include personal business in your email correspondence. It is best to stay focused and keep private information to yourself; alternatively, speaking with the other person during a lunch break is more advisable for informal conversations.
  1. Do not send an email when you feel emotional. If you are not in a position to make important decisions such as what to include in an email, you may decide to save a draft.  You can then return to the email when you have your thoughts in order.
  1. Do not use only capital letters. This is not professional as it assumes that there is an urgent matter that must be immediately resolved—or that you are angry. Use proper grammar at all times. 
  1. Do not send emails in the middle of the night. Your manager needs time to unwind from a busy day, just as you do. You may decide that sending emails within a range of time that includes one hour before the workday begins and one hour after the workday ends is a more considerate course of action.

Ori Michael Belmont | Contributing Writer

The Three Bs of Customer Service

We are all consumers of products or services offered by organizations. Whether shopping in-person or virtually, consumers account for the most important piece of any business. Without a clientele, organizations would not break even or earn a profit, and they would eventually cease to exist. In order to keep customers interested and returning, companies work tirelessly to generate innovative communications in hopes of achieving a sale and developing a business-client relationship. However, not all corporations stress good customer service. Here are some steps labelled the three Bs that entrepreneurs can take to ensure that their clients have a positive experience:

Be Attentive Without Being Overwhelming

All consumers likely remember a time when they were walking through a shopping center, minding their own business, when they suddenly found themselves hounded by a sales representative shoving a product into their face. The majority of us tend to not like this approach, and we end up ignoring the product and quickly walking away from the scene. While there is no harm in wanting to attract a potential customer to your product or service, do not come across as abrasive or forceful; you will likely end up pushing the potential client away from you. A simple “Can I help you?” or “Have you found everything you were looking for?” goes much further than “I know what you need without you even asking for it.”

Be Courteous and Listen

Organizations with empathetic and knowledgeable customer service representatives ultimately succeed in igniting and retaining relationships with clients. Not every customer that locates your website or comes across your store will be familiar with your product. Therefore, it is important to strive to fulfill and exceed customers’ expectations without being forceful about the sale. Customers want to be treated better than “just another customer” and having someone who politely approaches them, listens to what they have to say, and finds ways of resolving the situation are a few factors that can initiate or continue the business–client relationship.

Be Positive and Never Demean your Client

When consumers reflect on their former sales experiences, they tend to remember first impressions—whether they were positive or negative. We all likely remember a negative first impression, and it can be hard to earn our trust again. Although an organization’s representatives must be knowledgeable about their products, they must also be conscientious about how their clients will interpret and decode their message. While organizational representatives are probably more knowledgeable and experienced with the product than their customers are, they should never be arrogant or demeaning to their clients. Representatives who do this often come across as rude before being regarded as helpful. Instead, share your knowledge through your passion for the product, and take the time to help your customer feel as though they are valued.

Jerri Lyons | Contributing Writer

How to Stay Productive During COVID

In the troubling times that we’re in, there’s no surprise that people are finding it difficult to stay on track at work. Many are burnt out, stressed, and don’t see the point of focusing on a job that may not have any security. However, there are those that still have work they would like to do and want to get back to feeling like their old selves by taking some control of their lives. Here are some ways you can inch closer and closer to being productive at work during COVID.

Pick Your Spot

Having a dedicated workstation is a key move in getting yourself into the work mode. It should be a peaceful place that only you use frequently that inspires productivity. A desk, table, or countertop is suitable and it’s important that you’re not easily disturbed or distracted. This location can’t be too comfortable (beds are not ideal) and it should be a place that you can mentally log off from when you leave. Creating boundaries with work helps maintain balance. Consider some time off as if you were commuting to the office. This allows you to reset your focus.

Find a Routine

Since the pandemic, everyone all over the world has lost a sense of rhythm and is looking to get back into previously established habits. If you’re working from home or looking for work, it’s important to create a structured lifestyle that aids you in boosting productivity. Humans are creatures of habit, so having a clear path or project helps to keep things balanced and increases productivity.

The Right Clothes

Everyone works differently, both in and out of the office, so there are naturally different methods for different people. When it comes to dressing up, many took a break from the formal attire the office required (depending on the job) before the pandemic. For many, getting even slightly dressed up will help put them in the mood to get things done. There are clothes for every occasion and those clothes are designed to physically and mentally prepare you for the task ahead. So that might mean it’s time to start putting on pants again and not be too casual or too formal at home.  

Taking Breaks

Working all day around the clock isn’t healthy and working remotely doesn’t mean you have to overcompensate. Setting aside time for yourself at certain points of the day, whether it’s fifteen minutes of walking or napping, can get you the energy boost you need to finish the job. You can also call a friend or mentor to keep you motivated and on track in case you feel you need an extra boost.

Dontei Wynter | Staff Writer

Five Ways Women Excel as Leaders

Leadership is the engine that drives activity within organizations and nations. Given that millennials and Gen Z constitute a sizeable portion of the global workforce (21%), according to the International Labour Organization, they have expectations for a flexible workplace with a diverse constitution of senior management. A connected 21st century calls for a new breed of leaders. In the previous centuries, men dominated workplaces and gained leadership roles. However, now more people are open to having either men or women as a boss Moreover, a study by Harvard Business Review (2020) looked at how men and women fared in 19 leadership competencies. The results indicated that women were better than men in 13 of the 19 competencies. Let us look at some ways in which women are excelling as leaders through some of the researched leadership styles.


LeadersIn, a UK-based organization that studies leadership, has found through research that women leaders exhibit the transformational style the most. A transformational leader seeks to motivate people to achieve the bigger goals or vision of a company. They encourage self-development as they have full knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and know how they can inspire others to improve themselves. Such leaders exhibit a high preference for ethical behaviour in dealings with others and support a workplace based on integrity and honesty.


Task-oriented leadership is understood as a style that focuses on the tasks that need to be completed to achieve targets or goals. Tasks like planning, scheduling and delegating are given the most importance. According to LeadersIn, both men and women have the capacity for this style. However, women tend to be more democratic and inclusive while managing as a task-oriented leader. Men, on the other hand, are prone to be autocratic while doing so.


Women, like men, can be directive too when it comes to their leadership style. However, if they act authoritatively and come across as domineering, it usually works against them as some people are not used to seeing women this way. Because of this, they may have to resort to pleasing their subordinates in hopes that they will obey, developing a personality that is a mix of autocratic balanced with interpersonal, democratic and communal aspects. While a style that is modified to meet agreement could be effective still, it is hoped that women who know how to deliver in a directive manner do not have to adapt.


Servant leadership style is assumed to be present in what is considered to be “feminine” characteristics, such as being less authoritarian, being encouraging of others, foregoing one’s interests over combined interests, advocating the use of shared power and considering interpersonal skills as a way to influence others. This mindset realizes that going far in work requires the support of others.


Transpersonal is a fairly recent style of leadership, coined by the organization LeaderShape, that means going beyond the ego. It places types of intelligences in a hierarchy based on the ability to develop them: intellectual at the lowest rung, emotional in the middle and ethical at the highest level. Transpersonal leaders operate on well-respected ethical, emotional and cognitive principles. Such leaders believe in exemplifying ego-levelling behaviour and coaching others to help them improve themselves professionally. They also care about the moral aspects of their actions and decisions and try and instill the same sense within their organizations.

There has certainly been a radical change in the concept of a leader from someone who just gets the work done, using whatever method suits the situation, to someone who knows how to get the work done using the most positive, uplifting, inclusive and reformational method to do so.

Arslan Ahmed | Staff Writer

How to Effectively Network

For many, it may feel uncomfortable to put themselves out there with the goal of trying to make career-related connections, but networking is an undeniably important skill to develop. Through networking, people can create a world of opportunities for themselves and others. They can be part of a peer group of forward-thinking individuals who actively use connections to supercharge their projects with tailored talent and passionate personalities. Having a network means knowing what other exciting enterprises might be out there for you to be possibly a part of. The opportunities are worth the initial awkwardness that comes with learning how to network. Below are some tips for those wondering how to effectively network.

Get Your Contact Information and Online Presence in Order

Make sure that you’re accessible! Have your business cards ready with your phone number and email address. If you don’t already have a professional-looking email address, i.e. just your name or the name of your company, get one from a reputable email address provider like Gmail. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as well. Increase the privacy settings on your personal social media, like Facebook or Twitter, which could give off the wrong impression to those Googling your name. Your business should also have a web presence with accessible contact information as well.

Go to Networking Events with the Intention of Talking to Someone New

It can be tempting to go with a friend to networking events, but it usually means that you’ll end up talking to no one new. Go alone and strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Ask about them, and what they do both in and outside of work. You don’t need to do much more than have a friendly conversation and get to know who the person is and what they do. Exchange contact information (such as business cards, phone numbers, or LinkedIn profiles) and follow up with a message the next day to remind them of who you are and what you talked about.

Make it Mutual

When you have made a connection with someone, don’t treat them like a resource or one-sided opportunity. Let them know that you are also amenable to helping them find the right people or projects too. A mutually beneficial relationship will last longer and strengthen both parties than an unbalanced one. Even if one party isn’t able to do anything for the other at the moment, they can at least offer to help in the future. Make it clear that you value the person for more than their position or potential. Treat them like a new friend, because that’s what they should be.

Rose Ho | Staff Writer

The Why Behind a Universal Coronavirus Vaccine

In 2020, COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt and the effects still linger. Economies are stuck; societies are shaken and tragedy lurks around the corner for many. We have seen a complete and utter disruption. What if we could be prepared to fight the next coronavirus pandemic? Yes, there is still hope for this world; history can be stopped from repeating itself. Scientists in Irvine, California, are working on developing a universal vaccine capable of fighting multiple strains of coronaviruses. There is a bustle at the same time in Pennsylvania as Dr. Drew Weissman and researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) work to find the universal coronavirus vaccine.

What is a Universal Vaccine?

The current coronavirus vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer that primarily aim to ward against COVID-19 are less effective against recent permutations of the virus that originated in the UK and South Africa. These vaccines, classed as mRNA (messenger RNA), inject RNA into the body. RNA is the protein that carries information for the body to make the spike protein that is found on the surface of a coronavirus. Once the body makes the protein, the cell recognizes it as an alien element and sends the message to the immune system to start developing antibodies. This way, if the real virus was to enter the body, the antibodies will fight it off. A universal vaccine works on the same principle as this. However, it doesn’t just replicate the outermost spike protein, which happens to vary in different viruses, but also the proteins in the membrane and the envelope of this outer layer—the proteins in these two other areas are similar in many other types of viruses. A universal vaccine could potentially target many viruses of the same family and even viruses that cause the common cold.

The Case for a Universal Vaccine

If the promise of this universal vaccine is so great, then there is no reason that it should not be made. We must remember that the impact of future versions of viruses can be even more severe; this can be seen in faster-spreading strains of COVID-19, like B.1.351, that have shown greater potential to be an intense form of the disease. We must not downplay the effects on the world economy either. A report by the US Congress’s think tank Congressional Research Service in 2020, stated that the impact of the pandemic on global economic growth is estimated at a negative six percent. Pharmaceutical companies are profit-seeking ventures so they may not prioritize the production of a universal vaccine, but governments can step in and approve funding for projects on vaccine research and development.

Unfortunately, Dr. Drew Weissman, the man behind mRNA science who spent nearly a decade perfecting mRNA vaccines for human administration, wasn’t so lucky to get his funding proposal for the universal vaccine approved by NIH, a body under the US Department of Health and Human Services. He had to strive on his own funds to conduct more tests before submitting another proposal earlier in 2021. This has been happening simultaneously with the pursuit of researchers at NIH to find their versions of the universal vaccine. As of now, Dr. Weissman’s solution seems to hold the most potential as experiments on mice have shown that his design works against COVID-19, SARS and two other strains of coronavirus that currently only exist in bats. In the meantime, before the universal vaccine becomes commercially available, the best bet is to rely on booster shots by Moderna and Pfizer that aim to counter evolving variants.

Arslan Ahmed | Contributing Writer

Work-Life Balance in the Era of Working Remotely

Many people are struggling with working remotely during the pandemic. The line separating work from personal life has not only been blurred; in most cases, it’s been obliterated.

The challenge stems from having a full house, all the time.

Why don’t we re-envision the work-from-anywhere mentality, intentionally transforming it to managing the day? Let’s face it, without a deliberate structure consisting of key tools, a successful work-life balance is unattainable. Trust me. As a fitness professional, writer and single mom with two dogs, the struggle is real.

Here are a few simple things you can do to calm the mind and get into the flow of your day.

Remote Work Tip No. 1: Create a Workspace

•        Dedicate a workspace in your home and pay attention to noise levels and proximity to distractions.

•        Watch the temptation to make do with whatever seems convenient, as it ultimately impacts your ability to perform.

Remote Work Tip No. 2: Create a Schedule & Identify Clear Boundaries

•        Set boundaries. Work hours should have a beginning and an end.

•        Schedule movement breaks in your daily calendar. Ten to fifteen minutes an hour is good.

Remote Work Tip No. 3: Reduce Distractions

•        Clearly define business hours to your family/roommates. Close the door during designated hours.

•        Eliminate temptations and distractions. Close additional computer tabs. Keep a pad of paper nearby for jotting down reminders instead of using your phone.

Remote Work Tip No. 4: Develop a Daily Ritual

•         Create a ritual to mark the start and the end of your workday, like having a cup of tea while reviewing the day’s to-do list.

•         Create tomorrow’s to-dolist before calling it a day.

Remote Work Tip No. 5: Utilize Tools

•        Have one central calendar for both personal and business schedules. Use colour-coding to mark out personal and business events on a physical calendar. You may rely on specialized apps like Google Calendar, instead, to schedule your life.

•        Implement time blocking. Working in 15-, 20-, or 25-minute blocks maintains focus.

Remote Work Tip No. 6: Plan Interaction

•          Maintain colleague connections. Try arriving at calls early to catch up.

•          Maintain a satisfying social life. Schedule virtual happy hours with friends and family.

Remote Work Tip No. 7: Get Your Family on Board

·                   You might not think that getting your family to agree to the idea of you working from home is a big deal, but it is. It’s up to you to ensure that everyone learns to respect your schedule by respecting it yourself first.

•                 Manage expectations. Let them know that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re not working.

Remote Work Tip No. 8: Don’t Be Afraid to Disconnect

•                 Working remotely, we can find ourselves distracted by the outside world. Don’t be afraid to disconnect when you need to focus and produce. Try turning off all notifications.

•                 Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. Instead, tackle one thing on your to-do list, first, and then check emails.

The same applies to your personal life. Prioritize yourself and practice self-care. This can mean many different things to many different people, however, the simple fact remains that you need to relax, recover, and revive for what comes next—no one else will do it for you.

Valérie Dubail | Contributing Writer

Local Business Leader Transition Research Finds that Businesses Could Lose Millions

The retirement exodus of about 3.3 million Canadian employees over the next decade will have an impact on business continuity, financial stability, and business growth.

Kathleen Ozmun and Marielle Gauthier, both experienced professional leadership coaches, conducted discovery research focusing on retiring and incoming leader transitions in Saskatoon.

“A change in leadership is a time of flux and change for everyone – the leader and the team,” says Marielle Gauthier, founder of Redworks Communications and Coaching. “These transitions create potential risks at every level of the organization and profitability, productivity and positivity can be negatively affected.”

The report found that the financial costs to the businesses if the transition failed were significant – from tens of thousands to more than $3 million dollars.

“When a transitioning leader struggles, the impact goes beyond individual performance,” says Kathleen Ozmun, CEO of Crossing Point Coaching and Consulting. “The leaders’ struggles and the lack of a transition support plan can affect the business services to the point that whole programs are in jeopardy.”

Based on the findings, there are opportunities for greater attention to better manage the transition for the retiring and the incoming leader and from one leader to another.
It is paramount that businesses look at decreasing and preventing some of the challenges as stated in the findings, to ultimately lower the risks, increase productivity and quality of work, and foster better stakeholder relationships, all of which impact the bottom line.

Ruth Kinzel, PhD, CPHR, Kinzel Cadrin & Associates Consulting says that the research provides rare insight into the lived experience of local leaders in transition. Kinzel also states there is a backlog of unaddressed transition issues in every sector, the costs of which continue to accrue and it is in the best interests of organizations and the people within them to move forward proactively.

“The stakes are high and the wave is upon us and these research findings can inform your way forward. Gauthier and Ozmun identify key issues as well as productive ways to address transition challenges,” says Kinzel.

The study findings included challenges and struggles of the leaders; impacts and potential risks to the organizations; levels and types of supports in place and the financial costs if transitions failed.

Business owners can create successful transitions for both their organization and their new leaders by establishing consistent key practices.

Download the full report at https://crossingpointcoaching.com/leader-transition.

Kathleen Ozmun | Contributing Writer