Bringing Self-Kindness into the Workplace

BU Logo
BetterUp Studios

5 min

Two men walking with briefcases

In this BetterUp Article, discover why self-compassionate employees are a boon to your workplace and get tips, from offering therapeutic trainings to modeling self-compassion, for creating a culture of self-compassion in your organization.

Encouraging Self-Compassion at Work

Research by Dr. Abira Reizer suggests that people who practice self-compassion create positive work cultures for others, experience less burnout, and are less likely to work at a company while keeping one foot out the door.

One of the great things about self-compassion is that it is an internal practice that doesn’t rely on external events to be effective. We all have the ability to be self-compassionate, whatever else other people say or do.

Still, it’s nice to have help, and given the many good things that self-compassion brings to a work-place, you’ll want to promote self-compassion in your work environment.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Treat Your Employees the Way You Want Them to Treat Themselves

If you want your employees to be kind to themselves, treat them with that same kindness. If you want them to recognize what they have in common with others and feel less alone in their struggles, recognize what you have in common with them.

Model Self-Compassion

As children, we learned how to respond to difficult situations by watching others, and as adults, we haven’t entirely stopped being copy-cats. That can work to your advantage.

Instead of telling a story about how you triumphed over a failure, try telling your colleagues about how you were forgiving and kind to yourself when you made a mistake. This type of behavior will spread and create a healthier culture.

Ensure that Team Members Support One Another

Managers aren't the only ones who can spread positivity. Ensure that team members are treating one another with respect and kindness. Encourage employees to get to know one another whenever possible.

If drama arises between team members, consider ways to rearrange groups to minimize negative dynamics.

Provide Therapeutic Interventions

Offer training initiatives that reinforce self-compassionate thoughts and behaviors. Maybe you set aside time for meditation or mindfulness exercises several times a week. Writing exercises can also be useful in increasing an employee's sense of well-being and decreasing stress.

By adopting these strategies, your employees can be less afraid of failure and more productive, whether they're on-the-clock or tending to personal matters.

BetterUp Studios
BetterUp Studios creates and curates research-backed content, activities, and tools to help people everywhere pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion.

Recommended Resources

Card image cap

Take a Break!

There’s a lot of pressure at work to be productive 100% of the day. That isn’t always the most healthy way to work. With these techniques, you’ll learn how to effectively use breaks in your daily routine to help remove stress and ground you.

5 min

Card image cap

Self-Compassion Beats Self-Confidence

Many work environments value self-confidence, despite its many drawbacks. In this article, discover why self-compassion is a much better alternative for long-term growth and success.

5 min