A new way of managing is emerging. Some of the world’s most successful companies are realizing that the better they treat their employees, the more productive they get. College opportunities, flexible schedules, advanced health care plans or transparency between ranks are only a few examples of a new phenomenon known as leading with kindness.
Businessmen and professors William F. Baker and Michael O’Malley have travelled across the country seeking the kindest companies and leaders. They found that the better employees were treated, the most successful companies were. The rule applied both to big companies like Google and small family businesses where kindness is part of the owner’s culture. Now they have put all their experiences into “Leading with Kindness. How good people get consistently better results”, a book that will be published in August.
Baker’s and O’Malley’s quest for kindness has also inspired a documentary that will take Thirteen’s viewers into some of the better companies to work for. The documentary, which will be aired this fall, includes portraits of Google, where an internal rule says no employee should be more than 150 feet away from food.
It also portraits Pitney Bowes, a multinational mailing company that pays college to some of its employees. The documentary visits clothing manufacturer Eileen Fisher, where meetings usually start with a 3-minute relax exercise and Mitchell’s, a family-owned clothing retailer with the motto “hug your people.”
Leading with kindness is also a website designed for anyone who wants to become a better leader. It includes video interviews with managers who put kindness into practice and employees who have benefited from this practice. You can also find weekly tips on management and describe your own experiences as a manager or as an employee in our forum.
William F. Baker is President Emeritus of New York City’s channel Thirteen/WNET, where he has served as CEO and President for 20 years. He is also Executive in Residence at Columbia University Business School and Professor at Fordham University. Baker received his Ph.D. in Communications and Organizational Behavior.
Michael O’Malley is a psychologist who has over 20 years of consulting experience with Fortune’s 500 companies. He is the author of “Creating Commitment: How to Attract and Retain Talented Employees” and “Are You Paid What You’re Worth?.” O’Malley is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School and the Executive Editor for Business, Economics, and Law at Yale University Press.