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Why kindness is the invisible key to success

SFHA’s Programme Support Co-ordinator, Gemma Connell, discusses why kindness is the foundation of a successful organisation and can help tackle the challenges we face today.

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Kindness is a type of behaviour signified by acts of generosity, consideration and concern for others. The power of kindness is that it can impact people for the better; it is not a demand but a simple act of human nature.

The housing sector is crucial to social and economic growth in Scotland, good quality housing supports our health, wellbeing, job prospects and identity and creates vibrant communities – and more. I recently read a quote by Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, David W. Orr: “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” It struck me that, to achieve our objectives, it is vital we demonstrate understanding, compassion and concern to our services, people, policies, procedures and in our decision making.

Kindness is seen to be a core value by the Scottish Government that underpins the National Performance Framework, signalling that Scotland places people and relationships at the heart of a good society. The Carnegie Trust’s report, Public Policy and the Infrastructure of Kindness in Scotland makes the case that kindness is not just a value or character trait but something that is concrete.

Kindness should occur between staff, creating the space for interaction and team building – and recognition of said values should be encouraged to influence your staff's performance and boost wellbeing.

Kindness in communities is important for your tenants and residents, providing opportunities to increase and encourage social interactions, improve community cohesion and resilience, and, generally, make neighbourhoods happier places to live.

Recently SFHA Live! hosted a webinar with the Carnegie Trust which explored the importance of kindness as an organisational value and how Covid had helped to create a kindness culture, and a more holistic approach to wellbeing, increasing collaboration, person-centred technology and importantly caring about staff and your tenants. The trust demonstrated how we can sustain a “culture of kindness” by creating a shared narrative, reassessing values and performance, giving permission to act, building on models of partnerships and putting power in people's hands. You can catch up with the webinar recording by visiting the SFHA Live! section.

Our IFT Programme offers the opportunity for our members to join our ‘Creating a culture of kindness’ Microsoft Teams Channel to spark the conversations, learn from each other and understand that we all are working towards the same aims, and, together, we are stronger. We see kindness as fabric to be successful and high-performing, and we want to demonstrate and support you to embed and encourage this type of culture in service delivery, policies and procedures, staff interaction and relationships with tenants and customers.

Email us at innovation@sfha.co.uk to find out more.



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