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Benevolence and the management, a winning combination


Micheline Bourque

September 13, 2018 07:00

Photo : Freepik

If we are talking about more kindness, this is not the result of chance. We live in a world in full mutation, which is marked by a level of stress that is in constant progression and a decrease in work motivation.

The insurance industry is certainly not immune to it. How to get out ?

Doctor Philippe Rodet, a physician who became a consultant, and Yves Desjacques, former human resources director of La Poste Group in France, suggest in their book entitled, The management of the benevolent, to discover how kindness can be a track to develop the world of work, relationships in the workplace and a rethinking of management practices.

“If every employee knows the meaning and the usefulness of his mission, is to set ambitious, but realistic, has a fair degree of autonomy, receive positive feedback on his work, does not feel despised, did not feel that his superior had no empathy towards her and see that it behaves in a fair manner towards her, then everything becomes possible… The stress subsides, the motivation is strengthened, the desire to engage reborn, the happiness is at hand “.

This is not an easy task to get there. This book is full of easy tips to apply that are addressed to the managers to get them to integrate practices of caring in business.

A new role for the manager

The authors propose managers to learn the role of a “protector” to their employees, and ensure to decrease their level of stress. They also suggest to take actions on four fronts :

  • explain and give meaning ; ” take the time to explain it is to win “
  • promote the differences, that is to say, to build an inclusive company ;
  • foster individual initiative ;
  • create the conditions of individual happiness, by actuating the levers of intrinsic motivation, “which relies on the fundamental characteristics of the human” in opposition to factors of the extrinsic motivation, such as salary increases, promotions, etc

What are the levers of intrinsic motivation ?

Rodet and Desjacques offer ten levers. The first five are used to increase positive emotions :

  • the meaning, which “decreases the effects of stress, because it helps them to be aware of the value of its action…” ;
  • the assignment of SMART goals attainable;
  • a fair level of freedom of action, which improves the well-being at work ;
  • gratitude;
  • the encouragement to build self-confidence.

The other five levers are those that can reduce the negative emotions, the consideration of which, the consistency (between what is said and done, between the displayed values and behavior), empathy, forgiveness, and the recognition of his blunders, and finally justice.

Benevolence, some scientific aspects

We may not be aware up to what point the human person needs kindness to live and give the best of itself. If it receives it abundantly, it flourishes : the level of stress decreases and motivation increases.

Multiple studies conducted around the world, including many of the Quebec and of Canada, all demonstrate the benefits of these levers. These studies also explain the power of two hormones — oxytocin and endorphins — which the secretion is precisely favored by the increase in positive emotions and decrease negative emotions.

Oxytocin is the “biomarker positive emotions” which is on three levels :

  • “it decreases the level of stress” ;
  • “it promotes generosity and empathy, making the cohesion of the teams stronger,” ;
  • “it promotes creativity.”

As for endorphins, they are :

  • secrete dopamine, a hormone of pleasure and motivation ;
  • decrease the level of cortisol and adrenaline, two stress hormones ;
  • increase the release of growth hormone, a hormone protective.

In short, kindness is not only good for business, it is also for health. The human person needs kindness to live and give the best of itself.

Keep in mind that the companies that show empathy organizational are 20 % more efficient than their competitors !

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