Kindness in a crisis
We are delighted to share with you the latest insights in our “Power of Kindness” campaign.

A new survey conducted by Hall & Partners of 1,500 global employees, has found that harder characteristics are most important when displaying kind leadership in a crisis. The findings demonstrate how courage changed from the least to the most important characteristic, when comparing a crisis to ‘normal’ work scenarios. The survey also revealed that over a third (38%) of UK workers consider optimism to be the most important leadership quality when recovering from a crisis, and this is supported by almost a third (32%) of the global workforce.

These findings have been inspired by a unique collaboration between ourselves and the Saïd Business School, Global Thinkers Forum and Hall & Partners, which has looked at the value of kind leadership in a crisis, compared with ‘normal’ everyday work and beyond. Leadership in a crisis can take many forms, but importantly, kindness is found to underpin any and every response required to help an organisation successfully navigate the current pandemic and to keep staff happy and engaged.

The Research: Methodology

Things have changed dramatically since 2019, when, together, we published our first Kind Leadership survey and we felt it was important to revisit the subject and reassess.

The Hall & Partners team is honoured to be collaborating with Elizabeth Filippouli and the Global Thinkers Forum to understand what makes a leader kind, how this changes during times of crisis, and what is to be expected of leaders moving forward. We are thankful for the consultancy we have received from Dr Marc J Ventresca at Saïd Business School on this project, and we are delighted to once again partner with the Kindness & Leadership Leading Lights campaign to help answer these questions.

To capture both leader and employee perspectives, Hall & Partners conducted an online survey of 1,500 men and women. These participants are employed by an organisation, work across a whole range of industries and come from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, UK and the US. Additionally, we have been fortunate to interview industry leaders from around the world, working in a variety of sectors. These leaders share a strong belief in the value of kindness within their organisations, with many expressing how they show kindness in their personal leadership styles, and how the Covid-19 crisis has compelled them to adapt their ways of working and reimagine what empowering, thoughtful and supportive leadership really means.

By combining results from both leaders and employees, we have built a comprehensive picture of how kindness is perceived and changes in the working world during a crisis, and how this impacts the success of individuals, teams and the entire company. We hope that this booklet serves as a guide for all leaders and organisations, not only during times of crisis, but as we seek to rebuild confidence and thrive in a changed world. Most importantly, we hope that this study reminds all of us just how vital kindness is in the workplace. Now, more than ever, it is a key ingredient for organisations to succeed. Thank you for reading and we hope it provides inspiration for future leaders.