The idea of kindness in the workplace can feel at odds with the often competitive nature of office life. However, more and more focus is being placed on inclusion, well-being and happiness. And kindness plays a strong role in achieving those things.
There are numerous studies revealing the positive impact of acts of kindness. But if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness, you don’t need a study to tell you what kind of impact it had on your day. Whether someone anonymously paid for your coffee or helped you out with your groceries or sent you a kind card when you were sick… That one moment lifted your spirits and possibly changed the tone of your whole day.
Since life is made up of moments, why not make as many of those moments positive as possible?
And it isn’t only receiving gifts that brightens your day. There’s also the uplifting feeling you get when you give.
Here are ten ways to integrate acts of kindness into the workday.
5 Things You can do for Your Employees
This has been a suggestion in several of our articles, but that’s because food is an almost universal source of comfort. One of the simplest and best random acts of kindness is to bring in some free treats for your employees. Hire a chocolate fountain for the day. Set up a special coffee bar. Lay out an assortment of pastries. Or go healthy and offer veggie and cheese trays. Snacks are bound to brighten the mood around the office.
2. In-person Thank-you’s
This one is more of a habit than an event. Whenever one of your employees does something particularly commendable, take the extra few minutes to go to them and thank them in person. This makes them feel elevated for a moment and gives them a boost of pride and morale. If they are working remotely, give them a call!
3. Employee coupons
Acts of kindness don’t have to cost a thing. Consider offering your employees an intangible reward in the form of a coupon for a free casual day that they can use at any time of year. Or perhaps a go-home-two-hours-early certificate, if they are working fixed hours. You can give these out randomly. If you want to be consistent and make sure no one is left out, you can give them to each employee on their birthdays.
Leave random notes of encouragement stuck to office doors, desks or walls. They can be directed at someone in particular. Or it can just be general sentiments of appreciation that will be felt by whoever finds the note.
5. Create a Good News Board
We’re all particularly exhausted by bad news, especially the past two years. You can elevate everyone’s attitudes by creating a “good news” board. Here, everyone can post news events, personal events or photos depicting positive moments in time.
5 Things Your Employees can do for Others
1. Giving Games
You can allow your employees to opt into a fun giving game. Gift exchanges like “Secret Santa” where employees are randomly and secretly partnered are great. It doesn’t matter if they still believe in Santa. They give gifts to their partner anonymously throughout the holidays until a final big reveal.
2. Charity Team Building
Invite employees to join together to support a charity. Not only is this a great way to give back, it also helps keep your company CSR compliant.
3. Lunch with a New Friend
Encourage your employees to invite someone new to lunch with them. Acts like this may seem simple. Most people are so caught up in the day-to-day routine that they simply don’t think to reach out and connect with others.
4. Write a Review
Remind your employees that many of their co-workers have business profiles online. A quick, free and kind thing to do is write a good review. This is helpful and will be much appreciated by the receiver.
5. Assume the Best
This is a habit you can help your employees develop. During conflict with others, it’s easy to view them as antagonistic and malicious. However, most of the time conflicts are caused by misunderstandings or miscommunications. We can all help prevent these stressful moments by making an agreement with ourselves and our co-workers to always first assume the best in someone before jumping to conclusions.
There are countless ways your company can enjoy a kinder workplace. Implementing even one of these kindness initiatives is sure to have a positive impact.
If you’re looking for more ideas, consider downloading this free kindness calendar for prompts all year round.
Could your company benefit from a holistic and sustainable well-being program? Yes, but you don’t have the resources to organise and maintain it? Contact us. We work with small to mid-sized companies to fill in the gaps in your forward-looking programmes while staying within your organisation’s budget.