We’ve all heard the saying, “a little kindness goes a long way.” And, while its exact origin may be a bit of a mystery, its meaning is clear – we could all use a little kindness. Human interaction is crucial and will help create a positive environment. It’s no secret that showing gratitude with a simple “thank you,” makes us all feel appreciated about our work and encourages us to perform at our very best.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of research on kindness in the workplace, signifying the importance of a kind culture rather than a cutthroat, win-at-all-costs environment. The era of “success at any cost” is giving way to an approach where kindness, compassion, and teamwork are viewed as assets in organizations and not considered soft, squishy, and weak. Many workplaces are starting to embrace this strategy, while others are slow to adopt it and witness the repercussions in high turnover, resentment and low employee morale.
In fact, the benefits of implementing acts of kindness in the workplace include:
- Building community among colleagues
- Helping colleagues work together
- Eliminating negativity in the workplace
- Improving attitudes and overall communication
- Improving company morale
- Assisting employees in taking pride in their work
- Encouraging other positive habits
- Improving the quality and output of work
The 30-Day Kindness Challenge
Now’s the time to encourage random acts of kindness for friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers. Some common benefits of benevolence, according to the Random Acts of Kindness organization, include increasing energy, increasing happiness, and serotonin levels while lowering stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. While spreading kindness is good, it’s better to find simple ideas on a daily basis.
Although this isn’t as simple as a daily practice, it doesn’t hurt to try to implement an Act of Kindness Challenge among workers. It might even inspire the office to keep the challenge to keep going!
Here are 15 simple ways that you can easily implement kindness in the workplace:
- Buy coffee for someone at work.
- Treat a colleague to lunch
- Use humor with a colleague who’s having a rough morning.
- Make a promise not to speak negatively about a colleague. Resist the urge to gossip.
- Write a thank-you note to a coworker. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
- Smile at each person you pass by in the office. You can do this on your way to a meeting, to lunch, to get coffee.
- Clean up a common area at your workplace.
- Be there for your coworkers.Are they struggling with an issue outside of work? Be there to listen to them.
- Compliment at least one person each day.
- Give your coworkers a high-five for being awesome.Make it a trend at work.
- Ask “How can I help you?”Ask around if anyone, the intern, the front-desk assistant, your manager, or your team members need any help.
- Re-engage with a coworker. Get to know someone at work you have not talked to in a while.
- Introduce yourself to a new person at your company.
- Eat lunch with someone new. Take this opportunity to learn about what they are like outside of the workplace.
- Recognize someone at work for their efforts, congratulate them on their accomplishments or achievements publicly.
Why Be Kind at Work?
This might sound like obvious but it is a good reminder for us all. Being kind has benefits for both the giver and the receiver of the kind act. Some of the benefits are:
- Feeling good about helping others
- Inspiring others to act kindly
- Helping create a prosocial environment at work
- Reducing job-related stress
- Positively affecting the culture at work
- Improved health
With deadlines looming over our heads, non-stop meetings, and the politics at work, it’s good to refocus on the positive aspects of our work life. Let’s be helpful and kind to our fellow workers. Let’s re-center ourselves and focus on making our workplaces supportive, friendly, and kind. Let’s enjoy the time we spend at work without the stress and anxiety so we can do our best work together.
So, this February, ‘put a little love in your heart’ by challenging yourself to make the world – and your office – a better place by implementing a 30-Day Kindness Challenge today.
What is the most memorable act of kindness towards you that you remember? What worked and what didn’t work? Pay it forward and share your experience with others in the comments below.