February is the month of love and kindness. While some people thoroughly enjoy the multitude of candy hearts, red roses and pink teddy bears, others would rather skip right through to March. But February is much more than Valentine’s Day – it’s the month of kindness! Take advantage of this time to show compassion and share kindness with colleagues at work. We all need a little extra appreciation these days.
We admire the work that the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has been doing for years. February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness day and this year’s theme is Explore the Good which is the perfect mindset for 2021. They have a plethora of ideas, tips, inspiring quotes, materials like posters and calendars and even dedicated workplace materials. Check it out! Consider becoming a RAKtivist® (short for ‘Random Acts of Kindness activist).
It’s been proven that one random act of kindness a day can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Acts of kindness also release hormones that make you calmer, healthier and overall happier.
“When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.”
At REDBUBBLE Life we’ve recently shared “14 Days of Socially Distant Love and Kindness” to inspire kindness this month. We are thrilled to share workplace specific examples for gThankYou readers below!
7 Ways to Share Socially Distanced Kindness in the Workplace
1. Share a note of encouragement
We can all use encouragement from time to time, especially these days. This month is an opportunity to take the time to thank those who have helped you along the way – covered you when you needed it, supported you or always had your back.
During these challenging Covid-times, if you see someone at work struggling, reach out to them with your thoughtful words. Handwrite a card that highlights the positive traits you see in them and offer your encouragement and support.
Redbubble offers notecards with mandala designs for coloring, free for downloading below. Did you know that coloring has been shown to reduce negative moods and cause relaxation?
Download your free designs below now:
Random Acts of Kindness also offers fun free downloadable “Tag You’re It Cards” for recognizing workplace kindness and encouraging colleagues to pay it forward.
2. Bake treats for your team
You depend on your team and they have worked hard for you the last year. Show them your gratitude by baking a treat for them to enjoy. This will come as a welcome surprise! If you’ve been working locally but remotely, drop off homemade treats. If that’s not feasible, consider sending a treat from local bakeries (and help local businesses too!).
If you’re giving your treat in-person (with a mask on), try attaching one of these cute downloadable dessert tags – FREE!
3. Provide a positive review
If you see someone doing a good job, let their manager know. If you are their manager, highlight their work to the company. This small act can make a big impact on someone’s mood and even boost their career.
Want to make the process transparent? Then post a gratitude board (physical or digital) where all employees can leave notes of appreciation for colleagues. Know your employees. Do employees like to be publicly applauded or is your culture more subdued and a personal thank you from a manager works best? Either way, empower employees to share gratitude for work well done and special efforts and your whole team will benefit.
4. Share a compliment
A small act of kindness can be as simple as giving someone a compliment. Is your coworker’s background on Zoom well-designed? Let them know. Is someone especially cheerful and lifts everyone’s spirits? Let them know that their attitude is contagious.
These seeming little compliments can instantly improve someone’s mood. And, when sincerely complimenting someone, they are likely to return the favor to another colleague and you’ve now started the contagion of gratitude!
The key with compliments is they need to be:
1. Specific (about why what they did or do that impresses you).
2. Authentic (your compliment must be sincere)
3. Timely (compliments have the greatest impact in the moment)
“It’s a pleasure to work with someone who knows how to make and inspire a friendly and inspiring workplace. Bravo!”
5. Gift your favorite book
Has there been a book that played a significant role in your career? Or maybe one that changed the way you thought about a daily task? Pass the knowledge on by gifting it to a coworker.
Include one of the printable bookmarks below and write down your favorite part or quote from the book. This will make the gift that much more meaningful!
Consider establishing a book share for coworkers and have readers write short blurbs why they love the book to help future readers. This can be done if work is in-person or virtual. Have employees who really love certain topics? Encourage them to host virtual or live book groups to share their passions with others.
6. Start by being kind to yourself
Being as kind to yourself as you are to others is sound advice. Check out the work of Dr. Kristin Neff in the area of self compassion. Additionally, we can’t ignore the connections between happiness, gratitude and well being.
One of gThankYou’s customers shared that she’s found that using a happiness planner has been a daily positivity boost. We bet you have colleagues who would feel the same way too! Share gifts that promote self love and thus communicate to employees and colleagues that it’s important. (There are versions for kids and teens too so they can get a jump start on increasing happiness and spreading kindness.)
7. Say ‘thank you’ with a gift certificate
Last but not least, show your gratitude with a gift certificate. Something as simple as a Grocery Gift Certificate can be an unexpected relief after a tough week and a great way to show that you care.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to show gratitude. Make sure employees and coworkers know you care about them this month and every month with random acts of kindness.
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”
Elsie is a content marketing specialist who enjoys writing about a variety of topics, from lifestyle to technology. When she’s not putting pen to virtual paper, she’s planning her next trip abroad or hiking local trails.
Acts of kindness are one of the most powerful ways we have to connect with others.
February is the perfect month to share workplace kindness – with Random Acts of Kindness Day (17th) and Week (February 17th though the 22nd), and Valentine’s Day! Take advantage of these dates and inspire kindness in your workplace.
Planting seeds of kindness yields improved moods and productivity. Better yet, it’s contagious. Share a little kindness and see how it ripples through your office.
Easy Ways to Share Workplace Kindness
Here are some fun and easy strategies you can try out in February (or anytime):
- Create a kindness wall
Add some prompts and provide lots of colorful post-it notes. Encourage everyone to participate. Take pictures and share the workplace love socially – #RAKDay #MakeKindnessTheNorm #KindnessMatters
- Spread messages of kindness
Blanket the workplace with fun posters, notes, emails, etc. of appreciation and encouragement. Delight colleagues with little gifts of appreciation.
- Help colleagues learn something new about each other
Be creative! Have work groups select “get to know you questions” and answer out-loud. Send departments that don’t work together to a lunch together and provide thought provoking questions on the table.
- Share a thoughtful Candy or Ice Cream Gift Certificate
A homemade treat is heartwarming but impractical with a large organization. Keep it easy and affordable with a $5 gThankYou Gift Certificate for Candy or Ice Cream and a note of thanks!
- Plan a week of workplace kindness activities
Plan an entire week to celebrate and spread kindness in the workplace. Here’s your guide to keeping it easy, fun and focused on kindness: “7 Days of Workplace Kindness”
Kindness is Contagious – Help Spread It Year-Round
As Emilia Earhart once said, “No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another.”
Make 2019 the year to build your kinder and happier workplace. Begin with these inspiring and helpful resources:
- Download Your “Day-to-Day Kindness Calendar”
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation provides many free resources for sharing and inspiring kindness including this calendar of daily ideas. We love their mission and inspiration to helping us building a kinder world.
- Download “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude”
Kindness flourishes in an environment of gratitude. Learn how to nurture a workplace culture of gratitude, appreciation and kindness with this popular free eBook.
- Download and share gThankYou’s “2019 Employee Celebration Calendar”
This popular resource is full of ideas and the research behind building a kinder, happier and more loyal workplace all year-long.
Simple Acts of Kindness to Start
LiveLoveWork.com has provided a prompt to boost kindness at work for each week of the year!
Most of these ideas are really easy to do but could really have an impact on a co-worker’s day (and your day too!). Here are some of our favorites –we kept their original numbers from the list of 52:
- Hold the door open for the person behind you. (#9)
- Make a mental list of all the things you enjoy about your work. (#10)
- Be a cheerleader for someone else’s idea or project. (#18)
- Let go of a grudge. (#24)
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt. (#31)
- Share an uplifting blog post. (Like this one from gThankYou…) (#36)
- Bring in books you loved and pass them on. (#38)
- Start and end meetings on time. (#43)
- Pass on coupons you don’t need. (#47)
- Create a custom playlist for a co-worker. (#50)
- Be responsible for the energy you bring to your workplace. (#52)
Here’s another list we love for posting in the workplace. This acrostic contains 20 tips from O.C. Tanner about random acts of kindness in the workplace. It underscores how being kind can be simple, but isn’t always our default setting, especially in the workplace.
Here’s just a teaser with the word “random”:
R: Recognize when someone is having a bad day; find out what you can do to help.
A: Ask a coworker a thoughtful question, then listen (really listen!) to the response.
N: Nix gossip when you hear it.
D: Drop off a delicious snack at someone’s desk.
O: Offer to help with a task a coworker doesn’t enjoy.
M: Make time to connect with a former colleague.
Check out the rest of their acrostic (acts of kindness) for more great ideas.
Mini-Case Study: “Send a Snuggle Day” for Acts of Kindness Week
Our favorite idea for sharing workplace kindness is from the Monroe County Humane Association in Indiana. We love this idea so much it’s in our 2019 Employee Celebration Calendar!
Monroe County Humane Association in Indiana raises money through its “Send a Snuggle Day” for Random Acts of Kindness Week. For the annual event, which began in 2014, the public can donate money to send “animal ambassadors” to spread a little cheer and kindness to a person or team of their choosing.
The snuggly emissaries have included dogs, kittens, rabbits, goats, a miniature horse, and an albino snake. (No one ever sends the snake, MCHA executive director Rebecca Warren notes.) Volunteers accompany the animals into banks, schools, and other workplaces.
Warren told the Indiana Daily Student that when Send a Snuggle visits a workplace, it’s usually not just one person who reaps the benefits.
“It becomes an entire facility response. Everyone is so excited when they see the animal. Everyone’s taking pictures and getting down on the floor. At least three people cry,” Warren said. “Send a Snuggle is the best day of the year to do my job. It’s wonderful to see people get so excited and emotional about it.”
We’d love to hear your workplace kindness stories. Share them with us and we will share them on social media and highlight them in our blog!
We hope your new year is off to a great start and wish you and your colleagues a year that is full of hope, happiness and kindness.
The gThankYou! Team
Workplace kindness may be one of the rarest forms of kindness. We’re more frequently expected to share kindness at home, with friends, in places of worship, in our neighborhood and at school.
Yet the workplace is one place where kindness is not emphasized and often sorely missed — we’re too busy, too distracted, too competitive.
The climate of communication today is often unkind, too. We’re barely a week out from a bitterly divisive presidential election with name-calling from both sides. We have been immersed in inconsiderate commentary for endless months.
We all need kindness — today more than ever. In employee management in particular, kindness is powerful. It lifts up people, and it lifts up business. Sharing kindness makes both the giver and the receiver feel good. It sparks a kindness chain reaction.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
World Kindness Day seeks to challenge the status quo and promote everyday kindness through gratitude and action. Celebrate it this Nov. 13! Better yet, choose to invest in your workplace culture by focusing on building a climate of kindness. We love the inspiration from the RAK Foundation and bet you will, too.
Read on for examples of workplace kindness and tips for celebrating #WorldKindnessDay with your employees.
Random acts of kindness shouldn’t need a reason, explanation or holiday, but in today’s fast-paced workplace, we could all use a reminder to be kinder.
We get that little nudge to be kinder with World Kindness Day, held annually on Nov. 13.
World Kindness Day evolved from a series of conferences in the 1990s in Japan by a group that grew to be known internationally as the World Kindness Movement. Since then, the group has gone global and is working to promote kindness from Italy to South Korea.
The World Kindness Movement partners with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to spread and promote kindness, gratitude, and joy wherever and whenever it can.
This year, in honor of World Kindness Day, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has some fun ideas for how to celebrate.
Read on to find out how to make your workplace “party central” on World Kindness Day.