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.
Planning a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration may seem like a tricky proposition at first glance — drawing attention to romance, among coworkers? That’s an HR headache waiting to happen!
But there’s another way to frame a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration: as a celebration of workplace friendships and the strong bonds that develop between people who work closely together.
“We all need friends at work,” writes University of Kentucky provost and management professor Christine M. Riordan, for Harvard Business Review.
At a time when employee engagement is at an all-time low, it’s important to recognize the power of friendship in the workplace, according to Riordan.
Why Workplace Friendships Deserve Celebration
“Research shows that workers are happier in their jobs when they have friendships with co-workers. … Gallup found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work,” Riordan writes.
But workplace friendships are about more than camaraderie and fun.
“It is also about creating a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in it together,” she writes.
Friendships are particularly vital to the happiness, motivation and productivity of Millennial employees, according to a LinkedIn study.
Another demographic is seeing an increased reliance on friendships: men. According to a recent survey, men are forming more meaningful relationships with other men. And that could have a “transformational” effect in the workplace, according to the Fast Company article, “How Men’s Changing Friendships Might Reshape the Workplace.”
“We already know how workplace friendships can be vital, energizing and meaningful. In addition to their upsides for individual well-being, they also impact team performance, adding another level to the instrumental ways we rely on each other and collaborate,” researcher Michael Kimmel writes for Fast Company.
“We men are also learning that workplace friendships, with both women and men, can be a reason we show up for work every day. We let down our guard, share what’s important, and listen with care. And our lives — in the office and outside it — are so much richer for that.”
Read on for tips on how to plan a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration that reflects the transformational power of friendship between coworkers.
We spend more of our waking hours with co-workers than we do with our significant others, so take advantage of Valentine’s Day and celebrate colleagues! If you focus on gratitude and appreciation, it’s perfectly appropriate and thoughtful to do.
Valentine’s Day in the workplace should be about celebrating workplace colleagues and a culture of kindness and compassion. Steer clear of romance and relationships. The opportunity is to communicate value for great working relationships and a culture supportive of compassion and camaraderie.