Watch employee happiness grow when you support compassion, kindness and gratitude.

Employee happiness grows in company cultures that support kindness, gratitude and compassion. (Photo via Kate Ter Haar, Flickr)


Now that Random Acts of Kindness Week is winding down, how will you sustain that “helper’s high” for year-round employee happiness?
Nurturing a culture of workplace kindness this week has a lasting ripple effect. Kindness itself grows the more it is practiced.
Yesterday, we covered tips for sustaining a year-round culture of workplace kindness following #RAKweek.
What about the other lessons practicing kindness teaches us?
Incorporate what you and your team learned this week into your overall approach to work and building employee happiness. Read on to find out why workplace kindness is about much more than acts of random kindness — it’s a foundation of employee happiness!

Start a Discussion About #RAKweek

Next Monday, or whenever your team has its next get-together or meeting, spend a few minutes chatting about the results of your company’s #RAKweek celebration. Here are five questions to spark a discussion:

  1. What was your favorite act of kindness, given or received?
  2. How did you feel after acting on a random kindness?
  3. Did #RAKweek affect your work? How so?
  4. Did you notice any changes in your interactions with family, friends, coworkers, customers or others?
  5. What changes do you plan to make as a result of #RAKweek?

Employees will appreciate the chance to unpack their experience and discuss it as a team. A group discussion is also a great way to gather feedback for a better #RAKweek celebration next year. What worked especially well? What could be added next year to make it better? Brainstorm ideas on the spot! Now is the time to seek feedback, while it’s fresh in people’s minds.
“Asking about achievements in a group setting encourages recognition of co-workers and gratitude expression, which catches on,” according to Forbes contributor Martin Zwilling.

Surprise! It’s Good to Be Random

There’s a reason acts of kindness work so well when they’re random: people love a good surprise.
“When something surprising happens, our brains automatically pay closer attention, lending these events greater emotional weight,” Zwilling writes.
As you plan out your employee engagement for the year, think about ways you can be spontaneous and random.
Another takeaway from the success of #RAKweek is the clear benefit to even the smallest of good deeds. Clearing snow off a stranger’s windshield, anonymously filling a coworker’s candy dish, or simply saying “Thank You” — all small acts, and yet they have a big, positive effect.
The same goes for employee recognition.
Smaller but more frequent acts of recognition keep employees happy longer than a single, large recognition event, according to Zwilling’s Forbes article, “How to Increase Productivity By Employee Happiness.”
“Even the biggest awards or raises ‘wear out’ in less than a year, with most employees responding better to small doses every few days,” he writes.

Kindness Leads to Gratitude — Let It Grow!

One of the best aspects of #RAKweek is its self-sustainability. Acts of kindness tend to lead to more acts of kindness — recipients want to pass it on! — but there’s also value in taking a moment to bask in your gratitude. Before you rush off to pass kindness on to the next person, it’s important to express gratitude to your kindness-giver.
As we discussed last week, kindness is particularly valuable in the workplace because it disrupts the all-too-common “cycle of ingratitude” lurking in the modern workplace. But when someone is kind to you, gratitude is the natural response.
In the coming weeks, encourage expressions of gratitude related to #RAKweek.
Have company leaders, from the CEO on down to shift supervisors, write Thank You notes to employees for their participation in #RAKweek activities. Gratitude in the workplace flows best from the top down, so be sure lower-level supervisors are also getting recognition for their efforts to help coordinate #RAKweek activities.
Was there an especially heartwarming act of kindness in your community during #RAKweek? As a group activity, encourage your team to write a short note of gratitude to the person or group responsible for the kind act. Find stories about #RAKweek endeavors around the world on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.
Simply reading or hearing about others’ kind acts is an inspiration for the coming year, but taking the time to express gratitude to someone for their act of kindness reinforces the lessons of #RAKweek!
Click the image below to download gThankYou’s FREE Day-to-Day Celebration Calendar for tips on how to plan daily recognition and organize regular celebrations throughout the year. This one-of-a-kind eBook will help you to build an everyday culture of appreciation with month-by-month guides, case studies, research highlights, how-to recognition advice and celebration ideas for specific holidays and anytime!
 

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