Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Random acts of kindness at work are nothing new.
Pizza Fridays or cake for a birthday are two small examples, but you know the mood of the office changes when there are food-related rewards.
The Gordon Gekko’s of the world went as far as they could with a mix of ruthlessness, timing, and deception. Although some companies and leaders still operate with malice, far more are working with kindness in business and seeing positive results. Read on to learn more about the benefits of bringing random acts of kindness into your business.
Why Kindness Matters
The University of California, Berkeley, says kindness is one of the four key pillars of happiness in the workplace. Kindness is defined as “orienting our thoughts, feelings, and actions towards care for others and genuinely supportive social bonds. It helps us trust, be inclusive, and cooperate with people at work.”
So, random acts of kindness at work are about more than the deed, but rather, the feeling it instills in everyone. Random acts of kindness in your business do not have to be big gestures — they can be small.
The benefits of kindness include:
- Increased mood levels
- Increased positive perspective
- Makes you happier
A Harvard study showed that people that gave away money rather than spend it were happier and longer. But kindness isn’t necessarily gifts or money-related. Instead, it can be a small gesture.
How to Build a Culture of Kindness at Work
A few random acts of kindness at work won’t change the workplace culture overnight. However, over time it will encourage people to see the good in people and at work rather than any doom and gloom. Like any policy of meaning, change starts at the top with leadership before subordinates adopt and adapt.
Consider these examples of kindness in the workplace:
- Create a one-to-one calendar reminder with a subordinate to offer advice on a project or career advice
- Write an unsolicited recommendation on LinkedIn for someone on your team
- Set a calendar reminder on your phone to text, call, or email someone something pleasant and fulfilling
- Actively listen to a co-worker vent about a problem—without offering to fix it or interrupt their thoughts
Consider Kind Bars — a convenient snack product company. Beyond having kindness in their name, they live kindness. When the CEO, Daniel Lubetzky, sees a random act of kindness, he gives the do-gooder a card for free products and a secondary card to give to someone they see doing going. The concept is to bring awareness to kind gestures that happen all around and to spread kindness forward.
Servant Leadership and Kindness
When integrating kindness into servant leadership, where the leader is a servant first and the leader second, it’s simple to include kindness as a characteristic of a good servant. To serve others, you must be among others, desire to understand them,, and then lead them in a way that suits their purpose and that of the company.
Random acts of kindness in your business should not be forced — they should be encouraged organically. No one wants a forced compliment or a corporate-mandated Zoom “thank you” session. Forbes argues that kindness is the ultimate value for business success.
The power of random acts of kindness cannot be forsaken. Leadership providing authentic kindness to their teams trickles into compassion shown to customers and clients.
Click here and book a video meeting with your favorite business coach to work out how to incorporate random acts of kindness into a servant leadership approach.
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