Kindness in the Workplace: 10 Simple Ways to Show You Care

Do we really need a day like November 13th?

For most of us, the answer is a resolute one: YES. If you didn’t know, World Kindness Day is upon us, and is the perfect day to show coworkers exactly how much we care. After all, kindness doesn’t just benefit the recipient but also the benefactor.

Research shows that altruism makes you happier. It’s also known to make you feel stronger, calmer, and more energized, which can help with productivity. So in honor of this little known holiday, we suggest you try at least one of these random acts of kindness:

  1. Buy coffee for everyone on the team. Pick a random day to swing by the local coffee shop and surprise your colleagues by bringing everyone their favorite drink. Sure, it can be a bit of splurge, but you’ll limit the expense if you get coffee for just the members of your team.
  2. Share fresh baked goods with the office. When coworkers come into the office, what if there were a selection of donuts and pastries waiting for their arrival?
  3. Pack an extra snack. Not all acts of kindness need to be grand gestures. You can just share a snack with one colleague on a day she seems out of sorts. Pack an extra one in your lunch or keep a few in your drawer for such an occasion.
  4. Take a colleague out to lunch. What does a lunch really cost when compared to someone’s happiness? For no more than 10 bucks, you could make that person’s day — if not the entire week. Do it on a Monday to help ease him back into the workweek.
  5. Extend an invitation. No matter the workplace, it’ll naturally develop circles of friends. If someone often lunches or grabs coffee alone, consider extending an invite to join you and your crew. Most people are too shy or uncomfortable to do it themselves. 
  6. Go the extra mile. Offering to help out a coworker is one of those spur-of-the-moment acts of kindness that can go over rather well. Ask someone if she needs you to stay late to get a project done. Or, consider taking a difficult customer off her hands.
  7. Run an errand or two. We’ve all been there, staring at a laundry list of things to get done after a day at the office. If it’s on your way home, why not offer to drop a package in the mail or drop a colleague off at the dentist?
  8. Mentor a new colleague. Think back to your first few months on the job. Chances are, you felt like a fish out of water. Anyone new to the office probably feels the same. Take a recent hire under your wing and show him the ropes.
  9. Dole out a little praise. Not all praise needs to come from leadership to have an impact. In fact, complimenting the work of a colleague can make her 19 percent more likely to feel like she fits in. But be specific and authentic to make it a real act of kindness.
  10. Put it in words. There’s a reason they say, “It’s the little things that mean the most.” So, do something small like swinging by someone’s desk to say good morning or good night. And if you’ve got the time, ask about his evening or his plans for the night. 

Of course, we think World Kindness Day should be observed every day. But that’s not always the case, so start with one random act of kindness on November 13th, see how you feel, and go from there.  We’re betting it’ll become a habit that’s hard to break.

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