Acts of kindness have the ability to overcome different viewpoints and bridge cultural differences.
The beginnings of Kindness Day originated on November 13th 1997 when a collective of humanitarian groups came together and created a “Declaration of Kindness”. Now World Kindness Day is celebrated annually every November 13th and has become a powerful way to encourage confidence, happiness and optimism throughout the world. Having empathy for others and showing kindness can also uplift and inspire individuals, communities and yes, even your co-workers or employees.
Kindness is a common language that all humans have the ability to use no matter your culture, race, age, gender, or political, social and economic background. It is truly the one thing we as people all have in common. It’s easy to share and doesn’t cost anything to do. The message of kindness seems simple, yet sometimes we don’t always know how to use the language, but every time you choose to use kindness, it can make a difference and an impact. Experiencing or witnessing acts of kindness can also encourage others to do some good of their own. It will just naturally have a positive compounding effect.
How can we start to build kindness into our workplaces?
Here are a six tips for implementing everyday kindness at work:
- Acknowledging co-workers by offering up a smile while looking them in the eyes and saying hello may sound simple, but many times we are so busy on our phones or thinking about all the things we have to do that we are distracted and not living in the moment. Next time you walk through your office, make an effort to say hello to your co-workers or employees. This also applies to remote workers. A remark at the beginning of an email like “Hope you had a great weekend”, “Hope all is well”, “Happy Friday”, etc. can all give a bit of personalization before getting into the substance of the email. Depending on your relationship with the recipient, you can be even more personalized, and even add some emojis.
- Recognize your coworkers. It can be anything from complimenting someone after the completion of a major work task or a successful presentation. It can also be something personal like wishing someone a happy birthday. Appreciation can help build relationships and engagement at work.
- Don’t forget that everyone is going through their own work and personal challenges every day, just like you. Treating coworkers as individuals with their own unique set of hurdles to deal with lets them know that you care. Being empathic to those needs as a co-worker is important. If you’re a leader in the company, maybe you can offer some type of flexible work arrangement that can help manage an employee’s work/life balance which will lessen anxiety and stress, making an employee/coworker more productive.
- A simple thank you goes a long way. Whether it’s to your coworkers for something out of the norm that they helped you with, or to a loyal customer or client, these 2 little words let others know you appreciate their efforts. Don’t forget to include all the people in your extended work environment from the people delivering packages and mail, the cleaning staff, or your morning coffee barista.
- Helping a new employee or intern. Welcoming a new hire by introducing them to others in the workplace and training them on their responsibilities can make them feel comfortable from the beginning. They’ll succeed much faster with help from a mentor or role model.
- Being considerate in general is another way of showing kindness. Whether it is by arriving to an in-person or virtual meetings on time to be respectful of everyone’s time, completing your tasks by deadlines, or keeping common areas in your office clean, make sure you’re treating everyone in your office with kindness.
Try improving the dynamic of your workplace by implementing some of these tips on a regular basis and World Kindness Day can be your every day.