Member Interest Articles

Performing Random Acts of Kindness in the Workplace

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Practicing kindness in the workplace is a great way to spread some positivity. In addition, doing random acts of kindness is a great way to boost your own mood and health and it also promotes good feelings and makes people more likely to ‘pay it forward’.

Consider these three ways you can practice kindness in your workplace:

1. Look for Opportunities: Did your coworker do a good job? Did your colleague do you a favor? Did someone give you exceptional service? Step back and pay attention and look around you. Watch for opportunities within your workplace to do kind deeds for others within your institution.

e.g., Our surgery office always buys a special Christmas gift and gets everyone to sign the card for our janitorial staff person to thank him for all the hard work he does during the year to keep our offices clean. In addition, we send out personalized, hand signed Christmas cards to all the individuals, departments, and organizations that we have worked closely with within the last year.

2. Make Kindness a Part of Your Regular Routine. We all have a routine at work, whether it is grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, taking a break mid morning or taking a walk over the lunch hour. Ask yourself how you can add kindness into your daily routine. Doing random acts of kindness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There are simple things that you can do around the office like adding extra paper to the photocopier when it is running low, seeing the empty pot of coffee and making a fresh pot, or bringing fresh baking for everyone to enjoy at coffee break.

e.g., From time to time, I have technical problems so I email IT Support Services. I always get a fast response and usually through a quick remote desktop support session, my problem is solved within a matter of minutes. I always fill out the evaluation form that they email me afterwards and I give them a good rating and add a glowing comment about their prompt and helpful service. I also put a tag in my calendar so that I pick up two dozen muffins once a year and bring them over to their office as a “thank you” for their help and assistance. I am looking forward to being back on campus again so I can walk them over some fresh baking!

3. Develop Your Own Personal Kindness Campaign: Do you want to make a difference in your workplace? Do you want to help make your organization a more positive place to work and interact? Do you want to move beyond simple random acts of kindness to purposely planning to carry out kindness on a regular basis? Why don’t you implement your own personal kindness campaign today?

e.g., My personal kindness campaign has evolved over time. I started out small by sending out thank you cards or congratulatory emails to the people in my office. Then I began buying an occasional gift for my coworkers to thank them for their help on group projects. This was followed by buying Christmas gifts for office mates that I worked with on a regular basis. Next, I moved on to sending out emails to other colleagues outside my department to acknowledge their achievements. Finally, I decided to start nominating my peers for awards within my own institution, which grew and expanded to recommend individuals outside my institution for award recognition.

Being kind doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. Kindness in the workplace can have a domino effect. You can help boost the morale in your office and make people happy by carrying out random acts of kindness in your institution. We spend thousands of hours at work with our colleagues so why not brighten their day and make yourself feel good at the same time.

References:

1. Work Psychology Group. Kindness in the Workplace: 5 Ways to Spread Some Positivity. https://www.workpsychologygroup.com/kindness-in-the-workplace-5-ways-to-spread-some-positivity/

2. Karen E. Mosier. Soft Skills and Professional Tips for the Office. (March 2020). Friesen Publishers.

3. Ovul Sezer, Kelly Nault, Nadav Klein. Harvard Business Review. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Kindness at Work. https://hbr.org/2021/05/dont-underestimate-the-power-of-kindness-at-work