As we approach the end of the year, it's a good time to reflect on all the hard work you and your organization have done and all you've achieved. With things slowing down, it's also a great time to reflect on all you are grateful for, in and outside the workplace. During this time of reflection, make sure you also take action, even if it's a small gesture, to ensure your colleagues and employees feel appreciated.
With all the changes in workplace culture in recent years, one of the major positives is an uptick in companies prioritizing positivity in the workplace. Morale increases when employees feel appreciated by coworkers or leaders who show kindness and appreciation. A boost in employee morale results in a positive and supportive work environment, which reduces stress and improves job satisfaction.
Random acts of kindness are one of the easiest and most effective ways to cultivate a sense of appreciation, so much so that there’s a whole day dedicated to being kind to others! So, let’s dive in and learn how to implement kindness in the workplace to create a more blanched and healthy workplace.
27 Acts of kindness to cultivate a positive workplace
Incorporating random acts of kindness into the workplace can be as simple as saying thank you, offering help, or recognizing milestones and achievements. Kind actions benefit individuals and create a positive workplace culture that can increase productivity, employee retention, and overall success.
Here are 27 easy and fun ways to express gratitude through kindness that can be done any day of the week.
1. Celebrate your coworkers
Celebrating your coworkers will foster a positive workplace environment. Recognizing and appreciating your colleagues boosts morale and strengthens teamwork and overall job satisfaction. A celebration can be anything from bringing in your colleagues' favorite dessert on their birthday to surprise tokens of appreciation like a midday coffee or a small gift that shows you care.
2. Leverage recognition programs
Leveraging recognition programs to promote random acts of kindness in the workplace is a great way to organize and maintain a positive workplace culture. Here are some ways that recognition programs can boost employee morale daily, making a lasting impact.
- Create a consistent recognition program, which could be anything from dedicated team meals to establishing a gratitude wall
- Set aside a budget for gifts
- Set up feedback sessions with employees to get ideas of what would be a meaningful gesture regarding the recognition program
- Encourage peer-to-peer gifting and nominations
- Celebrate successes big and small
- Collect and track data so the recognition program can constantly improve
Implementing a successful recognition program for random acts of kindness at work can be a powerful tool for building a solid and supportive company culture.
3. Public acknowledgement
Publicly acknowledging kindness in the workplace will cultivate an appreciative workplace culture. Public-facing acts of service can be anything that celebrates an employee or team's achievement that clients and customers can also appreciate. The most common way to acknowledge hard work and employee achievement is through a well-crafted social media post, complimenting a job well done, or just general appreciation for a team member who makes the office a better place for all. Public acts of kindness will also inspire other companies to do the same, which can result in a domino effect for creating a more caring and positive workplace culture worldwide.
4. Write a thank you letter
Writing a heartfelt thank you letter to an employee who recognizes their contribution to the company is a great way to use random acts of kindness to show appreciation, even if there isn't a specific reason. Thank you notes demonstrate to employees and team members that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed daily and plays a significant role in maintaining high spirits and overall productivity in the workplace.
5. Send a gift to coworkers
Random gifts to show appreciation and cultivate kindness are a great way to brighten your coworkers' or team's day, especially when there’s an upcoming deadline or a particularly stressful period. Offer gift certificates to a local spa or restaurant, encouraging employees to take a break and care for themselves. Workers who feel cared for are much more likely to be dedicated to an organization, which boosts retention rates and morale in the long run.
6. Welcome new members with the intention
When there's a new team member, it's always nice to create a welcoming atmosphere so they feel comfortable and that communication is quickly established. Be mindful of their individual needs and preferences, as some new members may appreciate a more formal introduction. In contrast, others might be more casual and open to grabbing a drink after work. By introducing yourself as an act of kindness, new employees will likely be more receptive and integrate more quickly, rather than feeling intimidated or nervous when starting a new position, which can negatively affect the overall company atmosphere.
7. Uplift backstage actors
While celebrating successes is always a good thing in the workplace, it’s essential to consider those who are part of the team, but not always directly. Make sure to include those who might work outside of the office in more separate roles, like administration, accounting, etc., as they are also an integral part of the workspace and will benefit from random acts of kindness just as much as those members of an organization that are more public-facing.
8. Help take the load off
If you find yourself with some extra time, whether as an employee or in a leadership role, keep an eye out for those needing help completing a project or assignment. Ask team members if there is a task you can take over so they can work with less stress and feel supported in the workplace.
9. Give compliments in company meetings
While it’s well understood that meetings can be distracting, especially if they run long, don’t hesitate to set aside a few minutes to compliment employees for a job well done. A meeting that has a positive tone will likely be more productive and distracting, as employees will feel appreciated and want to contribute rather than feel like they are wasting time.
10. Make space for employees' friends and family to join workplace activities
Extend invitations to your employee's loved ones when hosting company events, i.e., holiday parties or workplace award ceremonies. Allowing employees to bring their friends and family along is a kind gesture that shows your organization values their time and personal connections, not just their professional output.
11. Show your appreciation for outstanding leadership
While leadership is often in the position of implementing workplace appreciation programs and ensuring random acts of kindness benefit their employees, it’s also crucial for them to feel valued. Coworkers can get together and pitch in to get a small gift for their managers or company leaders to show their gratitude for their efforts, ensuring that positivity is instilled at every stage of the company.
12. Send out a care package
Set aside a budget for the holidays or the end of each quarter to pay for a small employee care package. Care packages can induce anything from company swag to gift cards to handmade certificates that offer extra PTO or flexible working hours.
13. Offer extra time off just because
It’s becoming common practice for companies to offer additional time off in times of stress or when employees must do overtime to meet a deadline. Offering extra time off just to give your team time to rest and relax is a wonderful act of kindness that will foster loyalty and happiness in the workplace.
14. Celebrate milestones
While this might go without saying, celebrating milestones is essential, it’s even more critical that these acknowledgments are backed up with action. Send out a company-wide email celebrating employees' achievements and work anniversaries, and pick out a meaningful gift like a gift card to their favorite lunch spot or offer them a day off of their choosing.
15. Speak with intentional positivity
Being positive is important, but employees and leadership will know if it’s not genuine after a while. Companies that claim they cultivate a positive work culture but don’t treat employees with respect often have difficulty retaining staff, which can hurt growth in the long run.
16. Set up a gratitude wall
Setting up a gratitude wall can foster a positive and appreciative atmosphere among your colleagues and should be a permanent fixture in the workplace. Provide the space and materials to encourage employees to contribute whatever they see fit, such as thank you notes, artwork, and even personal tokens of things that make them happy, like a picture of a loved one or pet. With a gratitude wall, employees can share random acts of kindness like public shoutouts or invitations to an outside work event to promote bonding.
17. Set up gratitude workshops
Gratitude workshops promote positivity and well-being among participants and can play an essential role in personal development and team building. Some companies hire external professionals to help facilitate these workshops, giving employees a chance to have an outside perspective and a change of scenery, which is essential to productivity.
Ensure you set aside enough time and space for the whole company to participate, facilitating connection and bonding. Gratitude workshops can profoundly impact participants, helping them develop a more positive and appreciative mindset, which will carry over into the workplace.
18. Talk your coworkers up
When talking about your coworkers positively with your boss, it's essential to be professional but also intentional and honest. Mention a specific success you experienced with your colleagues or a trait you admire and relate it to how much it helps you complete your job. Highlighting and celebrating other employees to upper management shows that you are a positive team player while also extending a gesture of kindness to your coworkers.
19. Start the day with a greeting
While this might seem obvious, we sometimes forget about others when we are overwhelmed, which can result in a communication breakdown. Meeting coworkers is a small, random act of kindness that goes a long way. When you start your day or a brief check-in, a quick hello can create a warm atmosphere that will result in less stress and a more favorable environment.
20. Buy a coworker lunch
Offering to buy a colleague lunch is a random act of kindness that strengthens professional and interpersonal relationships. By spending time together outside designated work hours, you are building a relationship of trust that will carry over into the workplace and generate an atmosphere of kindness.
21. Make use of personal chat space
If you are a remote team and can’t greet one another when you get to the office, make sure there is a way that you can do so online. Some companies have a group channel on Slack where they can all say good morning when the day begins, encouraging team members to communicate regularly and feel part of the team.
22. Help clean common areas
Common spaces don’t take long to get messy, especially during a busy work day. If dishes are in the communal kitchen or a break area needs tidying, offer a helping hand. By helping to keep the workspace clean and organized for all, even if you didn't make the mess, you show that you care about everyone’s comfort, not just your own.
23. Offer a coworker a ride home
If you get to work by car, check in when you have the time to see if anyone needs a ride home, especially if you’ve had a late night in the office. This random act of kindness, even if your coworker doesn’t accept the offer, shows that you care for your colleagues and creates a positive environment overall.
24. Buy your team breakfast
Leadership can dip into their budget for employee recognition and take the opportunity to buy the whole team breakfast. Let employees know beforehand so they don’t spoil their appetite eating at home, and ensure everyone’s dietary restrictions are met. Everyone will appreciate an excellent breakfast to start the day!
25. Make holiday cards for your team
There's something authentic about homemade gifts; the holidays offer the perfect time to give handmade cards to the whole office. Check to see if an artistic team wants to help, or if your organization is large, have your design printed in bulk. Employees will appreciate the gesture, which goes a long way.
26. Bring in something sweet
Pick up some sweet treats for everyone to grab in the office. A random act of kindness that is tasty and shows that you are thinking of your coworkers is a nice way to brighten everyone’s day.
27. Offer mentorship and support when needed
If you’re in a leadership position or an experienced company member, offer your advice or mentorship to employees hoping to grow or have just joined the company. Making yourself available and supportive is a random act of kindness that will help build trust and encourage employees to support one another.
Commit to random acts of kindness in and outside of the workplace
To implement a long-lasting positive company culture, leadership must prioritize random acts of kindness daily and time spent focused on team building, such as team retreats.
Team retreats are essential to building a solid company culture where employees feel connected to their colleagues, leading to a more balanced and connected workplace. When planning your next retreat, consider making random acts of kindness an essential part of the retreat. Surf Office can help you figure out the logistics so you can focus on promoting positivity and service in your organization.