4 Ideas for Practicing Kindness in the Workplace

4 Ideas for Practicing Kindness in the Workplace

by Brittany Commiskey, PHR, SHRM-CP, on February 14, 2017
Definition of kindness
1. a kind deed :  favor <They did me a great kindness.>
2. the quality or state of being kind <treating people with kindness and respect>b archaic : affection

Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

We’ve all heard the Golden Rule since we were old enough to play in the sandbox. In today’s society, as cliché as it may sound, there are many ways to do as our parents taught us – treat others with the same kindness and compassion that we wish to be treated with.

Let’s start with a virtual ice-breaker. Think about the last time you did something nice for someone, just because. The truth is, most of the time we engage in random acts kindness we don’t even realize it.

While kindness is inherent, it is also an intentional act. For example, have you ever seen or heard a story on the news or read on social media about a person who paid for someone else’s coffee or meal? It makes you feel good and inspires you to pay it forward to someone else. However, had you not been witness to someone else displaying that random act of kindness, how likely would you be to initiate that on your own? Kindness is contagious.

Although Random Acts of Kindness Day originated in New Zealand, it has continued to grow in popularity all over the world and is now celebrated during Random Acts of Kindness Week. This year, Random Acts of Kindness Week is observed February 12-18. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a website full of ideas to help you practice Random Acts of Kindness by yourself or with your co-workers, friends, family and strangers.

Since most of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work, I wanted to focus on unique ideas to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week in your workplace. Since every environment is different, feel free to research your own ideas or adjust these to fit your organization.

  1. Thank you or Positivity Notes
    I’ll admit, thank you notes are one of my favorite items to buy. Anytime I make a trip to Target (which is often), my first stop is the card isle. I have at least 10 different versions of thank you notes or blank cards in my desk drawer. Even if thank you notes may not be your thing, try a blank card or sticky note to write positive notes to yourself and your co-workers as a reminder that you are all awesome and deserve to be appreciated. Thank you notes may be used for anything big or small that you want to recognize someone for. Remember, sometimes it is the little things that mean the most. (Thanks for covering for me yesterday so I could enjoy time off with my family!)
  2. Community Involvement 
    Giving back is a great way to involve your whole team in a Random Act of Kindness. Collect items for donations to the local food bank, volunteer at a local homeless shelter, collect food for the humane society, or raise money for a local non-profit.
  3. Be a Good Neighbor 
    If you work close to another business, bake brownies or cupcakes and deliver as a sweet afternoon treat (healthier options such as fresh fruit are always a great idea too). If you work for a larger company, your team could also do this for other departments in the organization.
  4. Lucky Penny Day 
    Did you know that May 23 is Lucky Penny Day? On May 23, place lucky penny (heads-up) in various places for others to find. Kindness and good luck are sure to brighten someone’s day. Visit www.randomactsofkindness.org for monthly calendars full of great ideas to practice Random Acts of Kindness every day.

Big or small, Random Acts of Kindness can be the bright spot in someone’s day. Share your unique ideas with us in the comments below. Your idea may encourage others. Consider that your Random Act of Kindness for today.

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." - Scott Adams

Brittany Commiskey, PHR, SHRM-CP

Brittany Commiskey, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the Branch Manager for Landrum HR’s Fort Walton Beach office. Brittany has been with Landrum for six years and came to us with five years of managerial experience in the restaurant and retail industry. Brittany is a regular presenter and panelist at Hurlburt Field, Emerald Coast Professional’s Networking Group, University of West Florida and Northwest Florida State College. Topics include resume writing, networking and social media, interviewing, and job search techniques. Brittany obtained a B.S. degree in Human Resource Management from Florida State University in 2010 (Go Noles!) and earned a M.S. degree in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University in 2014. She has earned her certification as PHR (Professional in Human Resources) from the Human Resources Certification Institute and the SHRM-CP (Certified Professional) designation from the Society of Human Resource Management. She is a board member of the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation and Emerald Coast SHRM chapter.

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