Being kind doesn’t cost a thing. In fact, investing in some kindness can provide you quite the return. Research shows that altruism can actually make you happier. It’s also been known to make you feel stronger, calmer, and more energized. Talk about getting a jump on the day.
Besides, engagement in the workplace, which comes from feeling secure, supported, and valued by others, can do wonders for the bottom line. People are 21 percent more productive when engaged, and companies can see 41 percent lower absenteeism and 59 percent lower turnover by improving engagement in their workforce.
Today is World Kindness Day, so the timing couldn’t be better for a few random acts of kindness at work. And one of the following may just be the right act for your office:
1. Share baked goods with the team.
When coworkers come into the office, what if there were a selection of donuts and pastries waiting for their arrival? Most grocery stores stock both fresh and day-old — not to mention, some pre-packaged varieties.
2. Bring in coffee for everyone.
Pick a random day to swing by the local coffee shop and surprise your colleagues by bringing everyone their favorite drink. Limit the expense by picking up coffee for just your team members.
3. Buy lunch for a colleague.
At the most, you’re looking at a $10-investment to make a colleague’s day, if not week by taking him out to lunch. Let him choose the locale to give the act an extra oomph of kindness.
4. Share your snacks.
Something as simple as sharing a snack with one of your colleagues can be enough to turn that frown upside-down. Yes, we just said that. Pack an extra one in your lunch or keep a few in your drawer for such an occasion.
5. Extend an invitation.
Workplaces are notoriously cliquey — even if it’s in appearance only. When a colleague often lunches or grabs coffee alone, extend an invite to join you and your crew. Most people are too uncomfortable to do it themselves, especially if new.
6. Run an errand or two.
Few people want to spend the remainder of their day running even one errand. If it’s on your way home, offer to drop a package in the mail. Or, make it easy on yourself and just ask it you can grab something from the supply cabinet.
7. Mentor a new colleague.
The first few months of a job can be a minefield of dos and don’ts. Take a recent hire under your wing and show him the ropes. Share your experience on the best ways of doing the job.
8. 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 if a colleague needs you to stay late to help with project done or take a difficult customer off her hands.
9. Dole out a little praise.
Praise from a colleague may not have as much weight as from the CEO, but complimenting a coworker can make her 19 percent more likely to feel like she fits in. Make praise as specific and authentic as possible.
10. Put it in words.
Little things often have the most impact on someone’s day. So, stop by a coworker’s desk just to say good morning or good night. And if you’ve got the time, ask about his evening or plans for the night.
Kindness is contagious: it spreads around you, multiplying its benefits for days to come. But instead of reserving random acts of kindness for just November 13th, do one each day forward. You’ll be surprised how something so small can have such a huge impact on the workplace.