Kindness is also contagious—and while it should be spread across all facets of life. It costs nothing and benefits everyone, yet we are all so busy that we forget how a simple, genuine smile or a hello can change the course of someone’s entire day.
One study, published last year, found that employees who received kindness not only paid it forward, but were 278 percent more generous than their control group counterparts. That same study found that employees who received kindness were happier after two months; and those who gave out kindness became less depressed and more satisfied with their jobs, and their lives overall.
So to promote kindness at work, and also in honor of World Kindness Day this week, here are 9 ideas for how you can spread kindness among your work family:
1. Learn something new about a coworker. It’s easy to lean on familiar conversation, especially when you see someone every day. But if you make an effort to learn something new about a coworker it shows them you genuinely care.
2. Recognize someone’s work. Give your colleague praise for a job well done. During the next team call or meeting, take a moment to give a shout-out to your coworker who really hit the ball out of the park on their last project.
3. Compliment your boss for something you admire but have never expressed. Bosses need kindness, too, and what you admire doesn’t have to be a recent work accomplishment. Perhaps you value how they lead meetings, or the fact that they carve out time for an exercise class at lunch, or encourage everyone to take a mental break every afternoon.
4. Send a pick-me-up email. A compliment or encouragement is a simple way to boost someone’s spirits. If you’re in an office you can pop-by their desk for some face-to-face time, leave a note, or you can send it virtually via email if you work remotely.
5. Gift an inspirational book. Whether you read a book that changed the way you see the world, or you just can’t get enough of that new, amazing cookbook, share your inspiration with someone else that you think will appreciate the gesture.
6. Check-in on someone from your last job. Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind and it’s always nice to be on the receiving end of that reminder.
7. Write a handwritten note. Something about a handwritten note feels that much more meaningful. Of course, you can share your appreciation with a handwritten note, but also consider recognizing a co-worker on their birthday or work anniversary.
8. Leave a positive sticky note. If a personalized, handwritten note feels like too big of an act, instead brighten up someone’s day with a motivational phrase, an inspirational quote, or a few words of encouragement on a sticky note. Put it on their office door, desk, or computer screen when they aren’t looking.
9. Make a new colleague feel welcomed. Being the new person at work can be hard. Make a coworker feel included by getting to know them over a coffee (in person or virtual if you’re remote) and helping them make connections with other team members.
Author: Jen Fisher