February is Random Acts of Kindness Month and it’s a great time to encourage goodwill and appreciation in the workplace – with no agenda other than to spread some unexpected joy, says top UK rewards and incentives specialists Appreciate, home of Love2shop.
As office schedules get busier and task lists longer, never before in the modern workplace has the need to embrace the simple gestures of gratitude, kindness and recognition been more welcomed.
That’s why Appreciate has produced a special guide on how creating a culture of reward and kindness at work all year round is good for business and much more.
From generating loyalty, boosting office morale and productivity, through to improving mental and physical health, the benefits of both receiving and giving an act of goodwill – aka the kindness loop – are limitless.
Science backs up these beneficial effects too, with studies showing that acts of kindness boost the feel good hormones oxytocin and serotonin – for both giver and receiver – creating a positive feedback cycle. What’s not to love!
Goodwill gestures come in all forms too and can range from a ‘well done’ post-it left anonymously on a colleagues desk, to a surprise ‘lunch is on me’ voucher, or even an e-gift card to celebrate a special occasion.
Here, Appreciate, home of Love2shop, share eight ways to create a culture of kindness in the work place – all year round:
- Create kindness opportunities
Some companies organise group events for charity, like fun-runs and toy drives, but others go further – they set a few days aside a year that an employee can use to work for a charitable cause of their choice. This cultivates an atmosphere of altruism and a recognition of the needs of those less fortunate.
- A dedicated ‘kindness calendar’
As well as random acts of kindness, employers can also make sure special moments don’t get missed. Have a workplace ‘kindness calendar’ that schedules reminders for significant milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries. Bring it to life with warm, affirming gestures such as an automated egift card, flower delivery or tickets to a music or sporting event; gestures that make your staff feel valued by their colleagues.
- Virtual ‘pats on the back’
Many companies do this with the help of some clever tech, like a digital employee recognition platform such as Shout!. They let your staff cultivate random and targeted acts of kindness by celebrating the positive achievements of colleagues at all levels, sharing them on an online public noticeboard for everyone to see.
- Staffroom stars
Even if you don’t have the resources for a dedicated platform, you can still do something positive. For instance, a physical message board in your staff space where colleagues can write down messages of thanks and gratitude to others is a cost-effective solution. Or, if you don’t have a central office, perhaps a monthly internal newsletter that celebrates all the good and kind things staff have done recently.
- Lunch is on me days
Managers and employers could introduce monthly, random ‘lunch is on me’ days where they surprise teams with a surprise delivery of pizza or a book a table at fun new restaurant or café near the office. Who doesn’t love an excuse to pass on the office sandwich trolley once in a while!
- The corporate goodwill kindness loop
What you highlight and recognise is a signal to your staff. It says, “This is what we value, this is the behaviour we treasure.” Show your staff you prize goodwill, recognition and appreciation. Take the time to find, and celebrate, actions of kindness among your employees and encourage that they then ‘pass it on’ and feedback their appreciation. By putting positive, feel-good behaviour on a pedestal, you encourage others to copy it, boosting the kindness loop.
- Empower your leaders to embrace kindness
If you want to create sustained positive change in the workplace, give managers the resources to embrace it to reap the rewards of happier, healthier and loyal staff. Develop tools to support a ‘kindness culture’ such as making special dates like Random Acts of Kindness day and month in February an annual opportunity to appraise how goodwill and reward is working in your organisation.
- Digital acts of kindness… at the touch of a button
Sending a token of appreciation, gift or employee reward is now easier than ever thanks to technology. In these days of WFH – working from home – connection with a personal touch can often be lost but it’s now possible to make someone’s day digitally with a personalised Love2shop Contactless gift card, which can be delivered straight to employees through email or SMS. Or how about a Love2shop Digital Reward Code too, which lets employees pick a reward from an array of popular brands.
Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Group, adds: “The warmth and positive intention behind Random Acts of Kindness month clearly resonates with our own philosophy of rewarding and acknowledging valued staff, colleagues and customers as a key part of a positive workplace culture.
He added: “The rise in sales during 2020 at Appreciate, the home of Love2shop, shows that acts of kindness, such as gifting and rewarding are increasingly popular with employers and go a long way in building a successful business.”
If you’re looking to boost workplace goodwill and kindness through rewards and incentives, get in touch with Appreciate, home of Love2shop: https://www.appreciate.co.uk