Acts of kindness in the workplace to inspire your employees

As a workplace leader, we all have so many tasks to accomplish in a 40-hour (or more) work week that it’s easy to overlook the opportunities we have to improve someone else’s day. Whether it’s something as big as helping with research on a project or as small as picking up a piece of paper that has fallen by the wayside, small acts of kindness will greatly enhance employee engagement, teamwork, and morale.

To celebrate World Kindness Day on November 13, here are 13 tips to inspire daily kindness by leading by example as a servant leader:

1. Provide easy team convenience.

It could be something quick, like when you bring coffee to a colleague when you top up your own cup. It can also mean planning ahead by sharing snacks once a week (donuts, anyone?) and encouraging team members to do the same.

2. Offer words of encouragement.

Praise your team members during meetings and reward employees who recognize each other with recognition and praise. A few kind words can really change someone’s day.

3. Set reminders for employee recognition.

Make time daily or weekly to recognize at least one person who made your job a little better. Recognizing it can be as simple as a thank you email!

4. Start a conversation in the elevator.

If you’re in an elevator with someone you don’t know very well, it’s easy enough to say, “Hello!” Ask them about their work and what they like most about it. Having that on your heart when they get back to their table can be a great motivation.

5. Listen to someone ventilate.

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone is to be there for them when they are frustrated. Be a soundboard for someone and ask if they need advice or just need to get it out of their system. Both can be incredibly useful.

6. Celebrate winnings.

Whether big or small, it’s important that you celebrate the achievements of your employees while doing so. Send them a quick message as a thank you for their hard work during a long project or even buy them lunch when they reach their goal.

7. Recognize personal milestones.

It’s also important to remember what’s going on in your team’s personal life. Give employees a handwritten postcard and their favorite delicacy for their birthday or corporate anniversary. Invite coworkers to sign a card if they want to (but don’t require them to … you want to inspire—not force—acts of kindness).

8. Support the charity of your team’s choice.

Host a fundraiser or donate to your team’s favorite organizations to celebrate the achievement of certain goals. It’s a great way to spark fun competition rather than putting more pressure on employees.

9. Organize a team output.

Take your team out of the office several times a year. Changing the environment can be a great delicacy to break the monotony of everyday office life.

10. Write holiday cards.

Handwritten holiday cards are a fantastic way to thank each team member individually for their hard work over the past year.

11. Help your team meet new people.

Whether you have a small business or are part of a larger organization, there are sure to be people in your workplace who don’t know each other well (or at all). Introduce them or share what they have in common. You never know what opportunities might come from the connection you make.

12. Display motivating words.

Write a team mission statement or borrow some motivating quotes and hang them on a wall in your team’s workspace. You can change that based on what your team needs to hear that week as a constant source of encouragement.

13. Ask for help.

It’s important to be kind to yourself too! When you feel stressed or unmotivated, use your team as a source of help where they can. They will be glad that you can rely on them and you can take a break.

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