12 Acts of Kindness for Businesses

Published: 11th Jul 2011 in Ethical Business

Business isn't usually associated with kindness, in fact, it's often associated with quite the opposite. The idea that bosses are mean and companies are greedy are almost accepted as the status quo. But isn't that sad? The virtue of kindness doesn't need to be linked only to charities and non-profits, business has a great capacity for helping improve quality of life for people on a local and global scale, it just sometimes chooses not to. In choosing not to though, it may well be missing out on a fantastic opportunity.

Kindness is infectious, if someone is kind to you it opens you up to doing a good turn of your own, ultimately rewarding you with that lovely warm feeling you get when you've just made someone smile. The idea that kindness also helps you and others around you to be more productive and creative may not seem surprising. However, for commercial organisations these wellbeing and happiness 'side effects' that empathy and compassion bring can lead to added bonuses in the workplace which are definitely worth considering further. Studies have shown that employee happiness and wellbeing leads to to improved health, loyalty, performance and decision making, and in turn the business's bottom line.

InKind Notts Event

InKind Notts are looking to "inspire people in schools, homes and communities as well as workplaces, to recognise that actions motivated by empathy, self awareness and kindness not only make others flourish but they are also are incredibly strong mechanisms to help us feel engaged, well and happy."

InKind Notts will be committing Random Acts of Kindness in Nottingham city centre for 12 hours on Saturday the 16th July from 9am to 9pm. Go along to chat with them, find out more or share your thoughts. Listen to an interview with co-founders Kaye Brennan & Jeff Buck about the event.

12 Acts of Kindness for Businesses

So, inspired by the InKind Notts folk, here's my 12 acts of kindness for business ideas:

  1. Give your time - offer the paid services you usually provide but as a volunteer.
  2. Teach someone a useful skill or be a mentor to someone keen to get into your profession.
  3. Find out if a charity or community group needs a piece of equipment and buy it for them.
  4. Find out about your employees' hobbies and give them a little time to explore and share them at work.
  5. Send kind messages to your colleagues or employees - make a positive comment on a piece of work they did or thank them for their time.
  6. Look after your team for the day - make the tea for everyone and do the lunch run.
  7. Give your customers a compliment - we business owners thrive on positive feedback and shining testimonials but what about the other way around? If you're a B2B company take the time to pay a client a professional compliment and share their work with others.
  8. Help someone with a task they don't enjoy, especially if its not your responsibility.
  9. Spread the word about your favourite suppliers
  10. Along with your work colleagues collect good quality but unwanted items and donate to a charity.
  11. Business owners often treat themselves like machines. If that's you - be kind to yourself.
  12.  Ask your employees, colleagues, suppliers & customers for their ideas on how a business can be kind.

Find out more at inkindnotts.org and www.randomactsofkindness.org

Interesting reading: Science News - Happy Employees Are Critical For An Organization's Success.

I'd love to hear your ideas on how a business can spread kindness so please share them in the comments below.

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