Show a Colleague You Care With Random Acts of Kindness

In: BlogDate: Aug 13, 2020By: Billy Burgess

During her presentation at the 2018 Happy Workplaces conference, Woohoo inc’s Arlette Bentzen underlined how random acts of kindness can be effective in enhancing total workplace happiness.

In this short video, Arlette explains the principle is very simple: do something nice for your colleagues and they’ll become happier.

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Woohoo inc's Arlette Bentzen: Show a Colleague You Care With Random Acts of Kindness

You all know about random acts of workplace kindness right? Do something nice for one of your colleagues and that person will become happier. And, as we heard before, it was actually Sarah I think who said that ‘the things that actually matter are things that are for free’, right? Things that we do for each other, it's for free: bring a colleague a cup of coffee, you're getting one for yourself why not bring one for your colleague? Bring flowers to the office from your garden, they are there anyway. Things you can do easily but will make a difference, make a situation where you show a colleague that you care.

Random acts of workplace kindness can be from person to person. This is one of the small things that we've seen in Denmark, one of our clients (called Orsted): where people surprise each other with small Post It notes on each other's computer screens or decorating the rooms and this is just to show a colleague that you care. But be careful it could be too much (shows a picture of a room FULL of balloons and laughter erupts). Never too much! Hahaha, I like that. But just showing one of your colleagues or maybe even your manager that you care, that you've taken your time to do something that you know that will make that person happy.

But it can also be from team to team, we have several clients that have done this well: one team is surprising another team, and then it goes in turns and you never know which team is the next team to be surprised. You don't know if you're going to be the next team to be surprised, you only know who is starting the next random act of workplace kindness. So when it goes from team to team you can invite your colleagues to coffee, to a meeting, you can make them pancakes, you can invite them and share what you're working on. So you can actually have knowledge sharing while surprising them with coffees, or smoothies, or pancakes, or whatever. It's not only for the relationships, but it's also for creating better results and knowledge sharing within the company.

Small gestures of kindness let your colleagues know you care, whether it be making someone a coffee, offering to bring them back some food from the supermarket, or just leaving a note letting them know their work is appreciated.

“Random acts of workplace kindness can be from person to person,” says Arlette. “[At the office of] one of our clients, called Orsted, people surprise each other with small Post-it notes on each other's computer screens or decorating the rooms and this is just to show a colleague that you care.”

The random acts of kindness can also be exchanged between teams. “When it goes from team to team, you can invite your colleagues to coffee, to a meeting, you can make them pancakes, you can invite them and share what you're working on,” says Arlette.

“So you can actually have knowledge sharing while surprising them with coffees, or smoothies, or pancakes, or whatever. It's not only for the relationships, but it's also for creating better results and knowledge sharing within the company.”

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About Woohoo inc.

Woohoo inc. are a Danish organisation whose mission it is to be the international experts on happiness at work. The team at Woohoo inc. are committed to collecting the most important scientific research from psychology, sociology, neuroscience and management studies and using it as the foundation for all their work.

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