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Practicing Kindness at Work

Practicing Kindness at Work

Dec. 5, 2022
Giving compliments actually makes people happier than receiving them.

I think by now most of us are doing random acts of kindness for our families, friends and neighbors, but what about our colleagues?

Recognizing a colleague’s accomplishment, offering a compliment or praise can “help individuals feel more fulfilled, boost their self-esteem, improve their self-evaluations, and trigger positive emotions, decades of research have shown,” according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. 

An interesting twist on the effects of praise is that those giving the praise seem to get as much out of it as do those who receive it. The authors of the articles did some research and found that “giving compliments actually made people happier than receiving them.”

So how can colleagues, many of whom are remote at this time, provide the praise that might naturally occur while working together in person or in the lunchroom? Well, how about a “kindness round” during a Zoom meeting? The authors suggest that this easy exercise takes only a few minutes at the beginning of a call and can boost morale.

Companies can also provide more formal programs for employees to honor each other. Siemens has programs called 'Champions'  and 'You Answered,' which allow both leaders and co-workers to reward and recognize good performance with thank you e-cards and redeemable points, according to an article on Emplus.

Southwest has its own peer-to-peer SWAG (Southwest Airlines Gratitude) recognition program where employees can recognize and reward each other with points that can be used for travel, merchandise, gift cards, etc.

And Cisco implemented a global peer-to-peer reward and recognition program called 'Connected Recognition.'