Improve Productivity in Your Workplace: Implement Random Acts of Kindness

Happy workers are, on average, 31% more productive and 3x more creative.

So isn't it in everyone's best interests to do everything we can to ensure our people are happy? One of the best ways we can do this is to tap into the deepest principle of human nature, which is the craving to be appreciated.

In keeping with my passion to enable workplaces to become happier, more productive and engaging environments, I've pulled together 52 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that can be implemented in any workplace. That's one a week for a year, just to get you started! Some RAKs are free, others may incur some cost; but the basis of all these is to show appreciation. Their intention is to be thoughtful, appropriate, and bring a smile to someone's face.

One of the best parts of RAKs is that kindness is contagious. When we're kind, we inspire others to be kind, and it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends' friends' friends - to three degrees of separation. And how much nicer would work (and the world) be if everyone was kinder to each other?

  1. Hire a chocolate fountain for the day for the office.
  2. Leave a welcome message on a meeting room's whiteboard when you leave.
  3. Share praise with a co-worker’s boss and their boss’s boss.
  4. Sponsor a Random Acts of Kindness mascot to circulate; distributing gifts and suggestions for acts of kindness.
  5. Introduce a colleague to a contact in your professional network.
  6. Hand-write a Thank You note to someone you appreciate.
  7. Take a new employee to lunch.
  8. Hire a popcorn vendor for your foyer for the day.
  9. Leave some coins and a 'pay it forward' note in an envelope attached to a vending machine.
  10. Create 'Kindness - Pass It On' cards for employees to pass from one person to another to accompany each kind act.
  11. Give kindness-related items, such as 'pass it on' cards or bookmarks with kindness quotes on them, to clients.
  12. Set up a random acts of kindness bulletin board for people to post their stories.
  13. Create a newsletter featuring these stories and distribute to employees and clients.
  14. Become a mentor.
  15. Put out a bowl of fruit/jar of lollies in the kitchen.
  16. Bring in breakfast or morning/afternoon tea for your team.
  17. Smile at strangers!
  18. Help someone before they ask.
  19. Hold the elevator for someone running behind.
  20. Squash a rumour.
  21. Write, draw, make, or buy something encouraging for a colleague who's experiencing difficulties.
  22. Get to work early and leave a piece of candy at each person’s desk.
  23. Bring a colleague/your team a coffee or tea.
  24. Introduce yourself to someone new.
  25. Share your umbrella with someone who doesn't have one.
  26. Sponsor a kindness drawing or colouring campaign for your staff’s children.
  27. Start a meeting with a big smile and chirpy welcome.
  28. Give a compliment.
  29. Volunteer your time to your local community.
  30. Take a photo of your colleagues at work and give it to them so their families can see them on the job.
  31. Let someone in front of you (in the car, waiting for lunch, etc.).
  32. Provide some pro-bono work to help students, unemployed, local community, or other people who could benefit.
  33. Donate surplus office supplies to a local school or charity.
  34. Remember others’ birthdays and important events, and celebrate them!
  35. Donate blood (better yet, organise a Blood Drive in your team/company!).
  36. Pay for coffee/lunch/toll/fare for the person in line behind you.
  37. Appreciate a leader by recognising their contribution.
  38. Donate a percentage of your revenue to a local charity in need.
  39. Be a cheerleader for someone else’s idea or project.
  40. Anonymously send flowers to brighten someone’s day.
  41. Present a trophy to someone to show appreciation for what they do.
  42. Ask colleagues about their families (and actively listen, too!).
  43. Walk around with a smile on your face!
  44. Build a library of inspirational and pre-loved books for employees to borrow.
  45. Congratulate someone on their accomplishments.
  46. Put your phone away while in the company of others.
  47. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name.
  48. Look for something around you that can be fixed up, picked up, or attended to. Do it.
  49. Initiate 'Random Acts of Kindness' Week in your team (note: International Kindness Week is in February and World Kindness Day is 13th November).
  50. Give 'Go Home Two Hours Early' certificates to employees during RAK Week. Or enter employees’ names in a drawing for a 'Leave Two Hours Early' certificate.
  51. Volunteer to be the guru of RAKs in your workplace. Share tips, ideas, and stories - and be sure to enlist management for support and to demonstrate RAKs themselves.
  52. Become a RAKtivist!

So let's spread the kindness - and improve happiness and productivity at the same time!


There are fabulous resources available if you'd like further ideas or guidance on implementation. Here are a few to get you started:

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Baudville: The Place for Daily Recognition

Wake Up Project: Celebrating Mindful Living and Leadership

Kind Spring: Small Acts that Change the World

Spread Kindness: Share a Smile. Be Kind. Pass it On.

gThankYou! Insights for workplace leaders & workplace celebration

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving