2020 hasn’t been the year any of us expected. Many of us have adjusted to new situations and new expectations, which can be challenging.
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the need to support our co-workers. If anything, that has gotten stronger during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been thinking lately about ways we can help each other. At SGC, we believe practicing small kindnesses is a fantastic way to show you care.
It can give a co-worker a boost, and it lets them know someone is thinking of them. At a time when our personal interactions have been limited, that’s a valuable thing to feel. Here are 15 ways you can show kindness to your co-workers this summer.
1. Offer a Compliment
Telling someone they are good at something provides a lasting lift that can carry them through the day. Just a small note at the end of an email (“Your presentation was fantastic, so much great information!”) can lift a co-worker up.
2. Say Thank You
When was the last time you told someone how much their work meant to you? Perhaps you have a supervisor whose understanding and flexibility has made your job easier the past few months. Tell them how much you appreciate it.
3. Give a Gift
Even if you aren’t working in the office right now, you can still give a co-worker a small token of your affection. Drop it on their doorstep or order online. Good ideas include flowers, baked goods, screen cleaners with fun patterns or pet-themed items.
4. Highlight Someone Else’s Ideas in a Meeting
Some people are reluctant to take credit where it’s due. Offering those kudos to the right person in a public forum shines the spotlight where it should be.
5. Pass on Others’ Compliments
If you just finished a meeting where everyone was raving about the great job “Jane” did on a project, let Jane know. It will make her day.
6. Take Them Lunch
What a wonderful surprise it is when someone else takes care of a meal! Give a little advance warning that you’ll be popping over, and pick up takeout from their favorite restaurant that you can enjoy together during your lunch break.
7. Ask for Their Opinion
All of us love giving our opinions, of course, but getting asked to weigh in on something by a valued colleague makes giving that opinion feel special. Plus, the more voices you hear, the better informed you will be to make a decision.
8. Send Some Lottery Tickets
Lottery tickets are a cheap and fun way to make someone’s day. Think of them as a small “thank you” that could turn into a big payday — and trust us, your co-worker will always remember who gave them the ticket if they win!
9. Ask How They’re Doing
In hard times, we need to check on each other. Just asking someone else in the office how they are holding up can offer the support they need in that moment.
10. Help Out on a Project
Assisting on a project can help someone who has fallen behind get back on track.
11. Inquire About One of Their Passions
Do you have a co-worker who runs marathons or knits hats? Ask them how their training or latest project is going. Forging a moment of personal connection during the workday builds trust and appreciation.
12. Recognize Them on Social Media
You can tag someone to thank them for their help on social media and let others see how great that person is. (However, get the co-worker’s permission first — some people prefer not to be tagged on social media.)
13. Offer to Write a Recommendation
Recommendation letters can be used for all sorts of things, including applications for grants and other honors. Reach out to someone you admire in your office and ask to write one they can keep on hand for anything that comes up.
14. Arrange a Get-Together Outside Work
Especially if you know someone who lives alone, these can be isolating times. Suggest meeting up outside of work to spend some quality time together off your computers.
15. Clean the Office Microwave
OK, this one will probably have to wait a few months till everyone is back in the office full time. But … believe us, there is no greater kindness a co-worker can perform than cleaning out the disgusting office microwave. And you can always come clean ours when you’re done!