February 16th marks the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week, a worldwide movement that reminds us all of the importance of being kind to others. The holiday encourages individuals and businesses to pay it forward in any way they can, whether it's something small like buying a coffee for someone behind you in line or putting together a clothing drive for the community, every small act of good can make an impact. As Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
In its humble beginnings, Random Act of Kindness Week started in a restaurant in California back in 1982, when a woman named Anne Herbert wrote the words, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” on her placemat. This small phrase spread and was soon known throughout the United States. Fast forward to 1995, when The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was founded in Denver Colorado, making it their mission to make the world a better place and spread their message across borders.
On February 17th, 2004, Josh de Jong from New Zealand officially started Random Acts of Kindness Day. And in 2017, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation officially designated the week of February 16th - 23rd as Random Acts of Kindness Week to create more chances for people to weave good deeds into their lives.
Is your small business participating in the movement? It’s not too late to show your community and employees how much you care for them during this holiday. Sometimes, all it takes is one warm-hearted deed to inspire others and make positive, lasting waves in your community; no matter the size.
Employees are the lifeblood of your organization and deserve to feel supported and appreciated. Close to 65% of employees in the United States have not received any form of recognition for their contributions in the last year, and no business owner wants to be part of this statistic. Small businesses that take the time to say thank you to staff, in any way shape or form, help build confidence in employees and show how much they are truly valued as part of the team.
Giving thanks to your staff can take shape in so many different ways. 70% of employees say they feel more motivated when managers say “thank you”, and sometimes the most simple way of showing appreciation can be the most impactful. Giving a genuine “thank you” or “job well done” to employees doesn’t cost anything, but can make someone’s day. For example, taking employees out to lunch or making a thoughtful post about an employee on your social media page are low-cost, but memorable ways to express your gratitude.
Investing in the community who supports your dream can be a powerful thing. The idea behind Random of Acts of Kindness Week is that every small act of kindness is important, and no matter how you choose to do good, your community will appreciate you for it. Consumers feel deeper bonds with companies with purpose, with 77% of people saying they feel a stronger emotional connection with purpose-driven companies.
When we think of giving back to the community, it’s typical to imagine volunteering at a park clean-up or serving meals at homeless shelters. These are amazing ways to do good in the community, but for some, time is short and without proper planning, it can be hard to make this kind of kindness feasible—this should not stop you from finding ways to participate though. It can be as simple as putting handwritten notes in packages before sending out deliveries or starting a donation jar for a cause that’s important to the community.
Small business partners are the foundation that holds your company together, and they deserve to feel valued for their sacrifices and hard work. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind of running a small business, and forget to say thank you. So take Random Act of Kindness Week as your inspiration to make a change.
Small gifts and thank you notes are always a great means to say “thank you”, but showing a business partner you care doesn’t have to cost a penny. Sharing their business on your website or social media posts can be a way to show your appreciation while promoting your partner. Or, when the pressures of business mean long hours, and fast-paced days with little time to stop and take a breather, being a much-needed shoulder to lean on or a listening ear for your partner is a way to share kindness.
Random Act of Kindness week is a great excuse to start giving back, but kindness is best when shared year-round. Integrating small acts of kindness into your normal everyday business operations will boost employee morale and get customers excited about your business. Further, 79% of Americans say they are more likely to be loyal to a purpose-driven company, so doing good is good business.
An important piece of doing good, is sharing good with those who matter most to your business. With seedership, we make it easy to give community members and employees the chance to see how you give back. During Random Act of Kindness Week and every day of the year, when businesses give back, everyone wins.