Brock University is encouraging its staff and faculty to make kindness the norm in 2022.
Created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, the year-long journey of kindness, compassion and self-care will kick off in January with a calendar of daily actions employees can take to help create a caring and considerate working environment.
Each month centres on a theme, such as mindfulness in January, caring for the environment in April and inclusiveness in June. Some acts of kindness may brighten a colleague’s day, while others may focus on self-care and personal growth.
“With everything going on in the world right now, there has never been a more important time to make a conscious effort to be kind to one another,” said Ken Chan, Brock’s Vice-President, Administration. “A small act each day can go a long way towards making a positive and lasting impact in our community. It’s important we each take time to care for ourselves and others.”
Acts of kindness range from self-care recommendations, such as listening to your favourite music, going to bed early and taking a break to reflect, to suggestions that impact others, such as acknowledging something nice a co-worker did, practising active listening and teaching someone a new skill.
“These are small acts each day that don’t take a lot of time to complete,” said Kathryn Walker, Manager, Health Management and Wellness, who is leading the employee kindness initiative at Brock. “The calendar makes it easy to participate because the planning is already done. Employees could even start small, such as setting a goal to accomplish five acts of kindness in January and then aiming for more each month. Every smile, kind word or act of caring can make a difference in someone’s life —and even inspire others to act kindly towards another person.”
Walker suggests University departments include the kindness calendar as a part of their regular internal communications, such as team meetings, manager updates and newsletters. Teams could download the workplace kindness calendar and make it available for everyone to see.
“My hope is that several teams across the University will embrace the initiative as part of their 2022 employee culture,” she said. “Employees could also make it one of their resolutions for the new year.”
Articles highlighting kindness initiatives will be published in The Brock News on a monthly basis throughout 2022.
For more information on making kindness the norm, visit the Random Acts of Kindness website. Comments and questions about Brock’s involvement with the initiative can be directed to the University’s Health Management and Wellness team at firstname.lastname@example.org