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Jan, 2019

Kindness in business

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5 Simple Ways to show kindness in business

Kindness makes life worth living. Kind acts can bring relief to someone’s suffering and even save lives. On a personal level, we can each try to increase our acts of kindness to make the world a better place. For businesses, ways to show kindness might not be so obvious – so here are some ideas for you:

1. Suspended coffees

In Naples, Italy, the idea started where, in working-class cafes, people who had enjoyed a stroke of luck would pay for two coffees but only receive one. The other would remain available for anyone who needed it.

When John Sweeney found out about this tradition, he loved the idea and saw the huge potential it had for social connection. So, in 2013, Sweeney launched a Facebook page for Suspended Coffees. The response was amazing, and many cafes and people around the world have now united to offer this simple act of kindness. If you own a café business, research how to join this wonderful initiative that offers people much more than just a cup of coffee – a chance for positive conversation and to know that someone cares about you. If you are in another kind of business, find out where there is a member café close to your business and encourage your employees and clients to support the scheme.

2. Be environmentally friendly

Your business can show kindness to the planet and to the rest of humanity by being environmentally friendly. This can mean investing in new energy-saving technologies, such as infrared sensor activated taps in your company’s bathrooms which greatly reduce water waste – or something as simple as encouraging your staff to turn off lighting and equipment which is not in use. Reducing your company’s use of plastics and other pollutants and lowering energy consumption are ways in which your business can show kindness.

3. Reduce waste

If you are in the food business, don’t let unused food go to the landfill. Donate unsold food items before their expiration date or work together with local soup kitchens or NGO’s to make use of excess food products. This may take some careful thought and organising, but the people fed with food which otherwise would have been lost will appreciate your business for this act of kindness.

Businesses also often produce other kinds of waste, such as paper and plastic that is thrown away. Monitor what waste is leaving your business and choose to be kind to the planet by initiating company-wide recycling programs.

4. Get involved in your community

Your business reputation will be enhanced by acts of kindness to the community, such as sponsoring local projects or organising money-raising events for charities. Enhance the beauty of your business by supporting local artists. House exhibitions from local art talent, allow musicians and street entertainers to perform in front of your business or sponsor local sports teams. Buy local produce and work with other businesses in the community to make your neighbourhood a kinder, more caring and inclusive place.

5. Give a personal touch

Encourage your staff to get to know your customers by name and to anticipate their needs. Build a solid team who work well together by giving out praise generously and paying fairly. If your employees feel appreciated and contented, they will treat your customers with a kinder attitude and will go further to satisfy their needs.

Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash under License

Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who tries her best to lead a positive, grateful life. When eating out, she supports local businesses that care for the community and environment. You can check out more of Harper’s work on Tumblr.

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