The benefits of small acts of kindness

Akshay Sharan Employee Engagement, Employee Health, Organizational Development Leave a Comment

A new study at the University of California attempted to study altruistic tendencies & their impact in a working environment. A group of employees were asked to be kind to a small group (experimental group)  of people while expressing nothing of the sort to a different group (control group). Results suggest that pro-social behaviours by the experimental group increased by 10 times more than similar behaviours by the control group. A month after the experiment the experimental group also exhibited greater levels of happiness than the control group. Further, in line with past research on the issue, it was found that receivers passed the acts of kindness forward. The research highlights the contagious nature of pro-sociality or pro-social behaviour, even though receivers move kindness forward rather than back to the giver, complementing theories on individual origins of pro-sociality. Thus, acts of kindness in a working environment have a positive impact on the giver, receiver as well as the organisation at large.

Chancellor, J., Margolis, S., Jacobs Bao, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2018). Everyday prosociality in the workplace: The reinforcing benefits of giving, getting, and glimpsing. Emotion, 18(4), 507-517.

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