December 18, 2012

RACK for the Workplace

The other day my friend and I were in the drive-thru line at a Starbucks.  When we went to the window to pay we were told that the person in front of us just bought our coffee and gave us a card saying we were “RACKed”  (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.)  So what did we do?  Paid it forward and bought coffee for the person behind us of course!  What made this fun was it was anonymous; we were surprising someone with something unexpected that put a smile on their face. 
Having that happy experience gave me the idea that we can use some RACK for the workplace.  If you want you can shorten it to RAK for simply Random Acts of Kindness which works regardless of your beliefs or the holiday you celebrate.
Workplace stress has a way of escalating during the holidays.  Stress can be caused by end of the year deadlines, special projects, the push to meet profit goals, and increased customer demands.  In addition to the extra workload you may feel stressed about all the personal holiday tasks you need to do at home such as shopping for gifts, baking, and entertaining.   Your coworkers are probably feeling the same stress and may be a little harder to work with this time of year. 
What can you do to bring a smile to your coworkers and “make their day?”  We all know the song The Twelve Days of Christmas so why not The Twelve Days of RAK
  1. Bring a tray of treats for the lunchroom
  2. Leave Starbucks coffee or hot chocolate anonymously on coworkers’ desks
  3. Leave candy canes on desks
  4. Tape quarters to the lunchroom vending machines
  5. For cold weather locations, clean off the snow/frost on the cars parked near yours
  6. Start a book exchange with at least 10 books (can be already read)
  7. Bring lunch back for a coworker who is working on a deadline and can’t leave
  8. Attend a meeting for a coworker so they can leave early for a child’s event
  9. Bring flowers (carnations are inexpensive) with small discount store vases for all the tables in the lunchroom
  10. Leave lottery tickets on desks for coworkers
  11. Start a coupon basket to leave coupons you do not need
  12. Write notes of appreciation to coworkers
An interesting thing happens when you RAK someone, they start thinking of how they can RAK someone else.  If everyone is thinking of how they can make others happy it lightens the atmosphere at work and captures the spirit of the season.  What ideas will you add to my list of twelve?

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