In Work Life

World Kindness Day is today, November 13! Random Acts of Kindness is a website with lots of great ways to celebrate today and everyday, but I also wanted to share some examples I’ve seen in Givitas. Here are the 7 ways that RAOK suggests we can make kindness a norm in every day life:

Every day I get to talk to companies, associations, nonprofits, universities, and other groups about how they can use Givitas to facilitate knowledge sharing, make work more efficient, and boost innovation. We talk about how each request saves an average of 6 hours of work or $2000. We share stats about increased engagement, loyalty, and efficiency. We talk about how offering your members Givitas makes them more likely to renew, engage with you more, and feel excited about your brand.

It’s easy to forget the softer side of Givitas.

Givitas is a really kind place.

I admit I spent a fair amount of time on social media, and while I’ve done a pretty good job curating my feed and eliminating toxic people, there is still so much that makes traditional social media an unpleasant place to be.

I go check my Facebook feed and see my friends’ perfect kids doing wholesome crafting activities while eating organic food lovingly prepared by two parents who work 60-hours a week but still make sandwiches shaped like a dinosaur. Next I see two people who used to be friends until the election two years ago arguing over a hot button issue. Scrolling further, maybe I see some event that everyone but me seems to be going to, best wishes for a birthday I missed, and boring pictures of fancy dinners at fancy restaurants.

Then I pop over to LinkedIn to read about the exciting promotions and best-selling books and talks my colleagues are giving. I’m happy for them–of course I am, what am I, a monster?–but I also find myself wondering when my book will land me a paid speaking gig. (my imaginary book that I haven’t written yet, by the way).

A quick check in on Instagram shows me everyone’s spotless, well-decorated houses; adorable puppies who never pull trash out of the garbage, kittens that never scratch, and workout routines that produce well-toned, glowing bodies in seven minutes a day.

Don’t even get me started with NextDoor, where I can find out how many crimes are happening in my area, which of my neighbors are suspicious of everyone who doesn’t look like them, and how angry everyone is that the city is enforcing the leash laws at a favorite, local, unofficial dog park (or alternately, how angry the other half is when the city doesn’t enforce those laws).

Then I go to Givitas.

I actively participate in several communities, but because I work here, I get to peek in on any group I want to whenever I want. And it feels like a part of me exhales.

Every day in Givitas, thousands of people (employees, members, students, alumni, customers, or any other group that is connected in some way) are exchanging help.

That’s it.

They aren’t sharing carefully-filtered selfies, humblebrags, pyramid schemes, political rants, or memes. There’s no advertising for the perfect camera/boots/cleaning products/personal care products/gurus/diet plans/weird little thingy you never knew you needed but now you definitely need at least two.

Givitas is just people asking for advice, information, help, or resources matched up with people who want to help.

Most of our Givitas groups are work-related or professionally oriented in some way, though not all of them. And yes, Givitas helps people save time and money. But also, everyone there is really nice, and that is proving to be a wonderful respite for my social media diet these days.

Try it out for World Kindness Day.

If you don’t belong to a Givitas group sponsored through your work or through an association, we have four groups that we’ve created (and more on the way) that anyone can join. You’re welcome to join one of these and see how it works.  They are all free.

They’re designed to take about 5 minutes a week to participate, and there’s no obligation to engage unless you have a need or someone else has a need that you think you can help with.

You can log in to any of these groups with your LinkedIn info (or email support@givitas.com if you want to join and you don’t have LinkedIn).

  • Givitas for Women at Work: this is our newest group, launched last month at the Wall Street Journals Women in the Workplace event in San Francisco with Sheryl Sandberg. This ring is still relatively small but has some incredibly smart, kind, and generous people in it, so it’s a great time to get involved early and expand your network. This ring is not restricted to women; it is for anyone of any gender who is interested in advancing women in the workplace, and in exploring the challenges and opportunities facing women at work.
  • Givitas for HR Professionals: this group was launched over a year ago at the SHRM conference in 2018. Adam Grant was a speaker there and offered to connect SHRM members to one another to exchange help. It has since expanded beyond SHRM and is an excellent place to ask for specific resources (sample social media or vacation policies), advice on HR matters, vendor recommendations, and pretty much any other HR-related question you can think of.
  • Givitas for Leaders: this network was created two years ago for professionals, practitioners, academics, and anyone else interested in servant leadership, positive business practices, and encouraging a collaborative culture. Join and ask for advice on creating great culture, pro-social business practices, positive management habits, and more.
  • Givitas for People Analytics Practitioners: founded at the Wharton People Analytics conference a year ago, this community is a safe place for People Analytics’ professionals to exchange help, resources, and insights.

All of these groups are open for referrals, so please feel free to share with any colleagues who you think would like to take part in a softer, kinder social network. (By the way, if you have an idea for another group, can help us get it started, and would like to suggest it, please email me at sarah.allen-short@giveandtakeinc.com)

But what I really wanted to share today is 7 ways to use Givitas to celebrate World Kindness Day.

1. Offer to share your time.

A manager for a large multinational corporation was leading a somewhat isolated team in India. He’d struggled for months to improve his KPIs. Finally, when his company implemented Givitas, his request was one of the first posted, and he asked for help implementing Lean business practices.

He was connected to peers in Asia and Europe who had done similar projects successfully. One introduced him to someone with specific experience, and the other suggested a few resources but also offered to hop on the phone with him.

2. When you can’t help, but you know someone who can, offer to make an introduction.

A startup founder who translates textbooks has had several marketing efforts fall flat, and wanted advice on how to break into a crowded field.

Three people offered to introduce him to potential advisers or buyers at big publishers. So even though the publishers themselves were not in his Givitas network, he still got connected to them through a few degrees of separation.

givitas startup

3. Offer your advice (but only when someone asks for it!).

No one likes unsolicited advice, but when someone asks for it, it can be a kindness to share your thoughts.

A leader at an insurance company was looking for advice on the mindset needed to bring collaboration and transparency to her team.

Four colleagues in other areas of the business at the same organization(crossing silos and geography) who had experience with these issues offered their advice. The meetings provided inspiration and information critical to her leadership practice and her team’s experience and engagement with the company.

givitas innovation

4. Offer to share resources that have helped you with a similar issue.

A new regional manager at a software company needed some resources for a sales pitch to a potential client in an unfamiliar industry (pharmaceuticals). She asked for help in a Givitas group internal to her company that included other sales people as well as professionals from the product, support, and marketing teams.

Four people across various disciplines offered internal documents, a chat with someone in the pharma industry, talking points, and a case study.

5. Specific examples are always a huge help and time saver.

Sometimes you don’t need advice, support, or an introduction. You just want some examples to copy. The following example comes from the HR group I linked to above, where HR professionals from companies across the country gather to share resources.

In this case, an HR leader at a small company was looking for samples of social media policies to bolster her existing policy.

Three HR professionals at other companies uploaded their actual policies, saving her countless hours of research and policy development.  If that’s not a true professional kindness, I don’t know what is! She also connected with peers at other small companies and was able to reach out to them for future collaboration.

givitas social media

6. Say thank you

Givitas prompts you to show gratitude whenever someone helps you out, but really this is a practice worth extending far beyond Givitas and into your every day life. Showing gratitude is such a simple kindness.

A study published last year showed than only 5.5% of people are thanked when they offer their help. That’s crazy!

Here are 10 reasons to say “thank you” at work.

And here are 32 ways to say “thank you” in English.

7. Use Givitas to do a “five-minute favor.”

Read in this post by Adam Connors of NetWorkWise how he thinks Givitas can be used to perform”five minute favors.”

“A five-minute favor is just a small way to add large value to other people’s lives,” says Adam Grant. Do your part by spending just a small amount of your day by being kind and providing value to others!

I’m proud and happy to be working at a place that adds a little dose of kindness into the world every day of the year. We’d love to have you join us in one of our free rings, or if you think Givitas might be right for your organization, we’d love to show you how it works in associations, nonprofits, enterprises, and for other affinity groups.

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