By: Lisa Pepperall, Niagara Health
Niagara Health's grassroots Acts of Kindness Workplace Challenge has hit a major milestone. Thanks to its caring teams, they've reached 20,000 acts of kindness.
During the challenge, teams have tracked simple things like smiles, holding the door open for others, greeting people with a warm welcome at the front door and helping a colleague in need. They have joined the global Kindness Rocks movement by painting inspiring messages on rocks and have tracked donations, such as school supplies, winter clothing and hygiene products given to local non-profit organizations.
"Our teams are doing kind things for each other, our patients and the community," says Niagara Health's Workplace Relations Manager Sandy Traynor. "It's about focusing on others and taking a minute to acknowledge the kinds things that we all do, every day."
The Acts of Kindness Workplace Challenge was created in February 2017 by the Niagara Health Information and Communications Technology Department. Members of the ICT team were looking for a way to support the Extraordinary Care Area of Focus of Niagara Health's Strategic Plan, given they do not provide direct patient care. The department came up with the idea of performing 1,000 acts of kindness to encourage Niagara Health's culture of kindness.
The grassroots initiative grew from there. Other departments quickly jumped on board, volunteering to participate in challenge.
Since then, 23 departments have completed the challenge, performing more than 20,000 acts of kindness.
Niagara Health's Workplace Relations Team has been instrumental in keeping the challenge going. They encourage teams to get involved and provide support when needed.
"The creativity has amazed us," says Sandy. "We give our teams the same set of instructions and materials, but every group does something unique and meaningful to them."
Sandy notes that keeping the "be kind to one another" message at the forefront has helped keep the momentum going.
"Staff will often reference this message," says Sandy. "They know it's a priority for our organization."
Sandy also credits Niagara Health's Executive Team for the growth in momentum. They completed the challenge using a custom-designed tree poster to track their kind acts and then passed the torch to another unit.
"Their involvement and leadership has inspired departments to get involved."