March 2, 2018

The Roundup: Random acts of kindness, valuable work perks, and the impact of #MeToo

Who would have thought? Kindness begets kindness, according to a new study. Also, employees say one perk in particular matters most to their job satisfaction, and #MeToo has widespread impact at work.

The effects of random acts of workplace kindness

A new study, published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Emotion, examines the effects of random acts of workplace kindness.

Richard Davidson, neuroscientist at UW-Madison and director of the Center for Healthy Minds research facility, who is also the co-founder of the journal, shared some key findings on LinkedIn.

More than 100 employees were randomly assigned to a “giver,” “receiver,” or “control” group. “Givers” had to perform five acts of kindness to a specific “receiver” over four weeks.

Both “givers” and “receivers felt happier and reported higher levels of well-being two months later compared to the control.

Receivers paid it forward with 278% more acts of kindness (or, as the study calls them, prosocial acts or behaviors) than the control group.

It’s scientifically supported that kindness creates happiness. This study specifically reinforces the importance of kindness in the workplace. Whether it’s through forming connections at work or cultivating a positive culture, good vibes at work positively affect employee satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately, business bottom line.

Most valuable work perk? Flexible hours

A new survey by B2B research firm Clutch finds that employees (more than 40% of the full-time U.S. employees surveyed) most value the ability to set their own schedules.

Additionally, 54% of those surveyed said it’s the perk that matters most to their job satisfaction, according to the survey.

As an HR leader or employer, if you’re evaluating the current state of your offerings, take note: employees feel valued when perks are personalized, align with company values, and support employees in work-life blending.

Related: Six work perks and benefits employees really want

The widespread impact of #MeToo

At a recent speaking engagement at Columbia University, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that she believes the #MeToo movement has “staying power.”

As Leah Fressler writes in Quartz, “many women rightfully anticipate retaliation,” but Ginsburg, speaking to CNN’s Poppy Harlow, said that the real concern is ensuring the fight for equality extends beyond public figures.

Harvard Business Review’s cover story this month explores the ways in which #MeToo has changed today’s workplace.

What these prevailing conversations signal to employers is that workplace misconduct will continue to be an important issue in 2018 and beyond, as noted by our compliance team in this post.

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

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