The Powerful Impact of Random Acts of Kindness

June 6, 2014

Doing random acts of kindness is not a new idea. There are TED talks on this idea, foundations set up to promote it and bumper stickers that urge people to randomly do good.  However, I recently experienced the power and the beauty of doing random acts of kindness in a new way as a part of my job at LinkedIn. I think we are on to something and I would love for you and your team to join!

Where It Started

Last year, I participated in a team outing where groups of four were given $100 and sent out into the local community to do random acts of kindness.  We could do anything with the money as long as it brightened someone’s day. The experience of going out with teammates, doing acts of kindness and then coming back together with the whole team to share what we did was one of the best days I’ve had in my three years at LinkedIn.

For me, the most impactful part was listening to all the stories from the day.  One of my favorite stories was from a group that went into a wedding dress shop where they met a girl who was making a payment on her layaway for her quinceanera dress. They bonded with the girl and her family and put their whole $100 towards her dress. After they left the shop, the group got to talking and decided to pool their own money, go back into the store and pay off the rest of the dress for the girl – and even threw in a pair of shoes! When they were recounting this story, I was in tears. It was such a moving experience that I made it my personal mission to make sure that all employees at LinkedIn would have the opportunity to participate in a similar event.

Random Acts of Kindness at LinkedIn

Last December, I began organizing Random Acts of Kindness activities in LinkedIn offices around the world on InDays, a day each month that LinkedIn gives back to employees to invest in themselves, their community, or the world.

By the end of this year, our goal is to have every LinkedIn office around the globe participating in Random Acts of Kindness.

Please Join Us!

The feedback we’ve received from employees who’ve participated has been off the charts! We’ve all shared a stronger sense of pride working for the company after participating.

Random Acts of Kindness has also been an incredible team bonding experience. I can’t stress how inspiring it is to be in the room listening to colleagues tell such amazing stories of delight, compassion, and kindness. At LinkedIn, one of our core values is “Relationships Matter,” and this experience has definitely brought that value to life for our employees.

Help us spread the power of Random Acts of Kindness by organizing these events in your company. It takes just a few steps to organize the event:

  1. Get people to sign up or leverage an existing team outing
  2. Put them in groups of four
  3. Give them some money (and it doesn’t have to be much!) and let them go
  4. Be sure to have them come back and share (this can be the most inspiring part!)
  5. Leverage social media to share stories more broadly with the hashtag #inkindness.

I look forward to hearing all the inspiring stories you’ll share from your Random Acts of Kindness experiences.