How To Run Your Own Remote Kindness Bingo Challenge for Team Building
We all know how hectic life can get when juggling work, relationships, self-care, and all the curveballs thrown at us along the way—sometimes we can lose sight of what’s most important. After experiencing worldwide isolation to keep people safe, it’s clear now more than ever how crucial social interaction and acts of kindness are for our mental health and wellbeing. In fact, studies show that people who consistently practice acts of kindness have 23% less cortisol (stress hormone) in their system and even age at a slower rate than the average person.
As a hybrid workplace with most of our workers being remote, we wanted to encourage acts of kindness in a fun way that brought our team closer together even if we can’t meet in person. After seeing our team’s feedback and engagement in our “Acts of Kindness” challenge, it’s clear how beneficial it was not only in our work lives but in our personal lives as well. We’re excited to share our experience with you in hopes to bring your workforce together whether you’re remote or back in the office!
The Impact of Kindness On Wellness
Turns out spreading kindness isn’t only beneficial to the people on the receiving end of random acts of kindness. Practicing acts of kindness is shown to increase levels of oxytocin, serotonin, self-esteem, and energy. Interestingly enough, when you’re kind to others, the pleasure and reward areas of your brain light up as if you’re the one who has received the good dead. This occurrence is called the “helper’s high.” Research shows that acts of kindness can even increase lifespan. For example, people 55 or older who regularly volunteered had 44% lower risk of passing away early. Plus, being kind to others is proven to have a snowball effect like paying for the car behind you in a drive-thru. In fact, doing just that at a Dairy Queen in northern Minnesota led to more than 900 cars paying for each other’s meals!
If understanding all the healthy hormones that kindness can increase isn’t convincing enough to pay it forward, there’s quite a bit it can decrease. For example, acts of kindness produce endorphins, which is the brain’s natural painkiller, meaning it reduces pain as well as stress and depression. The increase of oxytocin mentioned earlier helps dilate the blood vessels, resulting in lowered blood pressure and protecting the heart. Participating in acts of kindness can also decrease anxiety even in individuals experiencing chronic anxiety. A study found that after one month of high-anxiety individuals performing acts of kindness six days a week, their social avoidance decreased while their relationship satisfaction increased.
The Impact of Kindness On Employee Satisfaction
Encouraging acts of kindness in the workplace has been proven to increase positivity, job satisfaction, and employee well-being. It also enhances employee interaction and benefits mental and physical health. Not to mention, sharing acts of kindness with your team creates a ripple effect and brings people closer together. Research shows that people with stronger relationships have a 50% increase in the likelihood of survival.
Starting a kindness challenge at work will without a doubt boost overall company morale and enhance your company's culture, which ultimately helps you get and retain good talent. If your company is remote, you could create a specific messaging channel to share your daily acts of kindness with your team in order to connect and encourage others to try it out!
"I am SO HAPPY to have an organization like this in my life that values and encourages kindness. It was just the thing to keep me going today. Thanks so much to the committee in charge of these activities."
How To Run Your Own Challenge
There are many ways to integrate a kindness challenge into your workplace—from kindness calendars and bulletin boards to bingo games, there’s no wrong way to do it! We at Service Direct, decided on a bingo challenge in order to keep things fun and light while also encouraging everyone to participate in a little friendly competition. The acts of kindness ranged from something as simple as giving someone a hug, to writing thank you letters, volunteering, or donating clothes. Whatever challenge you decide on, having a clear process set up for everyone to participate in without confusion on the rules will be really helpful in the overall engagement of your kindness challenge and the benefits it will have on your company!
- Step 1: Decide on a timeframe and point of contact. The shorter the better so that people can feel like they can achieve the goal in a reasonable timeframe. We ran ours for a 4-week time period, and that seemed just long enough. Have a point person on your team for people to ask questions and help with consistent updates to your scorecard.
- Step 2: Brainstorm and Choose the Acts of Kindness. Brainstorm and list potential acts of kindness to include in your challenge, and then have your team vote on what to include. Make sure you have a mix of activities with varying levels of effort to complete. Include some holiday-related activities if during the holidays.
- Step 3: Decide on the Bingo Rules. Even though doing just a single act of kindness can have benefits, your challenge needs to have clear rules and expectations. For our Bingo Challenge, for every Bingo line achieved, employees got an entry into the prize raffle at the end of the challenge. The more acts of kindness completed, the higher the chance of winning a prize. You could also consider just using a "point" system, where each act of kindness has a set number of points achieved (1, 2 or 3) when it is completed, based on the level of effort to complete it. Then you can tally up total points at the end of the challenge and have more of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner format. Here were the instructions we gave to the team.
- Step 4: Build your Bingo Scorecard. There are so many ways you can choose to do this part. For us, we designed the Bingo card layout in Canva. We then imported the design into a Google Slides Deck. We created 3 variations of the Bingo Card with the random acts of kindess in different positions. We then created a Bingo Slide for each employee. When they completed a random act of kindness, they would simply move their Bingo Marker over the square completed, and leave a comment about what they did to achieve that square.
- Step 4: Decide on a Communication Channel. Give a place for everyone to post about their random acts of kindness. Consider giving bonus points to those who post regularly in the channel. Encourage sharing photos in the channel to keep motivation high.
- Step 5: Announce it to your Team. Send out a company email announcing the challenge, the rules, and the potential for prizes. Post about it and link to the announcement on your communication channel and tag everyone so that the whole company is notified. Be available for any questions your team might have in the beginning so everyone fully understands the rules.
- Step 6: Have Regular Check-Ins. Post in your specific challenge channel or even your general channel to check in and encourage people who possibly haven’t gotten as far as there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Possibly have shoutouts of people to praise their efforts and motivate others. Remind people what the challenge is all about: being kind to others.
- Step 7: Host A Wrap-Up Party. Have a wrap-up party discussing everyone’s thoughts on the challenge, their favorite experiences with it, and of course, announce the winners and hand out the prizes. Consider having the party virtually if your team isn’t back in the office. You can announce the prizes and mail them to the winners. If you’re back in the office, consider having little gift bags for everyone or another gesture of kindness to your team.
- Step 8: Get Feedback. Send out a poll asking your team valuable questions to see how it impacted them and know how many people participated. If it was a positive experience for everyone, consider running it again in the future. Ask your team for suggestions or if there’s something they would change about the challenge, that way if you run it in the future it will be even better!
How It Went For Us
Implementing the Kindness Bingo Challenge made a huge impact on our company’s overall job satisfaction, positivity, and happiness. Not to mention it was a great way to get everyone involved in something and have a space where they could share their daily acts of kindness with their team.
We found that 100% of our employees would participate in the challenge again.
And, 90% stated that it improved their overall job satisfaction.
Here’s what some of our employees had to say about it:
- “Seeing everyone's act of kindness and feeling like I got to be the best person I can be was great. I loved holding myself accountable for better choices and nicer actions.”
- “I felt like it got me out more, and was more willing to do better things for others, other than family”
If you’re thinking of ways for your company to give back, bring you closer together, and get into the holiday spirit of giving, we highly recommend the Kindness Bingo Challenge as a way to spread some love and joy!