WOULDN’T it be wonderful if we have private corporations spreading kindness? Besides focusing on their core activities, these entities could adopt a culture of kindness throughout their organisations by allocating enough resources to inspire and increase acts of kindness.
This can be easily done by widening the current scope of their corporate social responsibilities by including kindness as part of the company’s corporate culture.
The overall goal is to effect such meaningful change – among the entire hierarchy of staff, including board members, contract professionals and perhaps even other companies that they have dealings with – that kindness becomes an integral part of their philosophy and operations.
By incorporating the practice of intentional kindness into all the company’s operations, it will mean infusing mindfulness and kindness into all staff members. With perhaps a Chief Kindness Officer in place, it will be a continual reminder to all staff members of the importance top management places on spreading kindness.
Currently, many corporations are already displaying kindness in terms of donating to different causes (eg, offering aid after a flood) but these efforts are usually on an ad hoc basis or one-off events. The idea is to make “spreading kindness” a permanent and sustainable feature of the organisation’s operations.
Top-level commitment is crucial (as opposed to merely providing lip service) to ensure that kindness among the staff can be crafted in such a way that it is contagious while making kindness effortless, and selfless acts the norm. Hopefully, once staff members internalise such values, it will positively affect their job satisfaction, physical and mental health, creativity and innovation, while instilling a higher level of trust at all levels.
In addition, workers will in turn inspire one another to promote acts of compassion that better each other’s lives, the community and all life on earth.
There are plentiful kindness initiatives companies can undertake:
> Be kind to the environment and Mother Nature, for instance, by implementing a company-wide policy of planting more trees in surrounding neighbourhoods.
Help protect animals, specially endangered species and including marine life.
Actively participate in activities that protect green spaces in urban areas and preserve the forests.
Adopt a river, park or a depressed community.
Encourage and nudge other companies to also spread kindness.
In this current pandemic, it would be nice if companies that are making supernormal profits to step forward and share some of the profits by helping the government in containing the spread of the virus, for example by paying the costs of Covid-19 tests for the poor and the homeless. In short, please extend a helping hand to the government.
Corporate Malaysia (government-linked companies included), you can do more to improve the quality of life of deserving Malaysians.
DR POLA SINGH , Kuala Lumpur