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2 min read

Generosity is Good for Your Health & Your Business

Deborah Cole Explores the Benefits of Giving Back

Recent studies show that generosity—demonstrated through philanthropy, volunteerism or simple kindness to others—can be directly tied to longevity and good health (physical as well as mental). And when you add the collaborative element of giving as a team, many more people reap the benefits of needs met, better health and better business.

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Generosity has been shown to reduce stress, support personal physical health, enhance a sense of purpose, fight depression and increase lifespan. Numerous studies by universities and independent surveys show these outcomes to be very real. And what if giving improved employee retention? According to an abundance of research presented in peer-reviewed journals, an environment of giving, whether to co-workers (in-reach) or those outside the business (outreach), makes people feel more committed to their work and less likely to quit. This sounds like the trifecta of winning to me.

Generosity (any relational giving) is a confidence-builder and a natural repellant of self-loathing. And couldn’t we all use a bit of a boost when it comes to how we feel about ourselves? Think of the last time you did something nice for someone, especially if it was an unsolicited kindness.

Recall a time when driving in traffic, you slowed to allow someone to enter a line of cars. Makes us feel good, right?

How can we encourage caring, generosity and giving in the workplace on all levels? As with so many behavior-changing actions, when leadership models it, everyone pays attention. How can we encourage a workplace of generosity (remembering that we aren’t just “being nice,” we are encouraging good mental health, good physical health and retention)?

1. Everyone Can Do Good Deeds in the Workplace

Leadership can model a workplace of caring, generosity and sharing.

2. Recognize & Reward Acts of Kindness

Develop programs where caring, giving and teamwork (some are more comfortable using this term) are recognized and rewarded.

3. Accept & Acknowledge Others’ Generosity

Accept and show appreciation and gratitude. Gratitude practices also reap all of the same benefits as kindness and giving. Gratitude is an important part of the equation.

Along with giving/generosity within the workplace, the same benefits are achieved when outreach and in-reach are a part of company culture. Financial gifts to the many charities in a community should be a part of every company’s budget. Although we tend to believe that large amounts of money get the biggest bang for the buck, every dollar shared with deserving organizations reaps benefits.

Along with financial giving, in-kind gifts are desperately needed. Goods donated to select groups help them achieve their goals of helping others; yet, thinking of the physical and mental benefits of direct giving, we might also consider involving our employees in “hands-on” giving. Many charities can use people power in so many ways. In this manner, the charities benefit AND our employees benefit.

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Generosity is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Each day, life presents us with hundreds of opportunities to be generous. By modeling a lifestyle and a workplace out of generosity, we can do ourselves and others a world of good.


About Deborah Cole

Deborah Cole is the founder of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas. She now devotes herself full-time to speaking, writing and consulting. www.deborahcoleconnections.com 

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