Adopting a culture of caring in the workplace helps employees maintain a positive attitude—leading to greater productivity, creativity and employee retention.

It’s not just about being friendlier to one another—some of the best team-building opportunities happen when employees come together to help their local or global communities. Here are 10 tips for fostering a kinder, more socially and environmentally conscious workplace.

1

HONOR A COLLEAGUE

Start a message board filled with positive affirmations about your co-workers. When colleagues go out of their way to help you or have done a tremendous job on the latest project, pin their accomplishments to the board so the rest of the office knows.

2

START A GREEN TEAM

Select a representative from each department for an office-wide Green Team. Together, they’ll dream up ways to curb wastefulness, like mandatory printing guidelines or a collection box for used computer parts that can be salvaged or recycled.

3

MENTOR A COLLEAGUE

Think back to what it was like being a young 20-something trying to start your career. It can be challenging to navigate the first few years and gain the proper skills to excel in your chosen field. As a mentor, show a younger colleague the ropes. They’ll pay it forward.

4

SMILE MORE

Small gestures go a long way. The natural reaction when someone smiles at you is to smile back. That short, non-verbal interaction creates a wave of positive energy in the workplace. You’ll notice yourself smiling at the next person you see, and 
soon enough, everyone’s feeling more energized.

5

GET AN OFFICE PLANT

Plants can do wonders in an office environment. 
Not only do they add colour to the space, but you’ll also breathe better and have an easier time making it through rough winter months when you’re spending less time outdoors. A plus? Working together to keep a plant alive can be a great team-builder.

6

CARPOOL TO WORK

Initiate an office carpooling club. Figure out which colleagues live along your commute and plan to rotate who drives each week. Not only will you be lifting some of the burden on the planet and your wallet, but with carpool lanes, you’ll also spend less time bumper to bumper.

7

VOLUNTEER TOGETHER

Gather your team for some hands-on work and spend the afternoon helping out your nearest food bank or soup kitchen. Sort cans and boxes of food to distribute to families in the area or help serve lunches to homeless people in your neighborhood. There’s nothing like community service to boost morale and camaraderie.

8

CHILDHOOD PHOTO REVEAL

Have everyone bring in a funny childhood photo and pin them up in one of the common areas. At lunch, have fun guessing who’s who. The laughter that incurs from trying to figure out who was dressed as a Care Bear or who was clenching onto their View-Master toy will bring the team closer together.

9

REWARD ALTRUISM

Give employees half a day off once a month to dedicate towards a passion project they’re actively pursuing outside of work. Personal projects can provide an energizing break from the daily office routine and can serve as a source of innovation for a company.

10

SAY THANK YOU MORE

A thank you goes a long way. It’s the easiest gesture and one of the most effective ways to create a safe and positive environment in the workplace. Be specific about what you’re thankful for and say it with meaning. We all feel good knowing we’re appreciated.