Kindness campaigns championed by Goodwill Ambassadors generate meaningful and positive exchanges within organisations in both the private and public-sector spaces – and the results speak louder than slogans.
Albert Meyer Funeral Homes in Australia was the first funeral home in the world to become a member to the World Kindness Campaign by joining World Kindness Australia in late 2017. An industry often perceived as taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable, the decision to join World Kindness has made a dramatic impact on both Albert Meyer as an organisation and its customer service delivery.
National Kindness bodies such as World Kindness Australia and World Kindness USA ensure corporate members demonstrate compliance with WK Kindness Performance Indicators prior to allowing them to cobrand.
When Albert Meyer Funeral Director Ms Rebecca Pincott was asked why she felt it was important for their organisation to commit to WK’s KPIs mandate, Pincott argued that as grief professionals, they understood how acts of kindness was central to delivering customer service with sensitivity and care during a time of grief for many of their clients.
“Our staff witness the importance kindness plays within the funeral industry every day. We know how precious life is and want to be part of making our world and indeed our industry a little kinder. As grief professionals we care for families with sincerity and integrity while offering a touch of kindness. We align closely with the values of World Kindness Australia and are proud to be recognised as the first corporate members from within our industry. Our team welcomes the opportunity to participate in the campaign to make our world and indeed the funeral industry a kinder space,” says Pincott.
Albert Meyer walked the talk, and subsequently launched 1,000 interactive cobranded World Kindness Cards and gifted them to the community by appointing Goodwill Ambassadors. In addition, its staff took their children to visit Aged Care homes and give out flowers and handmade Christmas cards in 2016 and started conversations with residents who may have not had family to visit during the holiday season.
The impact was immediate and intimate for all involved. The engagement of staff in a positive community interaction made a lasting impression on the culture and environment of the company -which resonated long after a token one-off donation.
Engage your Workplace Health & Safety Committee to appoint a permanent Goodwill Ambassador in 2018
Local Government bodies across Australia have embraced the Goodwill Ambassador concept both at elected councillor and bureaucratic levels. The motion is moved through a “Mayoral Minute” at a full sitting of Council and a bipartisan Declaration of Support is called for from the floor to support World Kindness Australia’s endeavours to make our world a little kinder for our children. A presentation is made, and the Declaration of Support is produced at a signing ceremony for all councillors to sign regardless of which side of politics they may be from. At the invitation of the Mayor and on behalf of the community, a company can have its own board follow suit.
The good news is that it costs nothing to be kind. The Council is the best body that represents the whole village and can be given a gentle nudge by schools or businesses to get behind a kindness initiative.
The Gold Coast City Council in Australia, with a constituency of 550,000 and employing over 3,500 staff, appointed their own Goodwill Ambassador in 2012, Councillor Glenn Tozer. When asked why he felt it necessary to get involved, Tozer didn’t hesitate.
“We saw the appointment of a Goodwill Ambassador as an important part of our city identity and an opportunity to partner with and highlight the already active members of our community contributing positively to overall morale. Our commitment to driving tourism in the Queensland economy is enhanced by a willingness to acknowledge how important kindness and compassion is when promoting our appeal to a prospective tourist. Of course, the everyday community needs a hug too sometimes and acts of generosity and kindness make our city a better place to live, conduct business, and raise a family,” says Tozer.
Fast forward to late 2017 and the City of Gold Coast had not just consistently met its Kindness Performance Indicators, it exceeded them and was recognised by the peak global body the World Kindness Movement by its endorsement as a world first ‘World Kindness City’. This is significant as the Gold Coast is host to the upcoming Commonwealth Games, welcoming 70 nations in 2018.
In January 2018, Variety International become another member of World Kindness USA and we look forward to getting them on board our Kindness Performance Indicators too. Many will be familiar with Variety as the charity for children in operation for over 90 years with 22 offices in the US and a footprint within 20 countries worldwide. Variety will be appointing Goodwill Ambassadors in each of their offices and hosting Signing Ceremonies to assist engaging its staff in a global kindness campaign.
While organisations may have the reach and resources to make a huge impact in kindness, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador can start from the home. The fact is, no one person can do everything but all of us can do something. If we follow this philosophy then we will be one step closer to seeing kindness become our default position. It costs nothing to show kindness, but the return is immense, and enduring…