Use St Patrick’s Day to start giving at work. March 17th is St Patrick’s day and a great day to consider giving at work for your daily give. It is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, who was the patron saint of Ireland and was initially created as a Christian feast day in the 17th century. Today people all over the world honour St Patrick’s day as a time to celebrate heritage and come together with friends for festivals, parades and parties. This year St Patrick’s day falls on a Tuesday, so why not use the opportunity to bring colleagues and work friends together and do good deeds at work?
A great way of bringing a party vibe to the office is to bring in treats, or hot drinks, for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a dab hand at baking, or you stop by the grocery store before heading to work – bringing tasty snacks will get people in the same space together and get them talking. As it’s St Patrick’s day, why not find some shamrock cookies, or theme your snacks with the colour green? Add some healthy alternatives too, to ensure there can be no excuses and everyone can find something they like to try. The more fun interactions that take place in the work environment, the happier everyone feels. Increased productivity may be a welcomed by-product of your gesture!
St Patrick’s day can, sadly, bring out negative stereotypes and some find it to be racially insensitive. In the spirit of bringing people together, have a quiet word with those you see or hear using xenophobic and racist language, or making insensitive jokes. Some people can be unaware of how their words or jokes can affect other people and cause harm, so a gentle reminder could be a helpful reminder. The more we make a stand against ignorant behaviour, the faster that attitudes will change. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your colleagues about their remarks, approach your company’s Human Resources, or your manager – it is considered an act of bullying and will be taken seriously.
Organize social gatherings that everyone can join. Get creative and consider a variety of events that will be suitable for everyone, regardless of what they eat, and whether they drink alcohol. A trip to the movies, a communal bike ride, or a night at the bowling alley are all ideal plans. You can Google local events to join and extend the invitation to colleagues’ families, so that everyone feels comfortable and has a good time. The new employees to your workplace would appreciate a friendly co-worker to make them feel welcome. Take the extra time to get to know them a little better, just remember when you were in their position – a kind person is a great comfort at a time of vulnerability.
Similarly take notice if someone has opened up to you. You may have other things going on that require your attention, but be sure to let the person know that you have heard them and wish to continue the conversation at another time (perhaps schedule a time to meet up later). This could be the first time they have spoken to someone about something troubling them. While you may not be best friends with everyone you work with, you probably see them for longer than anyone else in your life and for some people, their work colleagues are the only people they speak to most days. Be mindful of this when interacting with your co-workers.
Enjoy your St Patrick’s day at work! Giving at work does change your work culture and make it a positive place to be. To bring the spirit of giving and kindness into your work days throughout the year, read our 365give blog every week for new ideas.