Porter Keadle Moore, also known as PKM, is an accounting firm in Atlanta. You might assume it's the kind of place with a drab, wood-paneled office and a lack of imagination. You would be wrong.

In a season where companies seem more resolute to demonstrate gratitude, I think these accountants are leading the pack. I facilitated a peer group involving PKM in November, and one of the partners mentioned her firm's 40 Days of Kindness campaign to celebrate their 40 years in business. It definitely caught my attention.

Never has our society needed it more. We have suffered through political infighting, Irma, Harvey and the Las Vegas shooting. The news is laden with stories of harassment and maleficence. We need something to rally around, and showing kindness with purpose seems like just the remedy.

PKM created a calendar filled with random acts of kindness for its employees to use as sources of inspiration. The calendar includes ideas such as:

  • Help carry someone's groceries.
  • Cook a meal for a friend in need.
  • Donate a teddy bear for World Kindness Day.
  • Give away unused items to Goodwill.
  • Spread the word about 40 Days of Kindness.

These acts are inexpensive, simple to execute, and beautifully random. In a world where grocery stores ask shoppers to make donations on their behalf (which feels contrived and insincere), 40 Days of Kindness feels gracious and genuine.

Brands are stuck in a sea of sameness, and people are looking for ways to connect with their employers. Being kind is just good business. 

Here are 13 ways to implement a kindness initiative within your company: 

  1. Create a foundation or fund in response to a natural disaster.
  2. Take up a kitty to help an employee with a severe health event. Match donations.
  3. Encourage your employees to keep a gratitude journal.
  4. Participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th.
  5. Motivate your employees to make public personal affirmations.
  6. Create a calendar with daily random acts of kindness.
  7. Host a "no complaining" day.
  8. Offer times for meditation or yoga.
  9. Find charitable causes that align with your mission.
  10. Schedule a day for your employees to volunteer together.
  11. Or, pay for employees to choose their own non-profits to volunteer for.
  12. Surprise customers with random gifts.
  13. Launch your own "40 Days" initiative.

Last month, my firm implemented a "7 Days of Gratitude" campaign on social media, which served as an opportunity to say thank you to our clients, our families and our community. I found it, well, gratifying.

I'm spreading the word, and paying this idea forward. In an age where we spend more time figuring out where we disagree, this is something we can all agree on, one act of kindness at a time.

Will you join me?

Published on: Dec 11, 2017