SINGAPORE, 25 APRIL 2023 – Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and Happiness Initiative today launched the return of National Kindness Conference (NKC) after an 11-year hiatus. Themed ‘Kind People, Happy Workplace’, the conference aims to promote kinder and happier workplaces by calling upon individuals and key stakeholders to implement kindness as a core value in their workplaces.
Attended by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung, and over 500 attendees from more than 340 organisations, NKC brought together leaders and stakeholders from different social spheres to discuss and generate new initiatives on kindness and design actionable projects to shape kinder workplaces. The afternoon also featured booths hosted by Ground-up Movements showcasing their initiatives on encouraging kindness among communities, a panel discussion on workplace kindness and a breakout activity organised by Happiness Initiative.
“Kindness is essential in helping us build happier workplaces,” said Dr William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement. “Our goal is for organisations to shift away from competitive and unfriendly work environments. Let’s work towards cultivating collaborative workspaces where the emphasis is on supporting one another to achieve success as a team. The kinder you are in the workplace, the happier and stronger our society will become.”
INSIGHTS FROM ‘KIND PEOPLE, HAPPY WORKPLACE’ PANEL SESSION
Moderated by Ms Priscilla Gan, Director, Volunteer Resource Optimisation, National Council of Social Service, the NKC’s panel session focused on how kind people make a happier workplace and provided attendees with valuable insights and actionable steps on how companies can better implement kindness as a core value within their organisations.
The panel comprising industry leaders including Mr Simon Leow, Co-Founder, Happiness Initiative, Dr Li Jingmei, Co-lead of the Diversity Working Group at A*STAR, Mr Barathan Pasupathi, CEO, Jetstar Asia and Dr William Wan, General Secretary, SKM, discussed how employees and employers have a role to play in spreading kindness at work amid common workplace challenges of today such as burnout, generational differences and workplace politics, and how organisations can balance increasing productivity while building happier and more resilient workforces.
“It is just as crucial to implement kind policies in the workplace as it is to engage our employees through ground-up initiatives. As leaders, we must remain committed to building an inclusive environment so that employees can also stay motivated and be kind to one another – not only at work, but in their daily lives as well,” said Dr Li Jingmei, Co-lead of the Diversity Working Group at A*STAR, who shared about the importance of engaging employees from the ground-up to encourage kindness in workplaces.
Mr. Barathan Pasupathi, Jetstar Asia CEO, added “At Jetstar, we pride ourselves on our strong and unique culture which focuses on being genuinely caring. This enables us to attract and retain fantastic talent while ensuring we have an engaged workforce that cares for one another, our customers and stakeholders.”
ENCOURAGING COMMITMENT TO KINDNESS AT WORKPLACES & COMMUNITIES
As part of the conference, attendees were encouraged to participate in “What Truly Matters”, a new card game developed by Happiness Initiative to help people in their journey of finding purpose and fulfilment in their life. “What Truly Matters” offers players with the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with fellow players, delving into what truly holds significance in their lives.
As Mr Simon Leow, Co-Founder of Happiness Initiative shares, “This card game was created to be utilised as a form of team-building exercise that encourages meaningful discussions about creating positive and supportive work environments. As we enter an increasingly digitalised and fast-paced world, it is important that we do not neglect the importance of kindness in the workplace. Research has shown that happy employees are more productive, engaged and less likely to leave their jobs. By fostering a culture of kindness and positivity in the workplace, we can create a happier and more fulfilling work environment for everyone.”
Participants at the conference were also invited to make a pledge in commitment to implementing kindness in the workplace across key focus areas such as Acts of Service, Recognition and Appreciation, Professional Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity and Organisational Values.
CHARTING A POSITIVE PATH FORWARD FOR A KINDER SINGAPORE
The organisation of NKC by SKM and Happiness Initiative is a reaffirmation of the importance of kindness as a core value pledged under the Forward Singapore’s Care Pillar. In addition to advocating for more positive workplaces, this is a step forward in building an overall Singapore that is characterised by kindness, inclusivity and empathy as the nation moves towards a brighter future.
In continuation of SKM’s efforts to foster a kinder society, Kindness Day SG, SKM’s annual flagship event, will also be taking place on 20 May and will take on the theme of “Amplify Your Kindness” to rally Singaporeans in taking kindness one step further in their everyday lives.
As Singapore progresses towards becoming a more compassionate and inclusive society, it is crucial for kindness to be pledged as a core value in workplaces, homes and communities to drive positive change and create a healthier and happier nation.
Images from the National Kindness Conference are available for download here.