Habitat for Humanity
Sign Up with Habitat for Humanity. Interested in getting your company involved hands-on in a Habitat for Humanity project?
‘Build Days’ are great for teambuilding and show that your company cares about the community and helping low-income families that could benefit from the hand up of homeownership.
Contact Habitat for Humanity for information about projects in your area.
‘Giving Back’ to your community
Giving to others as either small acts of kindness or large ongoing volunteer efforts can lead to feelings of positive self-worth and happiness helping to create a positive state of mind. Create teams and opportunities for your employees to get involved.
Serve a Meal to the Homeless Organize an evening or weekend when your company can volunteer at a food bank or help with feeding the homeless.
Lend Your Skills Ask your organization about donating your skills to a charitable project that fosters community care and good corporate citizenship.
Fundraising can be a fun- social -charitable -event at work! Some of the most inspirational team building opportunities come from working together for a common cause.
Host a charity drive in your workplace to support a co-worker or family member who is ill, or a local community charity, such as Salvation Army or Food Bank. Link the drive to a competitive event (5K run or walk) and encourage participation with incentives.
These types of events are both meaningful and fun – inspiring Play at Work!
Corporate Social Responsibility
Help employees understand the broader impacts of mental health issues and the need for corporate social responsibility for mental health that goes beyond the workplace including our families, communities, and society at large.
Provide a series of short videos related to mental health in the workplace running all day or during breaks and mealtimes. Be sure to offer treats (e.g. popcorn).
Mental Health Works Source: Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Working Through It A video-based resource to help individuals reclaim well-being at work, off work or when returning to work. It focuses on video interviews of real people sharing their experiences of working through times of mental health pressures. Their messages, aimed at employees, include three important themes – you are not alone; there are things you can do to reclaim your well-being; and there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Play at Work
Bring Back Play
Get Moving! Turn off the Screen and Turn up the Play!
Host an Unplug & Play event in your workplace, and promote group fun and healthy lifestyles at the same time - using a variety of customizable marketing tools.
Kick off the event by encouraging your leaders to participate and Lead by Example` - turning off their electronic devices and enjoying a healthy workplace activity with employees.
Schedule activities for 60 minutes without electronic devices – just playtime!
Radio scripts, Print Ads, Social Media Posts, and more can be downloaded from the ParticipACTION Tool Kit.
Add your own branding and message to be part of the movement to Bring Back Play.
More resources: ParticipACTION
Provide opportunities for employees to sign-up for after-work activities like rock climbing, laser tag or dodge ball to encourage group sport, teamwork and a healthy lifestyle.
Start a hockey league, baseball team, soccer team with employee representatives as team leads and coordinators.
See Sports Day in Canada - Participaction Canada
Create Your Own Smile
Promote activities that focus on ‘Fun and Humour at Work’. Provide the tools to help individuals, teams and businesses become healthier and happier in all aspects of life by increasing hopefulness, efficacy, resilience, and optimism.
Check out the ‘Smile Epidemic’ website and resources, tools to help employees understand the importance and vast difference that can take place when we invest in our mental health, well-being and happiness.
The ‘Smile Epidemic’ applies concepts from the field of Positive Psychology to educate others about the benefits of practicing expressed gratitude in an effort to increase overall mental health and well-being.
See the tools to help individuals, teams and workplaces become healthier and happier in all aspects of life by increasing hopefulness, efficacy, resilience, and optimism.
Source: The Smile Epidemic
Happiness at Work
There is much evidence about the benefits of positive psychology and its link to leadership and employee engagement.
Create a poster with tips for positive thinking:
‘3 Gratitude’s a day’ - Identify 3 new things for 21 days. Brain begins to write a pattern to see the world more positively.
Journaling – write down one positive experience you have had over the last 24 hours teaches your brain to re-live these moments.
Exercise - Teaches your brain that behavior matters
Meditation - Detaches you from multi-tasking. Increases your focus on the task at hand.
Random Acts of Kindness – i.e., send 1 positive email thanking somebody in your social support network
Source: Ted Talks: Shawn Achor – The Secret to Better Work
Introduce Art Therapy in Your Organization
Art Therapy is the use of art to improve emotional and mental well-being, fostering self-expression, stress management and coping abilities. Organize a team event in your workplace and visit your local Art Gallery!
Host a Lunch n Learn for your colleagues featuring an Art Therapist speaking on how the creative processes of art benefit our health and well-being.
For more information visit: see International Art Therapy or the Toronto Art Therapy Institute
'Giving Back' at Work
Pay It Forward
Engage and inspire your employees in Pay It Forward Day events. Pay It Forward is about giving to someone else and making a positive difference by inspiring and engaging others. There are many ways that your workplace can get involved in Pay it Forward initiatives. Enable employees to help support a ‘charity of choice’ by offering time off for participation, and encourage particpation with posters, incentives and team events, including:
- Have a departmental challenge whereby each department competes with each other to make a positive contribution to the community, and donate funds raised to favourite workplace charities
Celebrate staff appreciation by providing a healthy lunch or snack (like apples!)
Provide a mental health break with a short 10-minute breathing/yoga class
Host a bake sale, sending proceeds to a charity of choice
Go 'green' and host a day to collect things like light-bulbs, old cellphones, batteries, etc.
Hold a clothing/food drive and donate to a local charity
Set up a book exchange in a centralized location and encourage employees to bring in books to share, and others to help themselves for free
Encourage individual acts of kindness - Create Posters, Bingo cards or Check off lists with incentives to encourage staff participation. Sample activities include:
Buy a coffee/tea for someone
Give “Thank You” and “Values” cards to co-workers to show their appreciation
Mentor someone (on professional or personal level)
- Simple: Smile, hold the door or elevator for someone
Replace what you've used/is empty: i.e. the printer paper, fresh pot of coffee, etc.
- Invite someone new to lunch
Download tools and resources to support activities. See free stuff
Source: Pay It Forward Day (PIFD)
Breakfast for Learning
Plan your event! No matter how big or small your team is, you can help make a difference! Develop your own Breakfast for Learning fundraising event and build team spirit with your co-workers, family and friends. It’s fun and easy to do!
Breakfast for Learning can lend a hand. See the helpful resources like third-party event guidelines, child nutrition education resources and pledge cards to support your event. - See more Breakfast for Learning
Connect with others
Encourage workplace activities that help employees understand the link between relationships and mental well-being, and the importance of a ‘people focused’ culture.
Show-off Your Family - Create a Family Wall where employees can post a family photo, or encourage them to display family photos at their workstations so others can get to know their loved ones better.
Count the Dependents Day
Have each department count and report the number of dependents connected to employees. You may be surprised with the results.
Have lunch with a Colleague
Spend time catching up. Even better, organize a reunion of several friends. Determine a time for the next get-together before everyone leaves
Monthly Team Outings
Have team members organize monthly staff outings by giving each person a month to plan for.
Organize a Business Learning Opportunity
Learning new skills can fill a personal need, but also lead to feelings of deep satisfaction and improved self-confidence. Not-for-profit organizations often need skilled people to assist with budgeting, strategic planning, and project management roles. The United Way looks to the business community each year for coordinators and managers for yearly initiatives. Board members for this type of organization are often difficult to find.
Family Time. Make time each day to spend with your family, i.e., “family time” that is fixed each day
Switch off the electronics (TV, Smart Phones) tonight and play a game with your children, or just talk.
Take time to visit a friend or family member who needs support or company.
Volunteer at a local school, hospital or community group. This is also a way of giving your time.
Celebrate the volunteers in your workplace. Select the employee(s) who role model exemplary volunteerism and giving back to the community and showcase the winners at a Volunteer Appreciation event.
Make it a charity drive and ask employees to donate to the winners charity of choice.