We just wrapped up our first Random Acts of Kindness Week at Hennessey Digital in February. It was a big hit with our team, and our People Success team is excited to see how this can grow into bigger ways of giving back!
What is RAK Week?
Random Acts of Kindness Week, or “RAK Week,” as we called it, is five consecutive days of giving back to our loved ones, each other, and our communities.
RAK Week came about because our Senior Director of People Success Jill Wenk was brainstorming ideas on how to have a fun, interactive week in a creative way. We wanted to incorporate the spirit of our Day of Giving where we learned how to give back as a remote company into a full week of giving back and spreading kindness.
There are many purposes to RAK Week. First, it gives our team a good excuse to get to know one another better and to perform acts of kindness for each other. We wanted this event to bring our teams closer together. We know that many of our employees care deeply about the world around them, and we want to support them in their mission to help their communities.
After mulling over ideas, we came up with several ways to bring kindness and care to those around us. We believe this event is a step towards Hennessey Digital becoming cultural leaders and showing how much we care about our team members and the world around us.
RAK Week daily activities
Every day of RAK Week had a theme to it, and for every recorded Random Act of Kindness, Hennessey Digital donated $5 to a cause or organization voted on by our team members. For example, each time someone sent a Valentine or left a review for a favorite local business, they would take a photo and upload it to our #gratitude Slack channel. At the end of the week, we totaled up our team’s Random Acts of Kindness and made a donation.
These were our daily RAK Week themes…
Monday: For Those You Love
Monday just happened to be Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate those you love than to send them a Valentine. For RAK Week’s kickoff, we sent virtual and physical Valentines to those we love.
Tuesday: For Your Coworkers
On Tuesday, we gave care and kindness to our fellow team members through LinkedIn endorsements. This boosts our LinkedIn profiles so when clients or prospective team members look at our LinkedIn pages, they can see they’re working with some of the brightest minds in digital marketing.
Wednesday: For Your Team
We loved this one because we got to meet with our team and talk about things other than work! The Engineering team got together and played Two Truths and a Lie, and a combined team played online Pictionary together. It’s important to have moments like this to laugh and just have fun together to create bonds among the team.
Thursday: For Small Businesses
As a growing company, we know what it’s like to be a small business and how important a good review can be. We wanted to spread the wealth to small businesses in our local communities, so we left positive online reviews for small businesses, shopped local, and went out for a meal to our favorite local restaurants.
Friday: For Our Communities
To cap off RAK Week, we had a Day of Giving where team members were encouraged to take up to 4 hours of paid time off to volunteer in their communities. (I decided to donate blood and it was incredibly gratifying!)
Our team chose a cause or organization they’re passionate about and gave back in many different ways. And at the end of the week, the whole Hennessey Digital team was surprised with an Employee Appreciation Day! On March 4, each team member gets 2 hours off work and $50 to go treat themselves.
People Success’ role in RAK Week
RAK Week came about as a way to build on the Day of Giving we did in 2021. People Success was in a team meeting, and Jill came up with the idea to spread a day of giving back into an entire week.
We call Human Resources at Hennessey Digital “People Success” because we are truly committed to seeing our people succeed here. We invest in learning and development and are continually looking for new ways to engage our team, focused on employee satisfaction, retention, and work/life balance.
I brainstormed some ways we could collaborate and celebrate RAK Week as a remote team. Once we compiled our ideas, the People Success team came together and chose the best ones to feature throughout the week.
Last year for our Day of Giving, we promoted only virtual options to give back due to the pandemic. But this year, we encouraged team members to give back in any way they were comfortable for RAK Week. We were thrilled to see people out in their communities!
Our team’s feedback on RAK Week
The Hennessey Digital team went above and beyond with their creativity and generosity for RAK Week. For Thursday’s theme of giving to small businesses, we even had a “pizza chain” going where team members around the world reviewed their favorite pizza joints in their respective cities. 🍕
Team members also loved supporting local businesses on Thursday, as Account Manager Nathalie Pierre shares:
“Used this as an excuse to buy these gorgeous Harry Potter golden snitch earrings I’ve been eyeing from a local artist.”
Endorsing each other on LinkedIn was one of our team’s favorite activities during the week, and they had a lot to say about it…
“I’ve endorsed 15 Hennessey colleagues on LinkedIn so far: RAK ‘em up, everyone! We love seeing everyone’s commitment to building community and collaboration!” –Michele Patrick, Chief Financial Officer
“So fun! Everyone is so talented, it is easy to stand behind these endorsements too.” –Jill Wenk, Senior Director of People Success
“I literally could spend a whole day doing this. It’s cathartic, fun, and an awesome way to get our colleagues properly recognized outside our digital walls.” –Greg Herrmann, Senior Manager of Learning and Development
On Friday, team members took to their communities and volunteered their time. Their experiences inspired them—and us!
“I spent part of our RAK Week volunteer time in my daughter’s classroom this week helping 5th graders celebrate their last in-class Valentine’s Day celebration. Teachers and schools rely heavily on volunteers to make these experiences and memories possible for them, but with the pandemic, the number of volunteers and opportunities have decreased. After having to wear masks to school for the last 18 months, you could tell how refreshing it was for the kids to see each other’s faces, smile and have fun with one another again a little more carefree.” –Cindy Kerber Spellman, Senior Director of Marketing
“This weekend, I will be volunteering at an event my wife helped organize called Bling Your Prom. Every year, the library gives away free prom attire to any teenager who needs it, down to shoes and jewelry.” –Travis Brown, Paid Search Manager
Hennessey Digital did an incredible job of spreading Random Acts of Kindness throughout the week. In total, we counted 179 Random Acts of Kindness completed, and the company donated $895 to our chosen non-profit, ihatecancer.org.
(More to come on this cause: our CEO Jason Hennessey founded ihatecancer.org as a passion project and we’ve got big things planned!)
“RAK week was amazing in so many ways! From giving back to the organizations that have done so much for Hennessey Digital, showing love to small local businesses through purchases and reviews, and supporting each other through LinkedIn endorsements, we were able to make little changes in a lot of big ways. I think the most interesting part of RAK week was discovering which organizations were important to team members and why. So many of us were excited to nominate charities that had a big impact on our life so we could do the same for them. It’s fantastic being a part of a company that’s not only full of incredible people, but also willing to go above and beyond the day-to-day work life.” –Angela Gennovario, Associate Account Manager
What’s next at Hennessey Digital
RAK Week was just the first step for People Success as we build into our Vivid Vision. This event was our way to encourage the team to use their voices, leverage their personal brands, and use the new volunteer hours available to them as paid time off.
In addition to 40 additional PTO hours for team members to volunteer in their communities, we also improved our employee benefits package in 2022. We increased our employer contribution for Medical coverage, and we’ll continue to make enhancements in the future based on feedback we get from our team.
If this sounds like your kind of team, check out our open positions and apply for your digital marketing dream job!
It’s fantastic being a part of a company that’s not only full of incredible people, but also willing to go above and beyond the day-to-day work life.