As a restaurant delivery service owner, you know the importance of excellent customer service and professionalism, but have you thought much about generosity? Today’s article will share why this is important to your success, but first, we have another question.

Have you seen the show Undercover Boss?

In this reality TV show, big-name CEOs go undercover and are paired with random employees at various company sites. At least one employee always leaves the bosses in shock, but why? There is the occasional bad egg, but usually, it’s an employee’s extreme generosity and care that leave the incognito CEOs walking away in awe.

If generosity is so inspiring, why don’t we give more often? Is it because giving is associated with financial donations and seems to lack benefits? Maybe some people see it as a weakness.

In reality, giving can improve your health and your life for free.

But how?

Your body wants you to give.

Giving feels good, and it’s healthy for you — just ask science. Several studies over the last 20 years have shown the positive effects giving has on the body. According to this research, giving can…

  • … help you live longer,
  • … help you be happier
  • … help lower things like blood pressure and stress,
  • … and improve your relationships.

Giving gives you a leg up on success.

In his 2013 book Give and Take, author and Wharton School of Business Professor Adam Grant explores the advantages of what he calls “givers.” Givers, he writes, “are other-focused, paying more attention to what other people need from them.” While analyzing data across industries, he found that givers are the most successful. From Medical students to salespeople and from engineers to investors, Grant’s analysis showed that consistent giving is a career advantage because it makes others want to help you in return, creates cohesive groups, and improves teamwork. You can accomplish more when you create a culture of giving.

Giving can be free.

Many communities are hard-pressed financially because of COVID19, so generosity is necessary now more than ever. However, you might be asking, “can I even afford to give?”

Thankfully, giving doesn’t have to be expensive. Websites like Freecycle help users give away thousands of used items a day worldwide, for free. Online communities like Freecycle and “Buy Nothing” Facebook groups help connect individuals with excess to those in need. Thanks to these groups, generosity can be as simple as uploading a picture of that old cabinet that’s taking up space in your garage.

Giving isn’t limited to physical items or money.

Are you still concerned you can’t afford to give? Things like your network, time, and empathy can be the most valuable items to share with another person. So get creative with your giving! Here are a couple of questions to get you started:

  • Is there a network connection you can make for someone who recently lost their job?
  • Can you take your team to volunteer at a local food pantry for the day?
  • Is a coworker stuck on a project? You can give at work too by providing constructive feedback, ideas for improvement, or general encouragement.

What if people take advantage of my generosity?

The most common mistake people make with generosity is thinking that giving is a weakness. “I don’t want to get walked all over or used,” is a common remark of the worried skeptic, alluding to the dreaded “Doormat Effect.”

The Psychology Spot defines the Doormat Effect as “a debilitating situation in which one person gives in and forgives the other repeatedly, allowing him to violate his rights over and over again.

Being generous doesn’t mean being a doormat.

Brene Brown, author of Braving the Wilderness, reminds us that sustainable generosity requires boundaries and integrity. For Brown, generosity isn’t the difficult part. Instead, “the challenge is being honest and clear with others about what’s okay and not okay.”

Choosing who to give to and how to give are essential parts of giving.

It’s okay to identify those trying to take advantage of your generosity — like that chronically late employee who continues to dismiss their responsibility for arriving on time. If they keep showing up late, it can reduce business productivity and lower employee morale. Setting boundaries helps you maintain your passion for generosity and your ability to give.

Giving is powerful – A little goes a long way.

By giving a little, you can lead a healthier life, find success, and help others. It may be scary or weird at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes.

There’s something beautiful and inspirational about watching people give. It’s even more beautiful to see good people get rewarded for their generosity. That’s why every episode of Undercover Boss is sure to leave a few tears in your eyes. The CEO’s bring their employees in, reveal their true identity, and give back to the employees that gave to them during their stint undercover. They create a contagious cycle of giving.

It’s natural to want to protect ourselves and feel afraid in this time of great uncertainty. Over the next couple of weeks, however, be brave.

Find one small way to give a few times a week. Call a grandparent or relative that’s isolated. Volunteer at a food pantry.  You may not end up on Undercover Boss, but giving can bring you a joy that lasts. That good feeling is just one generous act away.