Having made it to and through the deadline for the first ever open-enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, there’s an almost tangible sigh of relief occurring for many in the benefit industry. It’s during this and other moments of respite, albeit brief, that benefit adviser Mark Gaunya, and EBA advisory board member, reminds brokers to take sight of what’s important — “the people we serve and the difference we make.”

In a new book, Gaunya, and co-author Jennifer Borislow, both principals at Borislow Insurance in Methuen, Mass., share how they’ve worked to build that “attitude of gratitude” into their workplace culture through random acts of kindness.

“We really needed to share with people just how easy and rewarding it is to start and sustain this chain reaction in an organization, among friends or in a family,” says Borislow. “This book describes the enormous gratification that can be achieved through random acts of kindness in a way that keeps it short, sweet and simple.”

The tradition for them began several years ago, when Gaunya and Borislow chose to forgo traditional holiday gifts for their employees and instead gave each $100 to commit a random act of kindness; with instructions to bring the stories of their endeavors back to the holiday party to share with the rest of the company.

Their book, “Inspire to Act,” is filled with many of these stories.

The company’s employees “embraced the idea and now they look forward to it every year,” Gaunya tells EBA.

Borislow says the tradition has had a profound impact on the company’s team members and the company’s culture.

“It has gone on to touch people and places far beyond what we could have imagined or ever intended,” the two write in the book.

“We found that the simplest acts of kindness, when adopted as part of a workplace culture or personal everyday thinking, have a perspective altering chain reaction effect,” Gaunya says. “This makes each act a powerful multiplier, truly inspiring others to act, and becoming a force for good in the world.”

Gaunya and Borislow also co-authored the book “Bend the Healthcare Trend: How Consumer Driven Health and Wellness Plans Lower Insurance Costs.”

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