In Conversation with Mark McCrindle

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Kindness may be the perfect antidote to cure some of the challenges Australians are facing as being kind can improve our wellbeing with increased happiness.

We've commissioned McCrindle to outline the current state of Kindness in Australia and Social Researcher Mark McCrindle has told the story of how Australians share kindness, providing insight into the opportunities we have to make our nation even kinder.

Check our our interview with Mark, outlining what Mark’s research has found on the opportunities and challenges facing Australia in being kind.


What is the Helga’s Kindness Index?

The Helga’s Kindness Index, developed by McCrindle, is the first of its kind measuring the current state of kindness in Australia. This measure of kindness came from surveying more than 3500 Australians across a number of measures of attitude and behavior, and it looked at empathy, reflection and altruism to give an overall score.


How kind are Australians?

Helga’s Kindness Index has a theoretical possible score of 100 and the Helga’s Kindness Index score for 2021 across Australia is 74.

Generation Z in their 20s scored even higher at 77, but overall it still does show that while a great score, there is still room for improvement.


Are there different ways of expressing kindness?

We developed four archetypes for this Helga’s Kindness Index based on whether people were planned or spontaneous in their kindness, and whether they’ve got boundaries or are unlimited in the delivery of their kindness.

Overall, I am happy to say, the largest archetype at 34% of Australians are unbound enthusiasts. They’re happy to give kindness without restraint, they're not planning it, they just give kindness wherever they are!

You can find out more about the four archetypes for expressing kindness in our full report.


What are some of the ways Australians are kind?

Australians are showing kindness in many ways. Firstly, through our words – 73% of Australians do this, and also through our actions – 70% of Australians. Three of the top ways are:

1. Holding a door or lift open for someone (72%)

2. Giving a compliment (68%)

3. Asking someone if they’re okay (67%)


How often are we kind?

This research showed that Australians, on average, give 16 acts of kindness every week but on average we receive 6 acts of kindness. It does show a gap there, we are receiving kindness but not recognizing it or noticing it.


Are there any barriers to kindness?

There are some barriers that stop us delivering more kindness, we withhold on average about 3½ acts of kindness per adult per week. The barriers are not stepping out of our comfort zone, not knowing what to do in a certain circumstance, or being unsure of how our kindness will be received.

That means that we withhold per year on average 182 acts of kindness, that’s more than 2.3 billion acts of kindness nationally that we would be delivering if we could just overcome these barriers.


What can Aussies do to be kinder?

When we asked Australians how we can be kinder there were three simple responses.

1.       Asking more, are you okay? (67%)

2.       Helping people when we see a need (64%)

3.       Simply saying hi to people when we see them (62%)


What are the most meaningful ways to be kind?

This study showed that it is the simple acts of kindness that can be the most meaningful, and much of that revolves around food. Almost four in five Australians (78%) said sharing a meal with someone is a key way of showing kindness. Three in four Australians (75%) believe making food for someone is a powerful way of showing kindness.  


What is the future of kindness?

The future of kindness in Australia is very bright, in fact COVID has demonstrated our kindness and community mindedness very strongly. Australians are most likely to believe we are kinder now than we were 12 months ago (46%), and that we will also be kinder in 12 months’ time (40%). That is a great trajectory for where kindness is headed in this country.


Why is it important for brands like Helga’s to be looking at the state of kindness in Australia?

It was important for Helga’s to shine a spotlight on kindness in Australia to reveal both the barriers to kindness that if we can remove will lead to greater outcomes, but also to highlight the positive outcomes of kindness in Australia. To enthuse Australians around the amount of kindness taking place and to show that positive picture.


Where can people find out more about the Helga’s Kindness Index?

Access the full report here



Want to know more about kindness?

We have commissioned McCrindle to create a report on the current state of kindness in Australia and give us a score that we’re calling The Kindness Index. You can enter your details below to get access to the full report, or we’ve together a Kindness Hub with all the info you need and we’ve collected some community stories and how-to guides in our Kindness Chronicles. 

Explore our Kindness Hub  Read more Kindness Chronicles