Love is in the air, last Friday was Valentine’s Day and I also read about what happened when Mindvalley made “Love” part of their employees Job Description for five days each year. Vishen Lakini, founder of Mindvalley said “They are a company of highly engaged, passionate and dedicated people that deliver results and have been growing significantly over the past few years. It all started as a ‘crazy’ tradition to take on Valentine’s Day five years ago. Now it’s been turned into a global movement for companies worldwide.” You can find out more at http://www.mindvalley.com/culture/love-week.
This got me thinking about how love could be integrated in an organisation everyday. No, I’m not suggesting romance or an office fling, I mean all the great things that love brings to a relationship. Loving relationships are full of trust, honesty, openness, respect, forgiveness, acceptance, appreciation, encouragement and inspiration.
What would your organisational culture be like if all communication was coming from a place of love and these elements of loving relationships were commonplace?
“95% of people who provide no social support at work have no work engagement. True work altruists are about 10 times more likely to be highly engaged.” – Shawn Achor (author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work)
I’ve experienced cultures (and relationships) where people are operating from a place of love – encouragement, coaching, supportive and innovative. Also one of fear – closed, transactional, siloed, uninspiring. Clearly one supports employee satisfaction and creates the space for greater engagement and improved results.
“Work groups with high employee engagement levels experience 22% higher profitability and 21% higher productivity” – Gallup.
Instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day next year, here are 5 tips to bring more love into the culture of your organisation.
1. Honesty – What conversation are you avoiding? Are you avoiding giving a team member, peer or leader some positive or constructive feedback to help them be their best? With the right intent (coming from a place of love) and approach it will be valued.
2. Empathy – Everyone is on a journey, trying to do the best they can, with the skills they have, while juggling everything that life brings. If someone’s struggling, put yourself in their shoes, see things from their perspective. Provide support and encouragement where needed, while maintaining their self-esteem.
3. Forgiveness – Maybe someone has rubbed you up the wrong way in the past, let you down, not delivered on a project or eaten your sandwich. We all make mistakes. As Elsa sang in Frozen – Let It Go! Hanging onto it, isn’t helping you or them and maybe revisit point 1.
4. Trust – If you want your team to follow you, they need to trust you. If you want to build trust, you need to trust them, simple. Coach them, encourage them, provide opportunities where they can stretch, grow and deliver. Make sure they know you trust them, so if they need to let you know things aren’t going to plan, they know they can discuss it with you.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.“- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
5. Appreciation – Culture is created one conversation at a time. Every conversation, you have an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of your peers and team members. While money is a short term incentive, it’s the small, consistent, genuine appreciative feedback for a job well done that develops your culture. This is turn creates greater engagement and encourages discretionary effort. If you’re doing points 1-4 this is much easier and more effective.