What’s Love Got to Do With Your Company's Culture? EVERYTHING!
Love refers to a profound sense of connection. We juggle innumerable uncomfortable decisions and moving components on the route to realizing our aspirations as entrepreneurs, whether crowdfunded or venture-backed.
But, at our core, love is what motivates us all: a deep sense of attachment to a purpose or concept that encourages us to take risks and put ourselves on the line, as well as the fortitude to build something from the bottom up.
In the workplace, a culture of companionate love — showing warmth and empathy — can ensure greater staff motivation and engagement, whereas a culture that opposes such emotions leads to dissatisfied employees and customers.
Love must run through the veins of your company, not just its executives if you want to succeed as an organization. The same passion that motivated you to start must reflect your vision, operations, and, most importantly, your company culture.
Is The Idea of a Loving Company Culture Far-Fetched?
Although the consensus today recognizes the role of emotions in motivating (or demotivating) employees, the word “love” does not appear much in management literature. Daniel Goleman and others have promoted the importance of emotions in successful leadership. However, even in emotional discussions, the word ‘love’ is rarely mentioned. Is there love at work? Quite the contrary: most businesses have policies against such behavior, but should it be that way? Well, not in the romantic way – but what about a companionate way?
Companionate love, described as emotional attachment, compassion, care, and empathy for others, has been shown in research by Wharton faculty that focuses primarily on the health care industry to impact employee satisfaction and productivity.
Employees were more involved, less emotionally drained, and satisfied with their jobs in firms with a companionate love culture. They also performed better in teams.
A culture of companionate love resulted in more happy emotions (as rated by staff), greater contentment, and a higher quality of life for customers – in this case, patients and their relatives. When such a culture prevailed, patients’ families were more likely to advocate for the healthcare facility.
While the healthcare field may be one in which companionate love could play a role, some may doubt its application to other fields. However, the association between employee/customer happiness and compassionate love repeats when extended beyond health care to over 3,000 personnel in different industries.
One example of this in the real world is SAP America which has a “culture of kindness.” It is a culture that encourages leaders—including the CEO—to respond with empathy and an open mind to every employee who reaches out to them.
It shows that when companionate love is fostered and developed as part of the company culture, it directly impacts employee and customer happiness, minimizing staff turnover and increasing customer loyalty.
When You Show Employees Love, It Improves Their Performance
The way you treat your employees directly impacts the long-term success of your company. Employees who feel loved are more likely to devote themselves to their work and stay with your company longer – in fact; they are 2-4 times more likely to remain at the company and produce more (voluntary discretionary effort) when they feel loved.
It leads to a better-trained workforce and a lower attrition rate, both of which boost your bottom line significantly. It also helps you become highly marketable to new candidates and fill spots rapidly with the best available talent. The following are some reasons to have a loving company culture.
Become Highly Marketable To New Candidates and Fill Spots Rapidly With the Highest Performing Employees
Company culture is crucial in differentiating your company from the competition and attracting new employees and customers. It means that management and employee behavior and communication are critical. Although most firms have written policies in their handbooks, actions frequently speak louder than words.
Does your company celebrate diversity, give respect to employees’ opinions, and provide them with security and a sense of purpose? When senior management embodies these ideals, they tend to function well. It is vital to becoming a Most Loved Workplace.
A Most Loved Workplace is focused squarely on the degree to which employees have a positive feeling about their employer.
Employees who enjoy working for a company are up to four times more likely to be extra productive. Not unexpectedly, those same employees tend to stay put, reducing turnover.
What are the two most important factors contributing to this type of employee loyalty? For one thing, they get respect from their superiors. From the perspective of the workforce, it’s also critical that their employer “practices the morals and ideals it promulgates.”
Diversity—both in terms of gender and ethnicity—is also essential. It signals to employees that the company is open to hearing all ideas and opinions no matter what the source.
Fresenius Medical Care is a company where leaders embody these ideals. Everyone at this kidney disease-focused health care company places a premium on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Staff members nominated the firm’s first DEI leader rather than recruiting them.
Put these things into practice to show employees some love. Employees will share their feelings with the rest of the world, whether through the company website, reviews on Glassdoor/Indeed/etc., personal blogs, social media, or other mediums.
Discover the Best and Next Practices To Increase Employee Performance, Retention, and Sentiment
The traditional divide between working in an office and chilling in bed has disappeared in today’s digitally connected, post-COVID-19 world. Employers who want to get the best out of their employees should provide a flexible work arrangement that meets their needs.
It may imply a more relaxed working atmosphere, with the option of flexible working hours, taking breaks at a preferred time, and the flexibility to work from home. But you can only know what your employees want if you have a loving company culture that encourages workers to share their thoughts and opinions on all matters that affect them.
Bunge, for example, promotes such a work culture by emphasizing employee autonomy. The organization has open workspaces that help with collaboration and break down barriers. It’s what Bunge refers to as a “borderless atmosphere.”
Reflect and Connect With Like-Minded Professionals on Essential Ways to Become a Most-Loved Workplace
Positive work environments, professional advancement, and social responsibility programs are becoming more important factors in deciding where to work.
Box, an internet service provider, is a company that has adopted these practices. It helps build a workplace culture where everyone feels loved and valued. Workers are encouraged to develop career skills during the three-times-a-year Learn Fest program. There are also awards for going above and beyond and company-wide mental health days off.
Employers must ensure that they have a strategy in place to establish a loving workplace culture that appeals to both existing employees and potential new hires due to this shift in attitudes. Having a culture based on the love of employees in place at your organization will allow you to reflect on your processes and connect with like-minded professionals to find ways to become a most-loved workplace.
Although these are just a few suggestions, they will serve as the foundation for creating a company culture that demonstrates unusual love to workers in tangible ways. Because love has everything to do with your company culture, it may well be time to review your existing employee engagement strategy and connect with each person on a spiritual level.
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Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute and the author of more than ten books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion’s Field Guide, In Great Company, and Best Practices in Talent Management. Thought leaders and executives voted him one of Global Gurus Top 10 Organizational Culture thinkers worldwide.