Does “love” have a place in business?

Love is in the air this time of year, but here’s a question that may make some people cringe, “Does love have a place in business?”

Love is not a word used in a lot of company mission statements. Nor is it spoken frequently in business hallways or corporate boardrooms. It’s really not a word that people are comfortable using in a business context. But let’s pause and look at a couple definitions of LOVE.

Noun:  A great interest or pleasure in something

Verb:  To like or enjoy very much

In the spirit of these definitions, what if leaders made it their mission to create more love in the workplace? Obviously not the romantic kind, but the kind of love that makes people truly enjoy what they do and who they do it with. The kind of environment where employees love spending their time together.

Humans spend so much of their lives at work. For many, a majority of their waking hours are spent there. They invest their gifts and talents. They connect with other people.  Why not LOVE it?

Creating space for people to love what they do is not always easy, especially in a corporate culture that typically values tangible results like productivity and profit margins.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”.  If we valued love in business, we would inspire others to find great interest and pleasure in their work? It’s no secret that we do our best work when it’s something we feel passionate about. Retention, loyalty, quality and productivity (to name a few) increase when employees love their work.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. Celebrate this Friday by putting some love in the workplace. Here are 5 practical and fun ways to do it.

  1. Buy cookies or email a Valentine’s meme to your work team with the caption “I really love working with you all – Happy Valentine’s Day”.
  2. Write a heartfelt note to a mentor or boss expressing what you have learned from them and how they have brought joy to your job.
  3. Throw a Valentine’s Day lunch with your team (or zoom lunch). Have each person share why they love their job or working at your company.  Everyone wear red, of course!
  4. Encourage everyone to leave work an hour early to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the special people in their lives.
  5. When in doubt, share chocolate! Bring in a box of candy or distribute work-appropriate Valentines cards.

Be creative and have fun. Make it a day filled with good energy. Then, think about how you can create an environment where loving your job and the people you work with happens every day.

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