Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means that love is in the air. Unfortunately, it’s not in the air, or culture, or anywhere else at too many companies. Which is not only a shame, it’s very shortsighted.
Why? Because leading with love is a winning leadership and employee engagement strategy on many levels.
Employer & Employee Rapport Is Like Marriage (Or Dating For The Faint Of Heart)
The employer/employee relationship is, in many ways, similar to dating or marriage. It started with courtship (the hiring process), moves through engagement (building deepening bonds and commitment), and if successful, ends with a fulfilling relationship in which both parties thrive in a culture that balances independence with emotional support.
Think of the great leaders, in any field, who have inspired you. Typically, you don’t like them, you love them. Because they touch you. They give you something that transcends the every day ordinary and the practical, they engage you on an emotional level. They speak to your best self, and make you want to give of that self. Leaders at all levels in every organization can take performance to new levels by putting love into their toolkits.
The Research That Backs Love
Want some research to back up the power of love? First of all, according to Gallup’s widely respected State of the American Workplace report, disengaged employees cost businesses $450-550 billion a year in lost productivity. Emotionally connected employees simply perform better. According to the Boston Consulting Group, since 2001, companies that embrace “whole person” employee engagement have consistently outpaced growth in S&P average cumulative share price by margins of up to 99 percent. Gallup reports these additional benefits from total quality of life programs:
• 37% lower absenteeism
• 48% fewer safety incidents
• 41% fewer quality defects
• 28% less inventory shrinkage
• 10% higher customer satisfaction and
• Up to 22% higher profitability
These numbers are nothing less than astonishing: proof that love is the ultimate leadership tool. So how do you bring it to your organization?
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