LOVE IN THE WORKPLACE: LANDMINE OR LIFELINE?
NEW BOOK GIVEAWAY!!
20 copies available!!
Leave a comment on this guest post by Dr. Beverly Kaye to become eligible for one of 20 complimentary copies of her new book, “Love ‘EM or Lose ‘EM: Getting Good People to Stay.”
(Deadline for eligibility is 03/06/2021. International winners will receive electronic versions.)
Love sells. McDonalds’ 2015 ad campaign was named, “Delivering What You Love.” Johnson & Johnson’s brand equity campaign was J&J for All You Love. Carat Lane’s New Expressions of Love links its jewelry designs to romantic expectations.
It’s called “heart marketing” and countless companies use it to successfully promote themselves and their products to the outside world. Why, then, don’t more leaders use it inside their organizations?
Why do so many employees feel free to bring their dogs to work but not their love?
Could it be that the problem is not with the “knowing” but with the “doing”?
We know that scores on statements like “Management shows a sincere interest in me…” are key differentiators of the top 10 companies on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Duncan Coombs calls love an important operating system within the organization.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey asserts that we need to practice love – including at work. But how can leaders do it?
Love in the workplace: landmine or lifeline
Say the word.
Just say it. Don’t be afraid. Be bold enough to add “love” (or “soul” or “heart” or “caring”) to your next PPT presentation. Next time you see something good, say something good — “Colin, I loved your suggestions in that meeting.”
Show the word.
Listen deliberately to at least one person every day.
Open your heart to their potential, their dreams, their accomplishments. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every organization is the lengthened shadow of its leaders.” So cast a caring, heartfelt – dare I say “loving”? – shadow across yours.
Spread the word.
Let it be known that “Love is not a four-letter word here,” even though it is. Tell your team to tell their teams to tell their teams that they can bring more than their dogs to work!
What does love in the workplace look like to you?
Dr. Beverly Kaye is recognized internationally as a professional dedicated to helping individuals, managers, and organizations understand the practical “how-to” principles of employee development, engagement, and retention. Her books and learning materials have stood the test of time; her bestselling book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, is on its sixth edition.
I LOVE this concept!! I am a female who happens to be the plant manager at a manufacturing facility. I’ve taken it as my responsibility to try and create a culture of teamwork and caring across all positional boundaries. It’s hard to get traditional leadership to buy into that idea – the “demand and force compliance” style is still so prevalent. I’d love a copy of this book to reinforce and add to my assault on the cold hard workplace!
When we show love and appreciation people feel welcome and important… They want to be a part of that and, they also will share the love. If all you see is displeasure in the work place it spreads discontent and people will leave. If you love your job, others will love their job and want to join in it.
I want to create a safe culture so that staff will want to bring the love to work with them. Would love a copy of the book!
Interesting comments, both by Dr. Kaye as well as many commentators here. I’m sure the book will be an interesting read and will give food for thought.
For some, it seems, love is a word that stays out of the workplace. For the life of me, I don’t understand why. If you love what you’re doing, show it. If you love what someone else is doing, tell ’em. Thanks for this good post. Much appreciated. I love it. Stay safe. Cheers!
People make the difference for any organization. Value people and the value of the organization will increase . Keen to understand the concept of Love in the Workplace , Landmine or Lifeline .
I love this! Creating a culture where people feel welcome and free to share their ideas- knowing that they will be actually listened to and appreciated for their thoughts is so important. I am actively working on recreating our culture to a place folks want to be rather than the place they have to go to earn a paycheck. It takes time and dedication. I would love to read this book!!
For the life of me I don’t understand why the word love is so foreign in the workplace. If you love what you’re doing, show it. If you love what someone else is doing, tell ’em. Thank you for this good post. I love it. Stay safe. Cheers! ~ Jessan
“Every organization is the lengthened shadow of its leaders.” If we as leaders are to model the way, the our core values must be on display every day. We have to feel free to discuss them openly and add them to our expectations of the other team members. If we do not, then others are left to guess what they may be or infer them from our actions. Adding “love” and using our core values as descriptors to what the other members of the team do will make the workplace more vibrant.
I would love her book to add to my toolkit. I always say, we did not hire you to fire you!!!
I tie this into the personal side of things, I care about my team and I can demonstrate that in many ways. To love is an active not passive action. We don’t fall in love, we chose to love, and we chose what we love. We can get theological or philosophical about it, to ensure that it is clear what we are stating, but I firmly believe I am called to be a servant leader and that includes showing love and care to my teams. Sometimes I use the word itself as stated above, sometimes it’s evident in the actions and sometimes it’s how I surprise the team with material affections and thanks. We don’t do well with empathy in many of our organizations and many see it as being a weakness. But I look at many great leaders had empathy and meekness (not weakness) as a defining part of their leadership and we must include this as part of ours as we go forward.
Loving what you do and bringing it to work becomes the simple act of paying it forward.
My organization currently has the will, but we need the skill! Great short interview clip.
It’s so important to feed the human side of the Team, and love languages play a large role in that. I remember, early on, “loving” my Team by treating them as I would want to be treated. Backfired spectacularly. I had to learn how they each wanted to be loved.
Any good leader must lead with love. I heard Shelene Bryan speak once and she said you have to Go LEFT to Go Right. She described Left as Love, Effort, Focus, Toughness. Love was first you can see and I believe it is key to success.
Love the concepts. We try to do this but not always so well. We had someone leave about a year ago. At the exit interview he talked about “us” not having family friendly policies and a not being a family oriented staff. Six months later he wanted to come back as the “grass was not greener”. It was a great wake up call for us as managers. We feel we are doing well but since that single event, we also know we have to do better. It is so hard to reach everyone. So many lessons to learn and live!
I wonder what makes so many leaders allergic to love?? Nice … I like the idea of organisations as lengthened shadows of their leaders! I wonder what sort of caricature My lengthened shadow casts?
Excellent to reverse and asking why we stay? If the job or services is so disheartening why don’t we better ourselves. Are we dedicated for the wrong reasons? Great interview!
This is very interesting and I think “love” is taken for granted. I show love by being kind to everyone in the workplace, especially my team. As the article states, I mindfully practice listening intently on a daily basis. This is hard with the crazy schedule, but it does work as it shows that you care for the person. I am very interested in reading more about how to keep your best people.
Excellent ideas. Would love to read this book.
Great principles. Sounds like she has hit on a critical issue in the workplace
I love that idea! I think that too many people are afraid to use the word love – especially in the work place. That caring and compassion need to be present for people to feel appreciated. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!
Love this! I think this is so relevant, especially now with so many working from home. Not only must you choose to show the “love” to your employees but also co-workers must do the same. Taking the time out of your day to acknowledge someone or someone’s idea, work, efforts, etc. with a simple “I love that you accomplished that, or I love the idea you had, etc.” changes a person’s outlook for the day, for the week maybe longer. They in turn are more apt to pay it forward with someone else and so the attitude, the empathy, etc. spreads throughout the workplace, throughout personal lives. it’s a strong emotion and can do wonders for a person’s psyche. Would love a copy of the book.
YES YES YES!
I feel like this post summarized my leadership style. I have seen this in action – spending a little more time to listen intently and providing prompt honest feedback when you see something good can completely turn a team’s attitude, engagement, and dedication to the company around!
Showing love in the workplace solidifies meaning and value for your team/company. That personal connection and caring makes the difference between just ‘doing the job’ or ‘sharing the experience’ of community.
As a school leader we should ALL love our workplace, staff and especially the students we serve. I look forward to reading this book!
When we think of love as action, how you choose to treat someone without regard to how they treat you, then it is easy (conceptually) for a leader to bring love to the workplace. Love them first and maybe they will love you back, but don’t expect it, be surprised if it happens. A leader needs to get their love away from work.
Showing love in the workplace solidifies meaning and value for your team/company. That personal connection and caring makes the difference between just ‘doing the job’ or ‘sharing the experience’ of community.
This makes so much sense to me! I am always trying to help people feel good about themselves and their contribution. I love the idea that you can tell your colleagues that you love what they did, how they did it and the result! Love! Love! Love the concept!
I agree it is not a knowing problem but a doing problem.
As an employee, I’d bring my dog to work because I’ll get the love and attention back from the dog. I’d hypothesize that the employees do bring love for each other to work, but the managers don’t see it.
The culture of loving what you do and bringing your heart into your work has to start from a solid foundation of what’s going on in the entire company from the top down. Otherwise the love on the front line, stays with the front line people, and not even spreading out to how you work, where the paying customers can see it.
When there is always “do more with less”, or “we may not get a bonus this year” (not talked about mid-year, just at the end of the year), or the threat of constant restructuring, or people not really buying into the current changes; all of those take energy. One of the first energy tanks to start draining is the Love tank.
Once you are comfortable with your main needs, you can move up to include Giving and Getting Love into those needs.
If I constantly threaten your core needs, you most likely don’t have the energy or desire to bring your heart to your job.
This ties in to why change management is so important on a day to day level (not just reserved for special projects). I’d need to help you see things as non-threatening to leave you room to not just say you love things for the sake of trying to feel better, but to really love them.
Change management is the wrong word for what it should be. To me the word should be “Care”.
Care must be in the soil for the seed you plant to grow Love.
I’d say you can quote me on that, but it’s probably been written by someone else first. lol
Great stuff! I know that as an employee I am engaged more when I feel emotionally connected. This will be a helpful way to encourage my team also!
Great stuff! I know that I am more engaged when I feel emotionally connected to my work! Great way to encourage/inspire the team also!
I’m a Director of HR for a public school corporation. We love the children that come to us each day for their education, but I think we can do a better job at loving our employees (adults). The work staff in public education needs to fell love and support now more than ever. I love the concept of verbalizing and showing love to employees.
I LOVE the idea of “showing the word” of love in the workplace. We can show practical love by adhering to the very well-known description of how to exercise our gifts and talents in a way that is patient and kind, that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, rejoices in truth, and is not envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, self-seeking, irritable, or unforgiving. What a great picture of love in the workplace — or anywhere for that matter!
Thank you. I enjoyed your reading your ideas and found them positive and encouraging.
Love is a hard word to get out. I remember thinking back to how long it took me to say it to my future wife. I knew I loved her, but saying it out loud changes things. Or so is the perception. This is tough for people to say to others they work with this same thing. It is a great reminder that we need to say, no matter how hard it is to get out. That word shows deep appreciation for the person.
We are having a real problem with retention in this day and age. Any hints would help.
This is such a timely book. We hear the word Hate so freely now. The practicality of this concept is refreshing. We are now doing Stay Interviews with our staff and are learning so much.
I would love to learn tips for keeping the great people I have here! I enjoy reading your column daily with ideas for how to be a better “leader” and manager – it’s not always easy and your quick and simple reminders help get the day off to a good start!
If we are in a position that we love, showing and saying it should come easy! We should want to share the love with everyone and encourage our teammates to do the same. Why we are reluctant to use this word in the workplace is a fascinating concept and definitely something I would LOVE to learn more about and share with our leadership team!
At one time my organization had an “out to catch you doing wrong” culture. It has taken some hard work to turn that around. Finally a few people stood up against this and made the decision not to lead this way. It was amazing what a difference listening to and helping people made. It is hard to reach a common goal if you are not a team, and teams support one another.
This is something I try to practice regularly. It goes hand in hand with providing psychological safety. It’s ok to show your teams how much you care and that they are valued.
You are so right – there are many books analyzing the problem but fail to give “useful” insights into correcting it! What an inspiration!!
Hum it makes me think. That a good point I would love to investigate more!
Great post, especially in out modern climate. Success doesn’t just come to those who love their jobs or their work, it comes when we share the love with others. Supporting a loving and caring culture in the workplace fosters authentic connection in teams and creates an environment that promotes individuals to thrive. Most often, dissatisfaction at work stems from both a lack of love for what you do as well as a lack of appreciation for what you do. Love provides meaning and it shouldn’t be discounted.
I don’t always love what I do, but I share how much I care for my team and their support often. Truly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They are a big reason why I continue to commit to the team and on most days would say I’m happy with my job and career. It also helps to work for an organization that cares about its people as well – we are the most valuable resource.
I’m not trying to be smart. Knowing when to show love and compassion and have it understood in the work environment. I would Love to read this book and not lose people because of a hamburger.
This is a fantastic concept to point out in the leadership realm of things. It is often misjudged and misinterpreted, but yet it is basic human need. The love and compassion for your job, program, faculty, etc is so important for building strong teams of people. I work in the educational realm and find that what we demonstrate as adults is very much soaked up by the students in our programs. I would love to read this book to help create a better environment for my staff and students.
It is an interesting concept. Showing love, while holding each other accountable. Interested to see the practical implementation in an organization.
Love is often viewed as a sign of weakness or perhaps at least seen as a vulnerability. So many people, teachers, students, and parents have trust issues and therefore are not comfortable sharing love. I have found that consistently being sincere and sharing your vulnerability with those that you are leading or coaching eventually will lead to them being more trusting and open.
I agree with this 100%. It is far too often that managers do not ask the questions or show concern until an employee is walking towards the door. Being engaged in not only the work but also the workers will develop a team that is engaged and wants to work for you and your company.
Great concept on improving retention with love.
I love the thought behind this book. Show appreciation, show the “love”. This helps with bringing the team together. Understand what is going on in their life, getting a clear picture of who they are and what they need.
how to set boundaries, showing compassion, trusting, it is hard for most. Holding people accountable whom you care for weather it be home or the workplace is all a work in progress when you yourself are not perfect and keeping it all at bay when being the go to person, finding common ground. Setting expectations and believing in not only yourself but others all wraps up in a messy ball of what we can life.
great books have read in the past. would recommend to all for good reading with real job situations.
I really like when she said, ‘they have the will but not the skill’. That really says a lot about how managers are trained or how little they may be trained and that often they have the right intentions but lack the knowledge of how to convey messaging and actions correctly. This is really important for upper management to acknowledge and to address with better training but also for employees to accept. Managers are people too.
Bringing “love” to work, to the conversation, to the meeting makes us vulnerable, real and highly motivated. Leaders always dig deeper to touch and communicate the “why” of work. Each advance requires a deeper clarity. When we reach our most mature moment we’ll find it was there all the time; love for one another, love of our client, love of creativity and love for the ‘road ahead.’ Sounds like a great book. Love (no pun intended!) to have a copy.
Love is not a scarce resource – there is plenty to give and receive. These are words that I use often and are part of my foundational value system. I don’t always put it into practice, but I fall back on them when things get difficult.
I couldn’t agree more with this whole post. Loving others is a conscious choice. And, when the going gets rough, if I fall back on that, it allows me to find a way to push forward.
Love this post! We are all whole people with a full range of emotions, including love, that are abundant. It’s all about tapping in and recognizing the wholeness and abundance available to each of us.
Love is the best leadership attribute. Love isn’t a word that I bring into work very frequently, but when we treat the people we serve with empathy, compassion, intentionality and care– that’s love.
You can’t love someone until you truly understand them and know them on a deeper level. I think that, because we often don’t take the time to get to know the people we work with, it’s hard to bring love into the picture. Amazing things can happen to an organization if you do!
One of my first quotes I used when doing presentations to teachers and parents was “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” . Love is really about being selfless and seeing others the way God sees them and loves them anyway. What the world needs now is “Love Sweet Love” and I would love to have this book! Pick me!
I love this! Definitely a motto and practice to live by everyday. It’s important as a leader to love our employees and to share that love often. I hear so many stories about leaders in organizations whom don’t share “love” in the workplace and causes others to not find value in the work they do because oftentimes its dismissed. Sharing love and acknowledgement of even the simple things drives motivation, compassion, and drive to better quality work and outcomes.
I have always shared that I love what I do. Some people are taken aback by that comment, but I am sincere. If I or my team cannot speak openly than why are we doing it. I love what I do because I am passionate about my team and the work that we are doing. They know I am all in and have their backs. It also shows that I think highly of my company.
We all need to hear ‘love’ and have it demonstrated in the workplace. Create a culture of that feeling of love and support! To love you need to be selfless and many are lacking that quality!❤️
I didn’t realise there was a book! Very cool.
If I don’t win a copy, do you have a preferred reseller (international — UK)?
I LOVE THIS!! Our company tagline is We All Need Connection. This just brings it to the next level and emphasizes the importance of LOVE.
I have been a proponent of love in the workplace forever. Unfortunately, I’m often alone in my quest. As I read this post, so many things came to mind:
1) Love and fear are the two emotions from which all other emotions flow. Unfortunately, fear presides in far too many organizations, even at the highest levels.
2) Love is a verb, not a noun.
3) Artificial intelligence has nothing to do with emotional intelligence. Robots are not yet programmed to love.
3) Dr. Martin Luther King said power — the achievement of purpose — and love must co-exist: “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
May human acts of love pave the way forward in our ever evolving work world. Fearful leaders need not worry: Performance, productivity and profits will be enhanced.
Bold and brave guidance, but also a needed and welcomed mindfulness in my humble opinion.
Serving others is a reflection of love. Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take, shows in a variety of settings that making it clear how the work benefits other human beings has improved performance and protected people from stress and burnout. Effective leaders inspire people by connecting them with the people they serve to show them how the work they do is helping others.
I see this play out on a daily basis in my career. I’d love to read it!
Love is so simple, yet so feared in the workplace. LOVE the simplicity of the concept!
I felt better just reading your comments. Give what we want to be given. Thank you for a great reminder!
Covert reminds us love is a verb. It’s not enough to simply attest to our feelings, we need to take actions and demonstrate to our loved ones what our feelings mean. Thanks for sharing the book.
Great idea – “Stay Interview” – I will start implementing this now.
Looking to develop my leadership skills.
Just make sure the person you’re loving on at work isn’t married to someone else at the same workplace — THAT could be a landmine! While I was a team lead, I had a subordinate in that situation — NOT GOOD.
I love this concept and have worked to truly connect with my staff this year, but at the end of the day I may still have good teachers that will be moving on to new positions. I would love to be more intentional and proactive to build that sense of love and belonging.
Now that we are 100% working remotely, we don’t see each other so we lack the “personal connection.” When you reach out to individuals too frequently, they feel like you are impeding them and don’t like weekly or bi-weekly IM’s or phone calls, so they don’t miss the conversation. How can you make the connection without making them feel like you are stalking them?
An interesting post showing the significance of Love at the workplace level. This applies to all, be it management staff, subordinate staff and workers at the lower level like peons, sweepers, pantry-men, watchman, lift operators and drivers.
By love, we mean valuing every person and appreciating the role that he plays efficiently to keep the organization interest first. We need to spread the happy atmosphere to increase productivity and foster newer ideas for betterment of things that we do. Such environment will keep the mental stress at distance and keep the workplace level family healthy by ensuring the best inputs individually and collectively.
This rings of transformational leadership trying to build a culture of wellness, openness and genuine care for each other to the organization. It can be difficult to overcome some of the roadblocks to this type of transformation but if you can get buy in from some or all of the informal leaders and front-line supervisors your goals may soon be realized. I don’t think people can help but be drawn to this type of culture when they see the positive outcomes for others that have subscribed to it. Thanks!
For me, love in the workplace is as simple as assuming positive intent, really listening, and allowing people to bring their whole selves to work every day. Sounds easy, but it takes deliberate action on my part.
Hi , i am a female dentist and i have been practicing as solo practitioner for 25 years so i had to hire employees to help me running the dental office , I have to admit running business is harder than dentistry itself. It is very hard to find a good person with proper work ethics , i get attached to my employees very easily , i pay them whatever they ask , when they can’t handle the pressure of work or if they don’t know certain task they never admit , Sometimes they team up against me , the more i show my love they use it against me I feel i am always giving them one way love and appreciation , , they never say sorry or thank you ! And I am wondering if my love is ‘ too much ‘ or ‘not enough ‘ i love to read your book
When I first saw the title of this blog, I thought it was going in a different direction and it really got me thinking of the using the word “Love” in the workplace. When I first saw the word love in the workplace, I was thinking it was going towards physical love. I have the enjoyment of working with my “Love” aka my wife at my workplace, but using the word love as mentioned in the article highlighted some key points. The idea of saying the word love makes a lot of sense with the example of a PowerPoint presentation. As someone who gives presentations, if someone says they “loved” the presentation, it makes me feel that they listened and got something from it. If someone says “Good job” it still makes me feel like they listened and enjoyed the presentation, but there is still a big difference when someone says they “loved” the presentation.