A World Without Racism is Loving
Work can be a significant source of stress for all of us. Coming home after a long day of work, and feeling underappreciated and not cared for at work can add extra stress to our lives. Most of us don’t think of the word “love” in terms of a workplace setting. We show love to our family members and friends, but what if we showed love to our work and coworkers? This does not imply romantic relationships or feelings, but instead, it alludes to showing compassion to those who you work with every day. Companionate love is established in connection, warmth, and affection rather than passion, which is what romantic love is based on.
Few managers base their workplace practices on love, and that is a big mistake. A study published in Administrative Science Quarterly showed that employees who felt they worked in a loving and caring culture reported higher levels of teamwork and satisfaction. In addition to this, employees who felt loved showed up to work more often. The research also demonstrated this type of work culture is related directly and positively to client outcomes. So not only do the employees benefit, but the company and its clients benefit as well. This study was done over a long period of time, and it clearly shows how important emotional culture is in a workplace.
You may be wondering what a company culture that focuses on love and compassion might look like. An example of this can be seen in the following scenario:
Imagine two coworkers who work side-by-side, expressing care and compassion for one another. They congratulate one another when things go well, and show tenderness and give encouragement when things don’t go well. Now imagine a manager who encourages this type of behavior from everyone in the office, where managers actively create and reinforce compassionate relationships between all employees.
That is a work environment that creates productivity and makes people want to come back—no more waking up in the morning, dreading stepping into the office, and being afraid every time you make a mistake. Instead, you feel ready, excited even, to step into work every day and take on any challenge that might arise.
One may be hesitant to accept and implement this idea, where love is prominent in a work setting, wondering how that is even sustainable when in reality, many large organizations are adopting this philosophy and seeing great results. An example of this is shown by PepsiCo which lists “caring” as its first guiding principle on its website. In addition to this, Whole Foods Market has a set of management principles that begin with “Love.” Similarly, Zappos also focuses on compassion as part of its values by stating that “We are more than a team though…we are a family. We watch out for each other, care for each other and go above and beyond for each other”. Many of these companies find that incorporating these practices into their office setting yields great results from their employees.
All of this information can be a lot for employers to take in all at once; however, here are three ways to start incorporating love into the workplace that are easy to start with:
- Broaden your idea of workplace culture – Don’t just focus on values such as innovation as a driving factor. Prioritize emotional culture in the workplace based on things such as happiness and love.
- Pay attention to your own emotions – The emotions you present to your employees every day rub off on them and leave lasting impacts. Focus on positive emotions rather than negative ones.
- Consider your company policies – Think about how your company’s values and mission statements can foster greater compassion and care.