Creating Valentine’s Day acrostic poems with painstaking care is popular. Each letter of that special someone’s name was a positive trait or adjective.
So here’s a love note spelled “Valentine” to your company with our tips and advice from Entrepreneur, The Muse, Inc., Salary.com and the Harvard Business Review.
- Value: Be mindful of and share specific reasons why an employee is important to the team. If you own a small landscaping company, you can give more personalized attention and feedback. (Plus, it’s way easier to remember birthdays.)
- Award: Employee recognition can be a big to-do with trophies and gold-sealed certificates in a formal setting. Or you can give a handwritten card and a lapel pin at a meeting. Employees savor the sentiment and attention, not the size of the medal. Refrain from showering really disgruntled employees with a lot of perks. It may hurt business by creating a sense of entitlement.
- Leadership: It’s an L-word thrown around almost as much as “love.” Show resolve constantly, even when projects aren’t lining up. Minimize an environment where you’re less of a leader and more of a friend to employees. These aren’t your buddies. They’re people you hired and should be treated with professionalism and respect.
- Empathy: Staying busy can create a bubble where you lose awareness of your employees’ needs. Even when it’s hard, understanding and sharing the feelings of your staff must be done, and it must be genuine.
- Natural: Be yourself (or a relaxed version of you). It’s easier than creating a stiffened persona at work. Show the same kind of personality and respect whether you’re clocking in or out.
- Teamwork: If your work clothes are in pristine condition, reevaluate your schedule. Put down the pen and go get dirty. Schedule time to work a labor-intensive project and power through the small and tedious tasks on site. Dig in to show you’re part of the team, not because you’re short-staffed.
- Improve: Create detailed and easy-to-use systems to make improvements to equipment and vehicles. Try creating a project to boost morale among teams. This should be done on a quarterly or annual basis.
- Nurture: Encourage self-care amongst your staff. Meditation classes may be a bit much, but mandating breaks for shade, deep breaths and water is a start. Offer opportunities to wind down, especially after a rough day with a grueling project or uncooperative weather.
- Emotion: Don’t shy away from words like “caring” and “trust” in the mission statement. Focus on intangible goals, not just the ones that can be measured or counted.
So it’s simple but not easy. Loved employees are productive employees. Show some love consistently to sustain them. Keep in mind only 30 percent of employees feel engaged on the job, according to a 2013 Gallup report, costing U.S. businesses $450 billion to $550 billion a year. So acts of love can grow your employees’ hearts and your bottom line.