Employee engagement: all you need is love….

Employee engagement - all you need is love

January 20, 2014

What is the key ingredient for employee engagement? Love, actually.

No, we’re not going all Hollywood-schmaltzy in this one. Although I have included a trailer for the film below for no discernible reason.

Fascinating research from Harvard Business Review reveals “the more love co-workers feel at work, the more engaged they are”.

To clarify, and probably disappoint some of the audience, we’re not talking late-night office liaisons of the intimate kind.

The HBR blog refers to “companionate love” – which apparently is based on warmth, affection, and connection rather than passion.

The research – entitled What’s Love Got to Do With It?: The Influence of a Culture of Companionate Love in the Long-term Care Setting – focused on the US healthcare industry in the first instance with a follow-up survey that spanned seven different industries.

It revealed that employees who felt they worked in a loving, caring culture:

* showed up to work more often
* had higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork
* seemed more satisfied with their jobs
* displayed commitment to the organisation
* were happy to be accountable for their performance.

So the benefits of a friendly and ‘people-first’ approach appear to be plain. However, thoughts that daily high-fives should become the norm in the UK’s workplaces would appear to be wide of the mark.

The blog explains: “There are many ways to build an emotional culture of companionate love. We suggest leaders do at least three things.

“First, broaden your definition of culture. Instead of focusing on “cognitive culture” — values such as teamwork, results-orientation, or innovation — think about how you can cultivate emotional culture as well.

“Second, pay attention to the emotions you’re expressing to employees every day. Your mood creates a cultural blueprint for the group.

“Third, consider how your company policies and practices can foster greater affection, caring, compassion, and tenderness among workers. At some companies, employees can forego vacation days or organise emergency funds to help fellow employees who are struggling and need help.”

So there you have it. As the Beatles once famously sang: “All you need is love….”

Oh, and here’s the Love Actually trailer too. Enjoy.

Read the full HBR blog here….