Valentine’s day has become a huge retail holiday. It was estimated last year that ~ $18.9B was going to be spent, $1.7B being candy, ~$50M in jewelry and $52.2M on flowers. While Hallmark cards and online greetings are at an all-time high, it is our word and our actions that truly speak love.
Love is more than saying “I love you.” It is a feeling in our hearts that expresses that we appreciate one another and that we simply care. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to share what and how others bring happiness and value into our lives across all of their facets.
A disturbing statistic was brought to my attention last week about unhappy employees: “Gallup found that 87 percent of workers worldwide and 70 percent of employees in the U.S. (84 percent in Canada, 83 percent in the U.K.) are either not engaged or actively disengaged. That means only 30 percent of U.S. workers are driving their organizations forward… Gallup found that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year; that number doesn’t even take into account the ‘not engaged’ employees.”
Beyond what’s happening in the workplace, an employee can become disengaged at work if there’s something happening in their personal circles affecting their self-esteem. Based on research, “Gallup offers three main ways to boost employee engagement:
- Hire talent–the right people for the right jobs;
- Nurture their skills–it builds their sense of purpose as well as abilities;
- Enhance their well-being–in body, mind, emotion, and sense of meaning.”
As we approach Valentine’s Day, I invite you to attend to the ones who you know deserve compassion, love and warmth from you in all of your circles. Indeed in business we can express appreciation by being caring. We are not robots. We are human beings who are meant to be connected, to respect each other and value each other’s contributions.
If you feel irritated with someone, ask yourself: “What would love say? What would love do?”
Imagine the possibilities that can occur if for one moment you pause and ask these questions. Can you be the catalyst to change– even transform– an outcome as a result of saying something differently or making a gesture that would be sincerely heartfelt in your personal relationships? We can be in a business situation, laser-beam focused, without being harsh, evasive or indifferent. Rather, we can sincerely acknowledge the efforts of employees, customers and partners letting them know that they do matter.
Don’t take my word for it. Just do it. Last summer I found myself helping someone I cared about, seeing through the lens of his own heart by simply asking myself: “What would love say? What would love do?” And change occurred.
We can make this Valentine’s Day an opportunity to add a new lens to our hearts to help us bring about the changes that we care to see in any of our relationships, inclusive of business. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we can consciously boost employee engagement with one word, one act: praise.
I wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. I invite you to find the capacity to speak and act from your heart.