How loving your team can improve your bottom-line
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Love is not a common topic in business settings. However, even though not commonly talked about (or actively practiced), statistics show that when leaders operate in love, a culture is created in their organizations that promotes genuine care, concern, and appreciation. Organizational cultures like this set the standard of success in their industries with quality results and high profit numbers. What does showing love to your employees look like? Following are 3 practical examples of how you can do this through your leadership.
Create space for failure
One way to implement leading with love is to promote an attitude of grace. This creates a safe space for failure. Grace says that people can strive to be their best while being given the freedom to make mistakes. This leadership effort creates an environment that fosters more creativity, risk taking, and ultimately, greater performance.
Coaching and Mentoring
Love can also be implemented through mentoring and coaching. Through mentorship, leaders love their people by caring about their interests and values. A leader then helps their followers grow and fulfill their personal aspirations. Through coaching, a leader can use knowledge and experience to develop his or her team to achieve excellence. The goal here is to simply to help staff be the best they can be.
Leaders can also model love by making an effort to relate in ways that are beneficial to each team member by honoring individual personalities, temperaments, and preferences. This is a great way to celebrate the uniqueness of each individual team member. There are many tools to help you understand what makes those on your team special. By having this understanding, you will be able to position them for success. Some online tests that are helpful include Gallup’s Strength FindersTest, the DISC profile from 48days.com, and Appreciation at Work’s appreciation test. The latter is especially helpful to give insight into how to communicate value and appreciation for the members on your team.
How can these efforts affect your bottom line? Two ways are increases in employee engagement and reductions in employee turnover.
Increase employee engagement
When leaders implement love in their leadership, there is a rise in employee engagement. When employees are engaged, they work with passion, feeling like their efforts make a significant difference in the quality of their organization’s products, customer service, and profitability. Lack of employee engagement is a common problem that weakens a business's effectiveness. A recent study showed the following:
• 54 percent of employees are disengaged, meaning they are merely going through the motions.
• 17 percent of employees are actively disengaged, meaning they are vocally unhappy about their jobs and sometimes even trying to sabotage the organization's efforts.
• Disengaged employees cost employers $450 to $500 billion dollars in lost productivity every year.
A similar study showed that when employees are engaged the following happens:
• 84% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact the quality of their organization’s products.
• 72% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service.
• 68% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs in their job or unit.
Leading with love is a way to build quality relationships and connection with your employees. When this happens, your employees feel cared for, are more engaged, and will work harder.
Build Trust with your staff to reduce turnover
A retention report compiled by the Work Institute surveyed 34,000 respondents and showed that the two top reasons why an employee leaves a company are due to a manager's behavior and the employee's overall well-being. A solution to solving these issues is to lead with love. One benefit to leading with love is the development of trust. Trust builds strong relationships and community, thus fostering feelings of connectivity and discouraging feelings of isolation. This type of environment supports employee job satisfaction, resulting in less turnover. Additionally, when leaders build trust, they build commitment. When an employee feels supported and part of a team, a bond is created that develops loyalty.
The savings of retaining staff by building relationships is tremendous. A study performed by Employee Benefit News cited that employers spend 33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace an employee who leaves. If the average salary of an employee is $45,000 a year, this would mean it costs $15,000 per employee to successfully find a replacement. In addition to these costs, turnover comes with the indirect costs of lost productivity that is a byproduct of having to find a replacement.
As leaders focus on increasing employee engagement and creating supportive work environments, the results are stronger and better performing organizations. The benefits of lower absenteeism, higher customer satisfaction, and fewer mistakes lend to the achievement of organizational goals and improvements in a company’s bottom line. When engagement is high, and trust is created, employees feel safe and unified within their organizations. Issues of gossip, conflict, and political infighting are minimized. Employee retention rises to make for more efficient and profitable operations.