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Showing the Love of Mid South

by Dan Ridley

We have spent the last couple of weeks discussing the foundation of FAITH at Mid South. If you will notice in the graphic below, faith supports each of our eight pillars of culture.

As I discuss the eight pillars, I will always emphasize how faith impacts each. I want to begin today with the first pillar, LOVE. Love in the workplace certainly looks different than how love might look at home. And, yet there are many similarities. Love at work is about viewing employees as humans and whole people, not just cogs in the company wheel. This whole-person approach inevitably leads to team members feeling valued and recognized as real people who have real personalities and live outside the facility.

Research shows that love is an antidote to employee burnout. According to Gallup research organizations must strategically focus on three areas when dealing with burnout at work, and the first area is making wellbeing a part of their culture. A classic article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) from 2014, called Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better, says that love has a strong influence on workplace outcomes, and that “those who perceive greater affection and caring from their colleagues perform better.”

According to social researcher Brené Brown, humans are driven by the need to be worthy of love and belonging, but to make a connection with another person requires authenticity and vulnerability. That may not always feel safe in the workplace, but it’s worth it, says Brown. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” And there’s no reason to be stingy with love. “When you practice empathy and compassion with someone, there is not less of these qualities to go around. There’s more. Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world.”

So how can we show love in the workplace? Here are a few cost-effective, easy and practical tips:

  1. Do a small survey within your office to find out small things that motivate your people – Don’t assume the same thing works for everyone.

  2. Take time to really get to know your people – Find out about their families, their hobbies, and their passions outside of work and then follow up regularly on how all of those things are going.

  3. Small acts of kindness – could be as little as a sticky note on someone’s desk or their favorite candy or drink. These are great ways of showing appreciation.

  4. Hand-written notes – A thank you or appreciation note, a birthday or anniversary card shows people we are thinking of them.

  5. Be present - Have a listening ear and simply let team members know you are there for them. You will be amazed at how many people we work with that don’t have anyone to just listen to.

Remember Aesop once said, “No act of kindness is ever wasted.”

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