Sometimes reading blogs can be fun. A recent HBR blog piece, Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better, is a great example of this. It talks about how much better employees perform if they feel loved or cared for. And, I must admit, all other things being equal, a loving workplace will make employees happier than an unloving workplace. That’s why it’s interesting that the three companies cited so prominently in the HBR blog piece are great examples of companies with quite successful talent practices.
Some time ago, I wrote a blog about how love alone can be just what the employee doesn’t need. The example discussed was of an employee who had a mediocre, loving manager. It felt great to come to work, but the manager’s reputation for wearing an empty suit preceded him and reflected on his people. Certainly, this is not a good result and not what the HBR blog piece is encouraging.
Another important factor is that different employees want to be loved, or, more properly, respected, in different ways. Our experience with assessments has taught us that different employees have a different level of need for being nurtured. What feels great to one employee could well smother another employee. The Sigma PRF Form E is a particularly good assessment for showing these varying levels of need. A good manager armed with this assessment insight will know just how much attention to pay to his employees as individuals.
This subject also needs to be considered in the context of Millennials entering the workforce. This generation of employees is focused on how they can develop and contribute most effectively. A non-substantive love-fest style is likely to have little appeal to this group who have barely heard of communes, the 60’s and … you get it. 🙂 And, you can be sure that Zappos, Pepsico and Whole Foods Market would never attempt such a kumbaya-like approach.
One final point. The three companies mentioned so prominently in the blog piece have treated employees well for a long time. Their caring culture is not a flavor of the month. It has deep credibility based on years of delivering for people — something even Millennials can respect.