I came across a video made by Vishen Lakhiani who founded Mindvalley, a company that invests in, creates and builds businesses that align with its goal to push humanity forward. It is called Love Week and has now become a yearly Valentine’s week event.
Love Week is about how the culture we create in the company we work in has a direct correlation to how happy people are at work.
In the video Vishen quotes Shawn Anchor: “It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral but when they are positive.”
There have been many studies that show that people perform best, are happiest at work when they feel good. At Mindvalley they focus on the strength of your social support – they say that it depends on the people you have around you, who support you, who make you happy.
They came up with the idea of Love Week as a way to create a feeling of care and support within the working environment. During the week each person was secretly assigned to be an “angel” for someone else in the company. They would secretly do two things in the week that would make their person feel cared for. It could be something simple like making a beautiful lunch for someone or putting a coffee on their desk when they were out of the room. Or arranging for someone to help them with a task so they could leave early. It did not matter what they did just that it made the other person feel cared for and supported.
It fostered such a great feeling within the company – new friendships were made and everyone simply became happier at work. They also decided that it was to be a yearly event and one they wanted to share with other companies in the world. You can see the video, including the rules of the game here http://www.mindvalley.com/culture/love-week#sthash.YqgOOtGy.mKyTq8NZ.dpbs.
I know from my work with the Passion Test for Business that it is absolutely true that how people feel at work is paramount. When we feel passionate about what we do we infect those around us with that passion too.
Have you ever had the experience of working with someone who has their own personal black cloud? It is like they have their own little rain cloud that follows them around all day every day. Nothing is ever good; they hate their job, they hate their boss, they simple hate everything and will always look for what’s wrong. Trouble is that their personal rain cloud eventually splashes out into everyone one’s world and they bring down the crowd.
In the work space it is important that people enjoy what they do. Especially nowadays when so much is expected of people. I heard a friend say recently that it felt like the corporation she works for were dehumanising their staff. There was no passion and certainly no love. The feeling was spreading throughout the offices and it was becoming a heartless place to be. Everyone was demotivated.
This story is not limited to one corporation. Many of the people I coach are feeling similar; long hours that are now the norm and have become an accepted expectation, leaders who have little time to create personal relationships with those whom they manage, people feeling that they are on the treadmill, all be it sometimes a well paid one. The feeling of isolation.
In 2008 Gallup Consulting came to the following conclusions:
•Employee engagement is a force that drives business outcomes.
•Engaged employees are more productive, profitable, customer-focused and safer.
Engaged employees happen when people feel connected with what they do and who they do it for.
The first step back is to reconnect with why you are doing the role in the first place – reconnect to the passion that drew you in this direction. If you work for a company and if they care about how their employees feel (and they should because their bottom line is totally affected by the happiness of their employees) then they can bring in programs that will help their employees reconnect and become more passionate and happier in their roles. Sure it takes a culture change – something like Mindvalley’s Love Week will do it!
However if your company is not up for doing this how about introducing it with the people you work with? Start a mini revolution in your work. How can you influence the culture within your department? Can you give better recognition, listen more to a friend, take the time to actually see the person you are talking with? How can you connect with people personally rather than just on work-related topics? In other words how can we be better friends at work?
Vishen’s idea of Love Week is a powerful one and he invites you to try it out with your company. Check out the video, there are the rules of the Love Week game. I know that Valentine week is over for this year but you can start it any time, don’t wait another year! It creates huge cultural shifts in the company and everybody blooms and benefits.
As Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great: “people in good to great companies do what they love because they loved who they did it with”. “