"Companies will never love a company until the employees love it first." Simon Sinek.
“The role of business as we know it will change as people focus on doing what they love, being valued for their talents and living to create and thrive rather than ‘work’ as we currently define it.”
Clare Kandola, Sharing Economy business expert.
“The Trust Café shows money is not the only value, there are other things more important in life, that we should be grateful for. This is a place of love, where you get more than a meal. People come here and appreciate what goes into creating a café, from the volunteers in the kitchen, to the person who smiles at you when you walk in the door.”
Dejan Tomasevie, Trust Café, a pay-as-you-feel eatery, Amsterdam.
Over the last three years, I have interviewed more than 200 change-makers worldwide for my forthcoming book, Generation Share. Published by Policy Press for Global Sharing Week 2019 (June 16th-22nd) and co-created with Sophie Sheinwald, Generation Share demonstrates how the Sharing Economy is saving lives; changing the way we think, live and do business.
Previously in my blog, I have detailed the 6 character traits that make up the Anatomy of a Change-Maker. In this series, I’m looking at how these character traits can be applied to businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes in order to become what I call ‘Change-Maker Brands.’ From being a Sharer to the trait of bravery, from adaptability to putting love at the heart of our business decisions; from positivity to being future-conscious, I’ll show how these change-maker characteristics can not only transform your organisation, but are vital for business survival. Previously, I’ve written about the characteristics: SHARE , being BRAVE and the importance of having the ability to ADAPT. Today I’m looking at the trait of LOVE, a word we don’t necessarily associate with business. So, what’s love got to do with it? Quite a lot apparently.
Become a Change-Maker Brand: LOVE.
A Harvard Business Review survey of 3,201 employees in seven different industries from financial services, to real estate found that employees who worked in a loving, caring workplace had higher levels of job satisfaction, fewer absences, better quality of life, and fewer trips to A&E. What’s more, by embedding love in a business culture translates into improved performance and greater client satisfaction.
When John Mackey, launched Whole Foods Market, in 1980, he established the idea of leading with love as a corporate guiding principle:
"The leadership, must embody genuine love and care. This cannot be faked. If the leadership doesn't express love and care in their actions, then love and care will not flourish in the organization. As Gandhi said: 'We must be the change that we wish to see in the world.
We must 'give permission' for love and care to be expressed in the organization. Many organizations are afraid of love and care and force them to remain hidden. Love and care will flow naturally when we give them permission and encourage them.
We should consider the virtues of love and care in all of our leadership promotion decisions. We shouldn't just promote the most competent, but also the most loving and caring leaders. Our organizations need both and we should promote leaders who embody both.”
For 20 years from 1997 to 2017, Whole Foods graced Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for list until it’s acquisition by Amazon in 2017.
Embedding love in business has been shown to reduce costs, increase profitability and increased sustainability. A Columbia University study, shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with a loving company culture is 13.9%, compared to job turnover in low-love company cultures at 48.4%. Other research shows that simply praising employees once a week, means that they are three times less likely to quit in the next year and 83% think praise is better than gift giving.
Here’s my Change-Maker Checklist Number 4, to help your company take the fourth step to becoming a Change-Maker Brand by putting LOVE at the heart of your business:
How are you putting love at the heart of your brand?
How are you embedding love for people and planet in your products and services?
How is love part of your company culture?
How do you demonstrate love for your employees and enable them to develop their talents and pursue their passions?
How are you leading change with love?
Gina Farish, is the founder of Sharemrkt, an online network marketplace that seeks to bring the Sharing Economy together, in one place. One of the 200 change-makers interviewed for Generation Share, she’s building a business to enable people to make a living from the things they love.
“What I would love to is enable people to go after their passions. I think so many people walk through this earth having dreams and aspirations, hobbies that they would like to do in their everyday life but they’re caught up in their day jobs they may have an incredible skill, but they don’t bring it to the world. If there is a cooperative platform that enables them to truly have a business, make a living from what they love, people would have the ability to live out those dreams and basically quit the day job that is paying the bills and do the thing that they are passionate about and have that pay the bills.”
Change-maker businesses are those who are able to embody the trait of love in the DNA of their organisation and as the results show, love always saves the day, especially in business.
Generation Share will be published by Policy Press in June 2019 for Global Sharing Week. You can now pre-order your copy here.
If you are a business who wants to become a change-maker brand email me firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska