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Become a Change-Maker Brand: Part 5

"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.