Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be one day for lovers. It should be an entire week where everybody gets and experiences a little love and appreciation especially at the workplace.
Why it should not be, after all workplace is the place where one spends the majority of his or her working hours and should be filled with more connection, joy and above all happiness.
Mr. Gupta, owner of an export firm was fretting over declining productivity of his employees. His small firm has around fifty employees, both males and females. All of them were very punctual and used to come and go at fixed hours. During working hours, they seemed to working diligently but still there was no positive output. Production was stagnated and the firm running on almost no-loss, no profit basis.
So some years ago, Mr. Gupta hired a consutancy agency to make a turn-around in his firm. The agency brought an innovative plan – to infuse love in workplace on experimental basis. And the time around Valentine’s Day was chosen to conduct this experiment. This week-long experiment comprised anonymous gifting and showing love and kindness among all the employees.
The result of bringing so much ‘love’ into the workplace was extraordinary. Productivity among his employees soared. Since then, his firm celebrates ‘love week’ every year around Valentines’ Day and its positive effect continues to linger on all through the year, as his employees eagerly wait for the arrival of next Valentine’s Day.
Mr. Gupta’s was not the only or the first firm to experiment with love week. This experiment with tradition has become a global movement. Many companies around the world have now become part of this awesome tradition. Various studies have proven that friendships at work boost productivity and company growth. When you make love and care becomes a part of your company culture, there is created an environment that encourages and enables employees to bond and connect with each other better.
How to begin
Though love can be infused into workplace any time of the year, Valentine’s Day is best suited to make a beginning for apparent reasons.
Before Love Week starts, everyone draws a name of someone to be a ‘Secret Angel’ for him or her during the week without revealing their identity. Each person plays a ‘Secret angel’ and ‘a human’ to somebody.
Everyone adds their names to a hat. Then each person draws out a name (at random), regardless of gender or rank. The name you draw is your ‘Human’, which makes you their ‘Secret Angel’.
Your duty as a ‘Secret Angel’ is to show love and appreciation for your ‘Human’ throughout love week in creative, mysterious and secretive ways. You do this anonymously!
Remember that while you are a ‘Secret Angel’, someone else is also playing a ‘Secret Angel’ to you. So you too will be receiving love and appreciation from him or her all along the week. Your identity as a ‘Secret Angel’ should only be revealed to your ‘Human’ after love week ends.
Around the globe, love week is an annual cultural ritual at many companies that encourage the act of receiving and giving, social support, and appreciation amongst employees. It’s the most engaging yearly culture tradition increases productivity and boosts stronger friendships among employees.
Studies have shown that happiness is the most important social support one can receive in the workplace. A study by Gallup, an American research-based, global performance-management consulting company, has found that providing social support generates greater productivity in the long run. This study concludes that employee engagement is a force that drives business outcomes, and that engaged employees are more productive, profitable and focused.
According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, 95% of people who give no social support at work have no work engagement. Meanwhile, true work-altruists (those who provide the most) are about ten times as likely to be highly engaged in their work — and therefore, productivity — than work-isolators.
Tom Rath, the author of the best-selling book Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without, found that people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job. Another study by Gallup Consulting discovered that 75% of participants who had a best friend at work planned to be with their companies for at least another year.
In short — LOVE matters. Even in the workplace.
Some tips for love week
You need not spend on lavish gifts to show your ‘Human’ love and appreciation. It’s always the feeling that counts. Be creative in surprising your ‘Human’. Treat them with their favorite coffee or decorate their desk.
Collaborate with other ‘Secret Angels’. Send another person to deliver a gift to your ‘Human’, or have a work-friend recite a favorite poem or quote on your behalf.
You need not involve the entire company to participate in love week. Do it just within your department or with your team. Small actions will have a “domino-effect” on others.
Bring love week to your community, family or a society/club. Love week isn’t just for companies and can be done virtually also.
Turn love week into your own personal campaign. Perform random acts of kindness to a stranger, volunteer at a local community, or even show the environment some love each day, or donate to a cause you feel strongly about.
Be your own ‘Secret Angel’ and make it a week of self-love and appreciation for yourself. Head to the spa, take an hour off to do something you absolute love doing, or treat yourself to that must-have that you’ve been eyeing for a while now. Self-love is powerful too.
You can share photos of your love week experience on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter also to cherish your love memories later.