I have had many jobs and experienced many work environments in my adult life. Though hopping from job to job has limitations, these experiences helped me realize what I want and don’t want to bring into my company culture as it grows. From too relaxed to too restricting, there’s something to learn from every place of employment. A great step to take is deciding what core values to honor in your business. Is it productivity? Trust? Dependability? Empathy? It can (and should be) more than one, however, this month we’ll discuss cultivating love in your business. The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 tells us love is the greatest, and honoring that value will help you achieve all others. Love allows everyone involved in your business to show up more authentically and with motivation. Even if you’re a solopreneur, it’s important to develop a track record of magnetizing love in your business and you can start today.
Lead By Example
Leading with love begins with you. You must demonstrate it before anyone involved in your business can embody it. If you’re a solopreneur, like myself, this is the ideal place to start because it will set the tone for the first person you hire. Leading by example will affect your employees and your customers, so how do you want their experience to manifest when they interact with your business? It may be effective to have the end goal in mind and work backward as, oftentimes, our haphazard actions are inadvertent and don’t take into account our long-term goals. Being a leader requires constant reflection, growth and endurance. It can be hard, but it’s important to do the hard work to make it easier for your employees and anyone helping you to gracefully follow suit. Your behavior is the blueprint.
Build Up Your Team
You may be the brains, but your team is the heart of your business, and cultivating love involves nurturing this vital organ. Again, this includes yourself if it’s just you. My partner used to tell me constantly, “Be nice to yourself today,” because I had an unhealthy track record of putting too many things on my team, which was just me, and being disappointed when things didn’t get done in the unrealistic timeline I set. I’ve worked in those environments and felt defeated as soon as I clocked in. Make sure you are nurturing those who have decided to travel on this journey with you. You will likely have team members that come and go, but people don’t enter our lives by happenstance, it is all carefully constructed by God. Be sure to care for His children while they work in your environment. Your employees can learn from you and vice versa. Put yourself in the perspective of being a great employee, and think about what keeps you motivated. Is it recognition for a job well done? Is it personalized notes from the boss? Is it team milestone celebrations? Add your own twist in ways that feel authentic to you and extend kindness and appreciation to your team. A team that feels cared for will reciprocate that love and create a positive and productive atmosphere.
Say “Thank You” More Often
In a world where employees have choices, expressing gratitude is a powerful retention tool. Remember when I mentioned bouncing from job to job? Your employees have a choice and they don’t have to be there. Saying “thank you” is not just a formality but an acknowledgment of the effort and dedication your team puts into your business. This should be taken seriously and infused into the foundation of your business. Whether through regular appreciation emails, tangible tokens of gratitude or recognizing achievements publicly, gratitude builds a culture where your people feel seen and appreciated.
This may have felt a little heavy, but when you build with love, communication becomes easier and you will be amazed by the amount of things you and your team complete and accomplish. This is the perfect month to start loving yourself and your team a little better, and who can’t use more love? You got this, Boss. I love you, and I have faith in you.
Sheridan C. Watkins is a journalist and the owner of Perennial Peaces, a jewelry and gifts brand focused on transcending self-worth to all women. Her true work began after climbing out of a dark place with the help of God and therapy, and her life mission is to provide tangible peace through her Divine gifts to help women heal and transform their lives. Follow the mission on Instagram and Facebook: @perennialpeaces.