Corporate Leaders’ Valentine’s Day Question

For those of you still figuring out what you will do to help the one you love to feel cared about, valued and appreciated for Valentine’s Day, don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you about that. You probably have enough pressure there already. We’ll stick to the work setting.

My question for you this Valentine’s Day, Corporate Leader, is this:

Are your employees and colleagues “feeling the love” from you?

I’m not suggesting that you take them to a romantic candlelit dinner or buy them candy hearts that say, “Be mine.”

But I am suggesting that a big part of a leader’s job is to help those you lead feel cared about, valued, and appreciated on the job.

In their research tying employee engagement to company financial performance, Gallup Consulting identified 12 core statements from workers that best predict employee and workgroup performance. At least half of the 12 statements directly relate to employees “feeling the love” …

  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work,
  • My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
  • I have a best friend at work.

The bottom line is that when leaders are able to help those they lead “feel the love,” it’s good for them, their customers, and their organization’s bottom line.

If you’d like to “show the love” to your colleagues and can’t think of anything other than buying them candy hearts, here are a few ideas:

  • Thank-you lunch – Treat a person or team to lunch after completing a deliverable to let them know you appreciate them and their contribution.
  • Ask for input – Ask their opinion on a work issue you’re facing.
  • Family – Remember their family members’ names and ask about them.
  • Ask about goals – Ask them questions about their career aspirations and development goals. Write those down and ask again 6 months later.
  • Big picture – Remind them how their roles fit into the bigger mission of the team and organization.
  • Recognition – Recognize the great work done by a peer, direct report or colleague by sending a note to their bosses, copying them.
  • Act on input – Take your organization’s annual employee survey seriously by involving a few people to help you review the results and feedback from your team. Develop with these people an action plan for improving engagement. Let the broader team know your plan and keep them informed of the progress you’re making.

I realize we tend not to use the “L” word at work.

However, if we’re honest, that’s a huge part of what a leader is called to do:  help people “feel the love” as they accomplish meaningful goals.

What will you do to help those in your workplace “feel the love” this Valentine’s Day?

Joe Baker is a Partner with PeopleResults. Contact Joe at or on Twitter @JoeBakerJr. Sign up to receive his and his colleagues’ blog at Current.