How to show "the love" professionally

Courtney Thompson
February 3, 2020

Showing "The Love" in the workplace

Before anyone gets carried away with the title here, I am talking about “love” as appreciation and gratitude for colleagues, clients, employees and others in our professional settings. With our days moving faster and faster, how do we pause and show “the love” for those who matter to us each and every working day?

It matters so much.

Yet endless studies and research show us that employees - at many levels - often feel unappreciated by their bosses, their companies and sometimes their colleagues.

So this Valentine’s Day, let’s consider how we all might deliver a little empathy and kindness, especially in challenging situations or settings.

In our work with clients, we have found a few simple gestures can go a long way. Here are a few of the best we’ve found -- informal, spontaneous and easy to do ways to help recognize those in your professional life and build a culture that values the humans around us.

Show “the love” in a virtual workplace
  • Take your meeting on the road – break free from the camera setting, use headphones or ear buds for clear connections and hold a virtual walking meeting with your colleagues on the other end of the line.You can even incorporate this into personal or company fitness and wellness programs.
  • Meet for a virtual coffee or tea – this works nicely for a wide variety of time zones and times of day when you can each take your AM or PM coffee break … together.
  • Use FaceTime or Skype to connect face-to-face and to give colleagues who work remotely a virtual “tour” of changes or updates to your office space or facility, so they feel connected to your company workspace.
Show "the love" when there are tough things to say and/or in tough circumstances
  • First, think about the conversation from the receiver’s side and how it will be heard; recognize and appreciate that change of any sort is difficult to digest and process.
  • Second, find a quiet and private space to have the conversation; turn your phone off and be present and attentive.
  • Third, be straightforward and frank; focus on the individual and listen carefully so you are prepared to follow up with answers to questions or gather additional details or information.

Show "the love" with a limited budget

  • Celebrate occasions with simple and inexpensive treats like a coffee, birthday cupcake or fresh flowers.
  • Choose a day of the week to have a team lunch where everyone brings their lunch and gathers in person. Use this time or find other opportunities to get to know one another outside office roles.
  • Use lighthearted games like “two truths and lie” or share baby photos as a “guess who” game as fun ways to engage each other. You can also consider beginning meetings with a five-minute similar game.

And, of course, it never hurts to add a little chocolate.

Courtney Thompson
Courtney Thompson
Managing Consultant
A former communications executive at Boeing, Courtney Thompson has spent nearly two decades helping large employers communicate with clarity and urgency during a wide range of crises and change.