Just before Valentine’s Day four years ago, an Oregon-based company called Mindvalley decided to spread the love at work – through an event they dubbed Love Week where every worker plays Secret Angel to some other worker, and everyone gets to experience love and appreciation over a five-day work week. The idea behind Love Week was simple, yet powerful – love and appreciation makes people happy and creates a positive, productive, collaborative and low stress work environment, so why not spread the love and make work fun!
How Love Week Works
What started out as a lark, four years ago, is slowly turning into a global movement embraced by a growing number of companies, big and small. Here’s how it works: Love Week is held the week before Valentine’s Day, and employees draw names to see who they will anonymously play Secret Angel to, in cashless or inexpensive creative and fun ways throughout the week – doing simple things like decorating their desks, posting empowering quotes, placing a cup of coffee before they get to work in the morning, volunteering at their favorite charity, planting a tree in their name, etc. Love Week’s goal is to build a culture that enables and encourages the giving and receiving of social support and appreciation at the work place, and it’s worked wonders at Mindvalley – with stronger friendships among employees, increased employee engagement and higher productivity.
How Spreading the Love Helps
Mindvalley’s experiment isn’t an outlier but a corporate axiom: a Gallup study concluded that happy employees are more engaged, and engaged employees are more productive, profitable, customer-focused and safety-oriented, and drive business outcomes. A Gallup poll also found that 75% of the employees that had a best friend at work, or a group of colleagues they enjoyed socializing with, planned to be with their companies for at least another year. Separately, Tom Rath, the author of best-seller “Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without” found that people who had a best friend at work were seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. So social engagement at the workplace, fostered through events like Love Week or workplace volunteering and giving programs, boosts employee bonding, productivity and employee retention, and reduces turnover costs.
So talk to your boss and make Love Week or some other employee-centric corporate philanthropy happen at your workplace. Or take Love Week beyond the workplace – to your family, your community, your social circle or even yourself. Be your own Secret Angel and give yourself a week of self-love and appreciation – head to the spa or treat yourself to something you love. Or turn it into your own personal campaign and perform random acts of kindness, volunteer or do something for the environment – whatever rocks your boat and is good for humanity and our planet.