Lessons from Valentine's Day for the Office
We hope you enjoyed celebrating with your loved one's yesterday!
This got us thinking, how do we take relationship and communication hacks from our personal lives and apply them to the the workplace? Here's a professional spin on the "love languages" developed by Gary Chapman.
*to be clear we are not condoning interoffice dating!
Words of Affirmation
This one comes up over and over again. From motivation experts to work satisfaction reviews, providing positive feedback and being recognized for a job well done boosts confidence and affirms the effort put into work is noticed and appreciated. However your work structures it., whether through a slack channel or formal shout-outs, a appreciation luncheon or something more informal; having contributions validated and celebrated (publicly and privately depending on the person you are recognizing), has an obvious impact on the production and wellbeing of your department. It is important to validate effort and not just achievements to set the stage for a work environment that values and trusts your skills and assets. The more you do this love language, the better you(and everyone receiving it) get at it too! Oh, and be real. Everyone is an expert on detecting feigned compliments. And don't be weird and make it a 10 minute toast: keep affirmations specific, succinct and frequent.
Neat fact, it’s been proven that positive feedback releases neurochemicals that drive creativity and productivity.” Human brains are designed to pay attention to negative/dangerous/out of the norm stimuli because back in the days of fight/flight/fawn survival mode, that was critical for our survival. Thankfully we are for the most part not operating out of our primitive brain and can now direct our attention to what is going well.
Did you think bonuses? You aren't wrong there. But small tokens, or "made me think of you" offerings go a long way. They let someone know, "I know you, I got you." Thoughtful gifts go a long way in making your team feel included and valued.
Acts of Service:
Here's the deal. We are not suggested you overstep your job description, let go of all your healthy work boundaries and tell Mike you'll take x,y and z off his desk. The idea of acts of service is that you look to reciprocate being helpful. Offering a listening ear, bouncing an idea, working through a problem, or grabbing an extra cup of coffee all are effective acts of service in the workplace.
Just like words of affirmation, acts of service has a compounding effect. Humans like to show they are grateful, and often we don't feel like a "thank you" is enough. So we want to pay it back and pay it forward. The effect of helping each other out starts snowballing and creates its own culture of reciprocal support.
We are not suggesting you turn your coworkers into your best friends spending your weekends together. Quality time in the workplace relates to providing work retreats, break-outs, team building events and exercises, wellbeing and professional development check-ins, and conversations on diversity, equality and inclusion. Make sure you solicit your department's wishes on how quality time should be spent.
Happy Valentines Day from PGAA Tax. <3