TODAY, as millions of people honour the special people in their lives with flowers, chocolates and romantic meals, let’s not forget to express our care and concern for the people around us in the workplace.

Especially in our results-driven world, showering a little love on your team, your colleagues, your superiors and your customers often leads to surprises and creates a positive and cohesive environment.

Love your team

If you are a leader, your team members frequently look to you for direction and feedback because you have been entrusted with the responsibility of bringing them together, so that the sum of the parts is greater than each individual combined.

You need to show that you care not just about the team’s achievements and work objectives, but also for each of them as people.

Take your team members out individually for lunch or a coffee break, and get to know them better. Understand their perspectives and hear their opinions about work, especially the tasks the team is working on currently.

Ask them about their personal goals and aspirations too. As their leader, you have a vested interest in helping your team members achieve their individual aspirations, especially the career-oriented ones.

Love your colleagues

Studies have shown that people are more willing to help their subordinates rather than a peer, because of the instinctive competitive spirit for the next pay raise or promotion.

While competition is healthy because it motivates people to do their best, it should not hinder co-workers from showing concern and lending a helping hand to those in need, regardless of rank.

Surprise your colleagues with thoughtful gestures. It could be a simple task such as buying breakfast for the person in the next cubicle who woke up late and has a packed schedule the entire day.

Your kindness will definitely get noticed. Remember, what goes around comes around, and you never know when that kind act will be repaid when you need it the most.

Love your superiors

Many of us hesitate to be too friendly to our bosses. We worry that our co-workers will misconstrue this as boot-licking and currying favour.

And if you do indulge in such self-serving behaviour, it is a turn-off not just for your peers, but also your boss, who can probably see through your intentions anyway.

That said, you should not hesitate to offer a helping hand to your superior if he genuinely needs your assistance to get things done.

Leaders want subordinates who genuinely are interested in helping them achieve the team’s goals — not merely for personal gain but for the greater good of the organisation.

Adopt a sincere and proactive attitude towards helping your superiors with their workload and manage your own tasks diligently.

Loving your superiors does not mean showering them with gifts or doing them favours.

It could be simply sending a weekly e-mail message to update them on your work progress and any foreseeable challenges in the coming weeks ahead.

In that way, they are kept up-to-date with your work without having to ask you, and can draw your attention to any issues before they become obstacles to doing your job effectively.
 
Love your customers

The customer is the epicentre of your organisation, whether it is for-profit (paying customers), non-profit (beneficiaries) or government (the general public).

During this festive season, it does not hurt to contribute to the joyfulness of the occasion by giving your customer more attention.

Ask yourself what your customer needs most, especially in the midst of festivities and the upcoming end of the financial year.

For example, do they need an extra box of namecards? Why not send them a complimentary box with an invitation for a re-order?

Do they need accounting help? How about recommending your accountant to them?

The most successful customer engagement initiatives occur when the customer is not in the buying mode.

When the customer is in the buying mode or intending to make a purchase, any exemplary or value-add service will be perceived as less valuable because it is connected to swaying their purchasing decision.

However, when the customer is not purchasing, they don’t expect you to go the extra mile for them, since they are of no immediate value to you.

Hence, the special effort you put in to make their lives a little easier will go a long way in re-engaging your existing customer base and building customer loyalty.

So this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to love your team, your colleagues, your superiors and your customers!

Article by Looi Qin En, chief brand and marketing strategist of Training Edge International. He has successfully transformed businesses of all sizes. For more information, e-mail Qin.En@trainingedgeasia.com or visit www.trainingedgeasia.com