Movement Mortgage has adopted one of those sweet-sounding mission statements that doesn’t tell you much about what the company does but that tells you plenty about who they think they are. It goes like this: “We exist to love and value people by leading a Movement of Change in our industry, corporate cultures, and communities.”
Those types of mission statements are great, but they always cause me to ask a question: Do they really live it? So when I saw the Movement Mortgage mission statement, it again got me to thinking: How do organizations that value love as a business principle actually show that value in their business?
One of the most important ways, I believe, is by doing things that demonstrate that you value people as people, not just as employees or clients or customers. In other words, you show that you love them for who they are, not what they do for you.
Show Love Externally
There are at least two ways to show people outside your organization that you love them. One is by providing great products and services that truly meet their needs (not just your needs). And the other is by giving back to the community to raise everyone’s quality of life.
Movement Mortgage, for instance, was launched during the recession because its founders believed the mortgage industry wasn’t “loving the borrowers.” Providing loans to people who can’t pay them off long-term isn’t very loving, they reasoned, so their process begins with helping customers understand what they actually can afford. The company also gives back, using its Movement Foundation to invest more than $25 million in worthwhile community projects since 2008.
Show Love Internally
Jordan Wan, the co-founder of the New York City-based recruiting service CloserIQ, believes one way to show your employees that you care for them is by providing benefits that exceed the norm – things like training opportunities, community events, happy hours, and reimbursements for gym memberships. Anything that makes them feel valued.
“You’re going above and beyond to show employees that you don’t just care about the work they do,” he said, “you value them as an individual and care about their well-being.”
Movement Mortgage offers a number of initiatives that focus on “family and relationships, physical health and wellness, financial stability, and professional development.” It also has a “Love Works Fund.” About 70 percent of its employees contribute to the fund, and the company matches those donations dollar-for-dollar. The fund helps employees out financially during times of crisis.
I’ve found that using benefits as an expression of love works best when those benefits are from the heart and to the heart. In other words, to be a better leader, you have to give something that you believe in and feel great about giving, and the gift (aka the benefit) has to be something the other person really values.
For instance, if no one on your team drinks alcoholic beverages, then you aren’t showing much love by giving them free beer in the break room. On the other hand, if you have a team full of dog lovers, they will feel the love if you have a bring-your-dog-to-work day.
The key, of course, is to know your team and elevate their needs to a place of pocket-book priority. That’s where you’re willing to shell out a little dough to let them see and feel how much you care. When you do that, they’ll not only appreciate the benefit, but the fact that you knew them well enough to realize they’d appreciate it.