At Serious Business last year, keynote speaker Vishen Lakhiani described how his company, Mindvalley, started a little social experiment a few years back that completely surpassed their expectations. Leaders at the company decided that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be a day for couples, it should be an entire week where everyone could experience a little love and appreciation in the workplace. (Note: We’re talking about appropriate, positive love and appreciation, as opposed to the kind that’s been in the media lately.) After all, they knew from research that love and appreciation leads to happiness, and happiness boosts productivity.
So Mindvalley instituted Love Week the week preceding Valentine’s Day and assigned Secret Cupids (like Secret Santas) to each employee and encouraged them to leave notes of appreciation or small gifts throughout the week. “It’s incredibly simple, yet it creates an immense, positive cultural shift in the company,” Lakhiani says. “Even more remarkable is that the friendships and bonds continue long after Love Week ends, and in turn so does the positive boosts in productivity.”
As our Salon Today 200 judges read through the salon culture essays this year, we were amazed by how many salons adopted the Love Week idea in 2017 and how they put their own spin on it.
At a staff meeting to kick off the idea of Love Week, Jennifer Kennedy, owner of J. Nicolle Salon and Spa ordered bracelets with messages of positivity and passed them out to team members. “We talked about how important it is to love and take care of yourself before taking care of others,” she says. “The bracelets are a visual reminder, something team members can wear or hang up around them.”
Kennedy encouraged the team members to choose a name out of a pile to determine for whom they’d play Secret Cupid. To encourage her staff to follow through with words of appreciation, she printed out Love Note forms that could easily be filled in. Any Cupid who might want to buy their assigned team member a small gift, could even consult an inventory sheet that lists that person’s favorite things, like candy, flowers or local ice cream joint or restaurant.
The team embraced the idea of Love Week, and decided to expand the sentiment to their guests, filling out Love Notes to be handed to clients when they checked in for their appointments. In addition, the salon rewarded guests who shared the love with their friends by offering them $20 off a service, as well as $20 off to the friend when they came in as a new client.
Kennedy also crafted a window display that featured a mirror with signage that told passersby, ‘You Are Enough.’ “Social media adds to the pressure of striving for perfection, and we’ve noticed in our area, girls and young really struggle with feeling inadequate,” Kennedy says. “We wanted guests to know even though they may be coming into the salon to enhance their beauty, they are enough just the way they are.”
To keep the positive momentum going throughout the year, the salon instituted the concept of Community Love Day. This management policy grants a paid day off each year to any team member who wants to donate a day of time to a local philanthropic effort. “While the salon as a whole does philanthropic efforts, our team members have different interests, and many of them are young mothers whose time is not their own when they do have a day off,” Kennedy explains. “This encourage them to follow their passion and gives them a little time to do it—we’ve had team members help environmental causes, activities for breast cancer awareness and volunteer at a local animal shelter.”