Happy Couples: A Model for Corporate Culture

Leaders can learn a lot from happy couples. Not those too-perfect newlyweds that make you gag. I’m talking about those battle-tested partners who have an awesome connection long after the honeymoon ends.

This doesn’t mean you should hit on your employees! It means leaders can build an amazing company culture by fostering the same values found in great romantic relationships. Beyond a foundation of honesty, respect, and compassion, here are a few key qualities and how they can be fostered at work:

> Show Appreciation: Tell them you appreciate them and why; ask for their opinion; pay sincere compliments, tell them you’re proud of them; surprise them with small gifts; celebrate them on big milestones.

> Communicate: Tell them the good and bad things; make sharing information the rule; nip conflicts in the bud before they become crises.

> Work as a Team: Set group meetings with open forum time; schedule “quality time” away from the office; set up mentoring partnerships.

> Keep it Fresh!: Break up the routine with new projects, games, or rewards; surprise everyone with a fun “field trip” during work hours.

> Give Constructive Feedback: Don’t criticize; provide balanced input and ask for theirs in return.

Like couple relationships, you reap what you sow at work. Put in the effort, prioritize the culture, and you’ll have employees who can teach newlyweds what it really means to be happy.

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