Valentine’s Day is here, and predictions are in the UK, the great British public will spend c £1bn proclaiming their love, apparently, pets are getting in on the act now too. Surveys show that we view it as too commercialised and a waste of money, but around 40% of Brits will spend on Valentine’s Day in some heart shape or form.
It’s hard to avoid it, the shops are full of Valentine’s day offers, my inbox is full of frankly spuriously love themed offers and as a single person, I find it a big red, heart-shaped reminder of the fact that, well I’m single. Now don’t get me wrong my friends that aren’t single find it a pain, there’s nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant along with a load of other couples struggling for conversation knowing the bill will be double any other night.
But it strikes me that Valentine’s day can create “in groups” and “out groups”. Are you single, or not, should you buy a card or not, a gift, a dinner, propose etc. Valentine’s day creates an expectation amongst some people, a pressure.
On the other hand is there something about receiving a Valentine’s card that however cynical we are, however much we proclaim it a waste of money, that gives us some recognition, this person cares about me, appreciates me, or is at least realises it’s safer to send that not.
So how does that translate into the workplace and what can we do this Valentine’s day to spread some love at work?
Here are three ideas
The Valentines day cynics say we shouldn’t restrict our outpouring of love and appreciation for our partner to just one day. We know from our recent Millennials research that people want regular informal and formal feedback from their line managers, so use this Valentine’s day to give some time to your team, if you’re not a manager then tell a colleague something you appreciate about them.
Having a friend at work can increase job satisfaction, retention and productivity, but for many companies in-groups and out-groups can cause problems. Do they exist at your workplace, does that affect who gets to work on the best projects, who gets recognition, who gets promoted? Are you in or out and what can you do to change that?
Do you have a mentor? Could you be one or would you like one? Take the opportunity this Valentines Day to ask someone to be your mentor or offer to mentor someone.
Happy Valentine’s Day, surprise your workmates!