I believe most of today’s leaders would agree that demonstrating love for employees, customers, a company’s products and even winning is important. Love it is an investment that produces both short- and long-term returns. Midwives are great at loving our families and the community we serve. We need to start get better at loving our business. Love the autonomy, freedom, and amazing employees we get to work with everyday.
Yes, there are times that love as a business strategy poses risks (such as dramatic culture shifts and people accustomed to playing political systems feeling thwarted and leaving). But unlike other risk-related strategies, she maintains, love never fails. It always produces positive results and, over time, it makes every other business best practice exponentially better.
To paraphrase the “about the book” synopsis for Love Is Just Damn Good Business, when love is part of an organization’s framework, employees and customers feel genuinely valued and are more loyal, innovative, creative and inspired. Then a virtuous cycle occurs. Companies are more likely to produce products, services and experiences their customers will love. Customers will, in turn, reciprocate with their loyalty, referrals and, of course, their money. Clients that feel love and appreciation from their midwife will continue to come back for YEARS to come! In other words, healthy employee relationships and customer retention, combined with the growth and abundance that aligns with love-based decisions, makes for a healthy and successful business.
When a midwife truly loves her work, staff, and clients, it’s easy for me to take care of them. The happier a midwife is, the better a midwife can take care of them, which, of course, clients and workers love. And on and on it goes.
We may refer to love in business with words like “passion” or “enthusiasm,” but the bottom line, is that it’s a “human-to-human” connection. It is love.
Customer isn’t always right. There’s a difference between lovingly serving their needs and always giving them exactly what they say that they want. In fact, sometimes what they need or want is very different from the thing they demand. Some women may risk out of your home birth practice. They women may really want a water birth versus an induction in the hospital. Your love for her body and baby’s safety trump her personal wants. In the case of an angry customer, sometimes the thing they really want is to be recognized and heard.
There is also a danger that giving customers what they want would put you out of business if you give it to them, which means you’d no longer be around to give them what they need. When love, compassion, and care is provided with your services and mindset of your midwifery business, profits and happy customers are always bountiful. Your pregnancy due list will always have a waiting list. Women will be calling their midwife before telling anyone else they are pregnant for fear that your “schedule may be too busy to wait.”
Infusing your business with love produces a return on your investment, but begins with another type of ROI -“reciprocity on investment.” In other words, when you do what you love in the service of people, most of them will love what you do and give that love right back to you and your midwifery business. How do you measure classic ROI for increasing the amount of love in your business? There are the simple metrics of increased revenue, employee retention and customer retention over time, or NPS (Net Promoter Score), which can give you an indication of customer satisfaction.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is really listening to and evaluating the feedback of your most precious resource — your employees. Ask them independently and deeply what they love most about working for you. Ask them just as deeply what they would like to see you improve. Perhaps this exercise will produce a list of 44 things they really love and 10 things they’d want to see you improve. You should measure the level of increased satisfaction over time, but you should also show that you care about the suggestions for improvement by responding to them directly. If the suggestion can’t be met or can’t be met currently, let the employees know why. They will love you for your honesty.
But if you commit to a suggestion, be certain that you follow it through. In all, we should never stop striving to love. We should love our family members, our customers, our employees, and our community unconditionally. We should even love our enemies unconditionally. It may be astonishing how much we can learn and the additional satisfaction we can add to our lives. The full ROI we receive by adding more love into business may be beyond comprehension, professionally and personally. Gratitude and kindness has infinite return on our mind