“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”

Simon Sinek

In a world filled with numbers, policies, and cold email exchanges, a phrase caught my ear that felt like poetry in the midst of business chatter: “For customers to fall head over heels for a company, its employees must write it love poems first.” Love poems for a company? Sounds fantastical, but stay with me.

The love between a company and its customers often feels like an arranged marriage. Both parties benefit, but where’s the spark, the passion? That ineffable thing called love starts within the walls of the very organization. Employees must first care, admire, respect, and yes, even love what they do before the customers follow suit.

Companies are more than the sum of their parts, and they are more than just buildings filled with people clocking in and out. They are living, breathing entities where creativity sparks and innovation grows. But for all these things to happen, there must be a connection, a genuine affinity for what’s being done.

Take a look at successful brands. Their employees often act like brand ambassadors. They wear the products, they live the lifestyle, they speak the language. It’s a type of devotion that transcends the ordinary employer-employee relationship. They believe in the brand, love the mission, and take pride in their daily tasks.

Now, the skeptics among us may scoff at the idea of love in the workplace. After all, isn’t business supposed to be about profit margins and market share? But to ignore the human element is to overlook the very thing that fuels a company: passion.

Passion drives innovation. It encourages risk-taking. It fosters a sense of community and shared purpose. Without it, employees are merely cogs in a machine, devoid of creativity and personal investment.

And so, it’s the leaders’ job to cultivate this love. To make employees feel not only appreciated but connected to the bigger picture. It’s about more than just a paycheck; it’s about being part of something larger, something meaningful.

Let’s not forget, though, that love can be fickle. It requires nurturing and attention. It demands respect and mutual understanding. It’s not simply about saying, “We love our company,” but showing it through actions, through commitment to excellence, and dedication to values.

In turn, this internal love story echoes out to the customers. They feel the passion in the product, see the care in the service, and recognize a brand that stands for something more than just profit. They, too, begin to feel a connection, a relationship that goes beyond mere transactions.

In conclusion, the notion of employees writing love poems to their companies might sound absurd, but the underlying sentiment is profound. To create a brand that resonates with people, that builds loyalty and fosters community, the love must start from within.

The office may never be a place for sonnets and love letters, but it can be a place where passion thrives, where employees become ambassadors, and where customers become fans. Because in the end, it’s not about numbers and spreadsheets; it’s about people and the connections they make.

And maybe, just maybe, the next time you walk into your workplace, you’ll feel a hint of romance in the air, a buzz of excitement, a love for what you do. For as it turns out, love really does make the business world go round. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.