“Love your employees” is a key strategic element described in The Six Secrets of Change by Michal Fullan. In the chapter by the same title, Fullan describes what it means to adopt the attitude and take actions to love your employees; how it pays of and leads to impressive results.
The foundation of the strategy is to invest time and energy in the treatment of all employees, just as you do customers. Managers build strong, positive relationships with employees based on shared perceptions of fair treatment and their achievement being facilitated. Employee engagement soars, service to customers becomes highly valued and profits increase.
Love your employees emanates from actions to create a balance of emotional, social and financial value for them.
- Create conditions for employee success. Eliminate wasted actions and resources in organizational processes.
- Help employees build personal fulfillment and career satisfaction while making a significant contribution. Connect each job to the organization’s mission, describing benefits to customers and society. Employees will strive to transcend bottom line results.
- Respect their work and invest in their development.
- Respect their needs and interests as deeply as you do customers’. Design jobs so individuals fulfill their own goals as they fulfill the organization’s.
- Share financial rewards in a manner seen as fair to everyone, in their eyes. Perceived unfair compensation causes employee motivation to drop sharply.
- Invest in high performance. Help front-line staff deliver superior services and goods. Constantly innovate for enhanced quality.
- Build commitment to each other in the teams. Train them to build a collective purpose, understand each other’s personalities, and articulate how to best work together.
- Construct a system of internal customers. Begin by asking every manager to articulate the service they deliver to those they manage, by asking employees what they want and when they want it, to do a better job. Have every team identify who receives the output from their efforts and the factors that determine highest quality.
Fullan points to the book Firms of Endearment  which extends the concept of love your employees to all stakeholders, whether employees, customers, investors, partners, or society, and treating them all as truly equal. Firms of endearment such as Toyota and Johnson & Johnson, which do this, have outperformed the stock market values of the “Good to Great” firms by 300% over ten years.
Cultivating an attitude of love your employees and implementing specific actions to support this can provide the bedrock for the same level of impressive success for your organization.