Ask any Movement employee, and they’ll tell you about our mission to love and value people. Ask them about our culture, and you’ll find loving people as one of the cornerstones of Movement.
One of our most recognized Culture Statements is “Love is a verb.” That seems easy enough to understand, but it’s a difficult concept to embed in a corporate culture. “Love” in the cultural sense of the word seems to have no place in a business environment.
At Movement, we see love as an action — an action that demonstrates how much we care about our co-workers, our managers, our company. Love is a tangible concept that we experience every time we celebrate a co-worker’s birthday, encourage our fellow gym-mates during our workouts, or inquire after a sick child.
Danae Diller, program director of LoveWorks with the Movement Foundation, says the fund is probably the most well-known example of loving people as a verb. Dedicated to providing financial assistance to Movement employees in times of need, the LoveWorks fund consists entirely of voluntary employee contributions, matched by Movement Mortgage. Any employee in need, whether they donate to LoveWorks or not, can apply for financial assistance in a time of crisis.
This year, 60 percent of our almost 4,000 employees across 48 states have donated to the LoveWorks fund.
To Diller, love in action looks like the overwhelming number of people who reach out wanting to help their co-workers. “If somebody needs a ride, if somebody needs help moving, if somebody needs meals, people here are on it,” she says. “It’s amazing.”
Diller recalls an employee who suddenly and unexpectedly became the caretaker for two children, ages four and 18 months. Underwriter Norma Younger had recently joined the Movement team, and didn’t have any family or many friends in the area, save her husband. When she heard that she’d be taking care of the children, she told a few co-workers “just to have someone to talk to.”
What she considered small comments sparked her teammates into action. Her co-workers collected financial gifts, made daycare referrals, helped feed Younger and followed up with words of encouragement throughout the transition.
“Saying ‘thank you’ to these women,” she says, “would never be enough.”
Movement Chief Talent Officer Chris Allen says he feels what stands out at the company is when managers demonstrate care for the people who report directly to them. Too often, he says, managers seem to get a bad rap for giving instructions without delving too deep into the lives of their employees. But when one closing manager found out that one of her closers had interviewed for a position with a competitor, instead of scolding, she sat the closer down to understand more about her concerns and personal situation. Allen says the employee was shocked. “It was the first time ever, at any job, that she had felt valued as an employee,” he says.
We have been charged to “be devoted to one another in brotherly good,” according to the Bible’s Romans 12:10. By upholding love as a verb, by embodying the concept that love means more in action form than words, we are building a community where people can lean on one another when they need help, and celebrate together when times are good.
And striving for that, says Diller, is rare. “Everytime we help somebody, they always say ‘Movement’s my family,’” she says. “The expectation around here is that you’re loved and cared for, because that is usually what you get.”