Hug Your People

Hug Your People is a business book by Jack Mitchell, the CEO of luxury retailer Mitchells. In his book, Mitchell uses human stories of his associates to educate the reader about the importance of "hugs" in a high morale work place.  Hugs include any act of personalized kindness which may take the form of a kind word, a compliment, a gift, a card, a handshake, a bear hug, a letter, or a bonus.

Five Lessons from Hug Your People:

  1. Set Expectations instead of Rules.  Expectations are based on Trust, a good foundation for lasting relationships. Rules are based on Distrust, not a good place to start.
  2. Hire Nice people, especially relevant for the retail business Mitchell is in. Nice people care about others, and build strong lasting relationships. You can train people how to be nice and give 'hugs.'  But the person has to be willing in the first place.  
  3. Get to Know at least 100 associates you work with.  Know them by first and last names, and learn about their family, passions and aspirations.
  4. Start and End meetings and emails with a personal touch.  Ask about family, passions and aspirations. Ask associates to share a personal update at the beginning of each meeting to get on the same page and learn more about each other. 
  5. Take a Trip to the Moon. See yourself interacting with others from a different perspective.