Emotions are often seen as taboo in the workplace. Whether it’s frustration, happiness, sadness or anything in between, expressing emotion is seen as something that is a little unprofessional. If organisations want to start improving engagement, retention and their brand, it’s time to start recognising that what employees think and feel will always be more important than what they can do.
Organisations change and grow over time, so it’s only natural that roles within an organisation will change over time too and over the 3.3 years an average Australian stays in a role, they are bound to come up against new challenges and learn new skills all the time. The interesting thing is that job satisfaction and employee engagement has less to do with the actual work and more to do with how you feel about the work you’re doing.
It’s no secret that hiring for a value fit is the key to kicking off the onboarding process in the best way possible. Skills and knowledge are all things that can be acquired in a relatively short amount of time but values are usually already ingrained in a new hire’s mind - they either already align with your organisation’s values or they’re unlikely to ever align themselves. Since values form the foundation of everyday behaviours, it’s important to take them into account from the get-go!
Personal lives matter
Most of the time, personal and professional lives do not mix and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to remember that sometimes, the personal bleeds over into the professional without intention. There are plenty of life events that have heightened emotional responses - deaths, births and divorces are common examples. The emotional responses will have an impact on employees and if no care is taken to consider these emotions, employees can feel ignored, unappreciated and frustrated.
Caring about personal lives doesn’t just benefit your employees, either. When your employees go home for the day, they tell their family and friends how they feel at work, not what they actually did. Those conversations can severely damage your employer brand.
Most organisations concentrate on using their values to create a cognitive culture - this includes things like trustworthiness and innovation. To have a really successful organisation, employers need to be working towards creating an emotional culture too - this is when employers create opportunity for joy, pride, achievement, compassion and understanding to come to the forefront of daily interactions.
Emotional culture lives in the small moments of the working day. It starts at the top, with CEO’s and managers creating the emotional culture so that it trickles down through all the levels of an organisation and is ingrained in the way that each and every employee goes about their day.
Having an emotionally healthy organisation has a direct impact on productivity, engagement, career development of employees and retention, so it’s time that organisations start taking the idea seriously.
Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.