Emotions, Inspiration & Diversity


Emotions, Inspiration & Diversity

Photo by gadost/iStock/Getty Images

Photo by gadost/iStock/Getty Images

 

The power and importance of employee engagement is evident in the academic literature in the areas of human and emotional intelligence. 

 

 

Research by Sigal Barsade and Olivia A. O'Neill examines the strong connection between an organization's emotional culture and business performance. They characterize emotional culture as the norms and beliefs related to how people feel and express their feelings at work.

Their research examines the way positive and negative emotions impact how people perform at work. Barsade and O'Neill point out that many organizations actively manage their cultures to harness knowledge- and behavior-based competencies, but they've found very few organizations that actively manage their emotional culture. They explain how many organizations fail to recognize the powerful role emotions play in day-to-day work, impacting motivation and satisfaction levels, sense of belonging, teamwork, creativity, levels of absenteeism, quality of work, customer service, and turnover. In particular, they note the extensive research on emotional cognition demonstrating how feelings are contagious, even leading to changes in brain functioning.

Relatedly, research by Scott Barry Kaufman shows the important role inspiration can play in the workplace, including its power to spark creativity. He highlights research on the critical role leaders can play in creating an atmosphere that can help fuel inspiration, including, among other things, creating the conditions for effective knowledge sharing, articulating aspirational visions, and engaging and enabling employees to tap into and leverage their (diverse) creativity.

 

 

Reference:

Barsade Sigal, & Olivia A. O'Neill, Manage Your Emotional Culture, Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 2016, pp. 58-66.

Kaufman, Scott Barry, Why Inspiration Matters, Harvard Business Review, Nov. 8, 2011 (digital article).